Nutrition brochure is simply a food guide that helps in preparing a balanced diet. Nutrition brochure allows pregnant women to make proper decisions on what they should eat, how to eat and what kind of foodstuff is to be avoided completely. It is important to mention that, the fetus inside the womb of the pregnant woman fully depend on what the mother feed on. This nutritional brochure provides clear information on how pregnant mother need to eat throughout the gestation period.
Nutritional advice: what a mother to be needs
According to the standard Daily Reference Intake (DRI) for mothers to be, it is mandatory for all expectant women to increase the amount of calories intake on daily basis. This is precisely because these women tend to increase their daily caloric needs by 15% during pregnancy (IFICfoundation, 2009). It is advisable that, pregnant women need to consume an additional 300 calories on daily basis in order to cater for the body demand. To achieve this, pregnant woman are supposed to take about 3 cups of fat free milk or substitute milk accompanied with one table spoonful of peanut butter added to an English muffin and banana (IFICfoundation, 2009). All these are good sources of calories.
Protein is an essential requirement, which helps the mother maintain the body tissues and muscles. It is recommended that expectant mother should have a daily intake of about 60 grams proteins (IFICfoundation, 2009). This also enables the body to produce specific hormones and antibodies required in maintaining the pregnancy. The specific types of food the pregnant woman requires include; “chicken, beans, fish, dairy products among many others” (IFICfoundation, 2009, para. 3).
The food that primarily supplies the body with carbohydrates include; “cereals, bread, fruits, sugar and other dairy products” (IFICfoundation, 2009, para. 4). It is recommended that carbohydrates should be taken during breakfast hour. Furthermore, mixing carbohydrates with folic acid reduces possibilities of birth defects. Notable to mention is that, pregnant women require a daily 145 grams of carbohydrates consumption.
Fats are very important source of energy just like the carbohydrates and proteins. DRI for pregnant women recommends that for proper development of the baby, 20-35% of body calories should come from fats. Such essential fatty acids required is supplied from foods such as; fish, vegetable oils, nuts and many other. Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acid also referred to as DHA, is very important for the brains and eyes development of the baby (IFICfoundation, 2009). This again subjects pregnant women to have a daily intake of 200 milligrams of this DHA on daily basis or as per the recommendation of the health care provider.
This is an essential nutrient required by pregnant women whose bones are still growing and who are 25 years and below. Calcium helps in strengthening the developing bonny structures of the baby. It is recommended that expectant women aged 19-50 years, should take 1000 milligrams of calcium on daily basis. This is achieved by consuming milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. Dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach is another good source of calcium recommended. However, there are other calcium fortified foods and they include; “soymilk, breakfast cereals and some orange juice” (IFICfoundation, 2009, para. 6).
However, for those women who don’t consume dairy products or those who are allergic to calcium foodstuffs are advised to use 600miligrams of calcium supplements. Finally, it is necessary for pregnant women to take about 5 micrograms of vitamin D. This can be sourced from foods like oily fish, fortified cereals and milk. Vitamin D is also supplied to the body when basking for 5-10 minutes in the morning sun.
A healthy balanced diet supplies expectant mother’s with about 12-14 milligrams of iron on daily basis (IFICfoundation, 2009). To achieve this, expectant mothers need to include fish, poultry, leafy vegetables and fruits in their daily diet. Iron is very important for pregnant woman due to its involvement in oxygen transport within the body. “Iron also enhances the development of brains, body immunity and temperature regulation” (IFICfoundation, 2009, para. 7). Nevertheless, Iron is also required to cater for the increase in blood volume of the expectant mother which also supports the developing baby. This means that pregnant women need more iron than other non-pregnant women
It is recommended that pregnant women should always adapt to a higher level of water consumption. On daily basis, expectant mothers should take 68-ounce glasses of water (IFICfoundation, 2009). This is because, water helps the body against constipation, excessive swelling and in transportation of food down the gut. Furthermore, water helps in rehydrating the body and also in preventing early premature labor.
What pregnant women should avoid
When planning for a proper balanced diet, pregnant women must be aware of certain foodstuffs that contain harmful chemicals that can harm the developing baby. Some fish for example sword fish, shark and even tile fish contain some amounts of mercury. Mercury once inside the body of a pregnant woman will cause irreversible damages on the nervous system damages of the developing baby (Pwhealth, 2012). Pregnant women are also required to keep away from alcohol or any alcoholic drinks. This is because; “alcohol consumption causes Fetal Alcohol Syndrome which eventually can end up causing mental retardation, hyperactivity and even facial abnormalities on the baby” (Pwhealth, 2012, Para. 2). Excessive weight gain should be discouraged during pregnancy for proper development of the baby. The table below summarizes the recommended weight gain throughout the entire gestation period.
|BMI||Recommended wt. gain|
A day’s menu for pregnant women
- 7.30 AM: A glass of water
- 8 AM: Semi-skimmed milk accompanied with raisin toast/Porridge sweetened with brown sugar/Mixed grain loaf/Apple slice and fresh orange juice.
- 11 AM: A pot of yoghurt.
- 1 PM Poached eggs accompanied with tomato sandwich./Tuna jacket potato/Fruits or handful of nuts.
- 4 PM: handful of dried fruits/Dried apricots/Sultana boost accompanied with a fruit.
- 6.30 PM: A Cup of tea.
- 7.30 PM: tomato soup starter,
- 8 PM: vegetables (cabbage) accompanied with marinated meat of chicken
- 11 PM: bowl of cereals rich in carbohydrates (Mailonline, 2012).
It should be noted that pregnant women must take at least 64 ounces of fluids with exception of caffeine-based fluids. Moreover, addition of salt should be controlled by personal tastes (Mailonline, 2012).
In summary, food taken during pregnancy is very important especially when maintaining health of pregnant women. It is precisely mandatory for pregnant women to closely observe and adapt to proper diet and food safety for the benefit of the child and the mother.
IFIC, 2009. Healthy Eating during Pregnancy. Web.
Mailonline, 2012. The perfect 24-hour meal plan. Web.
Pwhealth, 2012. Professionals for Women’s Health: Obstetrics, Nutrition and Weights. Web.