A smart diet starts before pregnancy

Health Oct 27, 2017 at 2:26 pm

HEALTH-643b3daBy Editorial Staff

According to the American Pregnancy Association, an appropriate pregnancy “diet” involves “fine-tuning your eating habits to ensure you a receiving adequate nutrition for the health of you and your baby.

… typically, you will need to consume an extra 300 calories a day.” But what’s adequate nutrition? The type and source of those 300 extra calories can make a big difference when it comes to a healthy pregnancy or one frought with complications.

Unfortunately, too many U.S. women aren’t eating the right way leading up to pregnancy, which can increase the risk of pregnancy complications including excessive weight gain, high blood pressure, impaired fetal growth and preterm delivery. A recent study revealed that during the three months around conception, many women consumed far too many “empty calories” as a part of their normal diet: soda, pasta, cookies, cake, bread and alcohol. Soda was the primary source of calories, according to the study.

The study evaluated dietary patterns among pregnant women by asking them to complete questionnaires regarding their diet during the three months around conception. A score of 100 indicated adherence with healthy diet guidelines, yet women in the study received an average score of only 63.

Thinking of having a baby? Your diet matters now, not just once you’re carrying your baby. Your doctor can evaluate your current diet and ensure you’re getting the proper nutrition you need.