Healthy Foods to Eat with Unplanned Pregnancy
Whether you are just finding out you are pregnant or have been going through an unplanned pregnancy for some time, eating healthy foods is essential for the development and growth of your baby. What you used to eat or drink before pregnancy may not be healthy now that you are pregnant and changes to your diet may have to happen. As your body goes through many changes during pregnancy, consuming healthy foods is important so that your body and baby can be supported during such changes. The emphasis on this is also because everything you eat or drink, your baby will also eat and drink.
This week Adoption Choices of Missouri will be discussing healthy foods to eat with an unplanned pregnancy. Don’t worry if you are unsure because we are here to help you in every way possible. We can provide assistance and information for your unplanned pregnancy to make it as least stressful as possible! Choosing adoption is a loving decision and so is taking care of yourself and the baby!!
What to Eat on a Daily Basis
Media often portrays being pregnant as an excuse to eat whatever you want; but, in reality, that is not the case for having a healthy pregnancy. Eating proportioned healthy foods each day is best even if you are not feeling very hungry. You will have cravings for specific foods and maybe even foods you didn’t eat before your pregnancy, which is normal. It is also completely valid to feel overwhelmed by all the foods you can and should eat versus those that you should not consume. We’re here to help you determine and make the right choices for your diet during pregnancy.
First, you should aim to eat three substantial meals each day that include the main food groups such as fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy and grains. Try to consume fewer foods with high fat and sugar content as they contain less nutritious value. Remember that you should also indulge in cravings as long as they are in moderation.
- Foods that have high content in protein are very important, and protein is not only found in meat, poultry or fish. You can also satisfy your daily protein servings with eggs, lentils, chickpeas, cottage cheese and seeds.
- Vegetables also contain important nutrients including iron, fiber, vitamin A and potassium. Think of leafy greens like spinach, broccoli and kale when you eat your next meal as they provide healthy digestion.
- Additionally, fruits are a good substitute for eating something sweet that also provides nutrition to you and your baby. Eating berries provide antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber, which promotes a strong immune system. Other fruits that can support your diet include, apricots, bananas, mangoes, pears and oranges, all of which are full of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Dairy is important for you to gain calcium which helps the development of your baby’s bones, teeth, muscles and nerves. Some sources of calcium that are good to consume include milk, yogurt and cheese.
- Grains contain good carbohydrates that your body needs during pregnancy. Eating whole grains like bread and cereal can provide you with iron, fiber and folic acid.
Keep in mind that Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you financially with food and groceries. We will set a budget with you and ensure you have access to healthy food!
Take Prenatal Vitamins
As you start on a vitamin-rich diet during your unplanned pregnancy, you also need to take prenatal vitamins as soon as possible. Taking your regular daily multivitamin is not the same as prenatal vitamins. Prenatal vitamins provide more direct nutrients that aid in the development and growth of your baby. Once you determine you are pregnant, go to your doctor and he or she will guide you through which ones to take and the right dosage. When you go to buy your prenatal vitamins at the pharmacy, look for these four essential nutrients that are beneficial to pregnancy: folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin D. Folic acid is important for the early development of your baby, specifically to help prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spine. Iron helps to provide healthy blood flow for you and your baby as well as oxygen flow. Calcium helps your baby’s bones, teeth, muscles, and nerves develop strong. Vitamin D supports a healthy immune system and further bone development of your baby. Again, Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you with vitamins and getting medical support!
Don’t Forget Water
As part of healthy foods to eat with unplanned pregnancy, there is also the importance of drinking enough water each day. During pregnancy, you will need to drink plenty of water, around 8-12 glasses daily. This will help your digestion and make sure the nutrients get to your baby. Water can also help your skin stay hydrated, boost your energy, reduce the chance of a urinary tract infection, and the risk of a premature birth. Always have water nearby to avoid dehydration which can cause headaches. If you find it difficult to drink a sufficient amount of water each day, try adding fresh fruits to your water like lemons or limes.
Health Foods to Eat during Pregnancy
These are some of the healthy foods to eat during an unplanned pregnancy and those to avoid. Remember that eating healthy is part of taking care of yourself and your baby. If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Adoption Choices of Missouri and we will be glad to get you assistance.
Meet the Author: Melissa Benedek is currently a junior at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. She is a Literature major with interest in American regional writing. One of her on-campus jobs focuses on organizing volunteer opportunities with local partnerships for students. She is also a founding editor of Sonnet Literary Magazine based out of her college campus.
When not focused on academics, Melissa enjoys traveling into New York City to support independent bookstores and buy the best cookies at Levain Bakery.