What pregnant women should eat and not eat
It is only a myth that a pregnant woman must eat for
two. Actually, a lot of extra food during pregnancy is
not necessary and only leads to an unhealthy weight
gain. However it is true that nutrition plays a critical
role for the proper development and growth of the fetus
and that the needs for most nutrients progressively
increase during pregnancy.
As a general rule, the diet during pregnancy
should be healthy, complete and well balanced, low in
sugar, fat and cholesterol, but high in proteins,
complex carbohydrates, minerals (especially iron and
calcium), vitamins (especially folic acid), and fiber.
Each of these nutrients plays a specific role during
pregnancy: proteins provide the building blocks (amino
acids) for fetal tissues, complex carbohydrates provide
the calories necessary to nourish the growing fetus,
iron is important to sustain the increased production of
red blood cells and prevent anemia in the mother, folic
acid plays a critical role in lowering the risk of
serious birth defects, calcium is necessary for a proper
development of the babyís bones and teeth, and finally
fiber helps the mother prevent or relieve constipation
(a common complaint during pregnancy).
A balance diet can Help your pregnancy
A complete, well-balanced diet rich in protein
foods, fruit, vegetables, whole grains and cereals is
usually enough to meet the motherís extra nutritional
requirements. However doctors always recommend pregnant
women to take acid folic and multivitamin supplements to
make sure the baby grows healthy and correctly and the
mother doesnít develop nutritional deficiencies. Iron
supplements can be prescribed as well, especially for
pregnant women who suffer from or are at risk of anemia.
But a healthy diet during pregnancy doesnít mean
only a complete and well-balanced diet. It does also
mean avoiding foods (and other substances) that can be
harmful to the baby, including alcohol, caffeine,
illegal drugs, smoke and food-contaminating chemicals.
Particular attention must be given to certain food-borne
risks, and especially toxoplasmosis (transmitted through
raw or undercooked meat and cat feces) and mercury
poisoning from contaminated fish.
Toxoplasmosis is a common parasitic disease
caused by the protozoan
gondii, which usually causes no or little
symptoms in the mother, but can lead to serious
neurological problems in the fetus. Women who have been
exposed to the parasite at least 6 months before
becoming pregnant are not likely to pass the infection
to their babies, since they have developed the specific
antibodies against that parasite. On the contrary, women
who are first exposed to Toxoplasma during or just
before pregnancy, have not an immune system prepared to
fight the parasite and can transmit the infection to
their babies with potentially devastating consequences.
That is why it is important that non-immunized women pay
attention not to acquire Toxoplasma infection during
pregnancy. The most important and effective preventive
measures include avoiding eating raw or uncooked meat,
avoiding changing the cat litter box and thoroughly
washing raw fruits and vegetables before eating, since
they may have been contaminated with Toxoplasma spores
from cat feces.
Mercury poisoning is another issue of significant
concern for pregnant women, since mercury can lead to
brain damage and developmental delays in the baby. That
is why pregnant women should avoid eating fish
containing high levels of mercury, such as shark,
swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. On the contrary
other types of fish should be eaten only in moderation,
but not completely avoided, due to their high content in
healthy nutrients, and especially omega-3 fatty acids
and lean protein.
We have made available in our resources section
for your to calculate your Pregnancy due date
easily with our
Pregnancy due date Calculator.
We have also set up a calculator to health you determine
your ovulation with our
Pregnant women should always have themselves
covered by an appropriate international health insurance
plan in order to cover the cost for diagnostic test and
If you would like to protect yourself or your family
from unexpected medical conditions that may appear you can ask us
; we will help you to choose the most
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*Always seek professional medical advise from a
qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.