What Pregnant Women Should Know About Nutrition

by Kelly Mills on June 4, 2010 at 8:23 am

I am expecting my first child December 29th, and while being an expectant mother is a very exciting time, there’s also a lot you need to know. Throughout my pregnancy I will be covering topics that will be helpful to pregnant women.

Once you become pregnant the learning curve is short to learn how to keep the baby healthy. So for help I went to local obstetrician Robert Aepli. He’s practiced in Zanesville for 30 years, delivered 14,000 babies, and he has 10 kids of his own.

Dr. Aepli says nutrition is vital for expecting mothers.

"Proper diet and nutrition have been definitely shown to enhance maternal well being and also help the baby be a healthy baby," says Dr. Aepli.

He says a healthy diet is common sense.

"You need protein, those are the building blocks that the baby’s made from. As well as a nice assortment of carbohydrates and some fats. Junk food is no good. Fresh fruits and vegetables are important."

But there are some things you might not know…

"Folic acid has been definitely shown to be a nutritional supplement of value in the first trimester and has been shown to decrease certain birth defects such as Spina Bifida," says Dr. Aepli.

And you also should watch your fish intake…

"Fish is an excellent source of protein. There are certain fish such as shark, mackerel, that have high mercury contents and you should limit the ingestion of those. In general two six-once-servings of fish per week are acceptablem" he says.

To make sure you’re not getting to much fish you can always check the packaging ,or if you can’t do that say you’re out to eat, MIT says a 3-ounce-serving of fish is equal to the size of a woman’s palm.

You also need to watch your weight. A recent study in the U.K. found women who exceeded the recommended amount of weight gain while pregnant were more likely to have children who weighed more, had higher blood pressure and lower levels of "good" cholesterol.

The increased risks were highest among women who gained a pound or more each week after the first trimester. So stay away from the junk food.

"Junk food is no good. Potato chips are not healthy for the baby and are not going to do you any good, just put on more weight. " says Dr. Aepli.

He says you should also remember to take a daily pre-natal vitamin.

Next Friday I will be covering safe fitness routines for expectant mothers.