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How to Get Pregnancy Nutrition Help

Surprisingly, most health care providers receive little instruction on nutrition as a part of their education, and the nutritional education they do receive is targeted toward the minimum daily requirements for an average healthy adult. The particular needs of a pregnant woman are discussed only minimally.

Fortunately, there are a number of online sources that offer nutrition information for pregnant women and most books on pregnancy include a section on nutrition. But how can you evaluate this information and know whether you’re getting good information or not?

One of the best ways to evaluate pregnancy nutrition information is to consider the source. A website run by the American College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, for example, is generally considered to be more reputable than one run by an individual. However, a website run by a certified nutritionist is better than a site run by an individual with no particular nutritional education.

Once you’ve found several reputable sources, compare the information they provide. You’ll begin to see a pattern emerge. Generally speaking, when several major sources agree on a certain recommendation, you can feel confident that the recommendation is one you should follow.

For example, the need for folic acid before and during pregnancy is well established. You’ll also need additional calcium, additional iron, an increased amount of protein and a good source of Omega 3 essential fatty acids during your pregnancy. But it’s enough to just get these vitamins and minerals in a prenatal supplement – you also need to eat a healthy, balanced diet.

A healthy diet during pregnancy is much like a healthy diet at any time in your life. You need whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats. You should also try to avoid caffeine, processed foods and sugar. Junk food and trans fats are a bad idea at any time – whether you’re pregnant or not.

However, there are some pregnant women that need more help with their pregnancy nutrition plans than others. For example, if you’re underweight, your overall food intake requirements will generally be higher than that of a normal weight mother. But even if you’re overweight, you may still be deficient in certain areas of your diet and it’s usually not a good idea to try to lose weight while you’re pregnant.

In addition, if you avoid certain food groups – for example, if you’re a vegetarian or lactose intolerant – you may need special help to get all of the nutrients and calories you need during pregnancy. In each of these cases, talk with your health care provider. He or she may be able to provide you with a referral to a qualified nutritionist who can help you develop and follow a nutrition plan targeted towards your special circumstances.

For optimal nutrition during pregnancy, choose a wide variety of healthy foods that are as nutritionally sound as possible. Avoid junk food, trans fats, extra sugar and, when possible, choose organically grown food that’s free from added chemicals. Following these general guidelines will ensure that you and your baby receive the nutrients you need throughout your pregnancy.

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