If you recently found out that you’re pregnant, one of the first things your doctor will talk to you about is your diet and your overall health. You may already be getting a lot of these foods listed below in your diet, but when you’re “eating for two,” you’ll need to make sure you’re also getting the right amounts of the vitamins and minerals needed for both yourself and your baby.
So as you’re planning your baby’s room, reading up on parenting tips, or thinking about scheduling a 3D ultrasound when the time comes, make sure you’re also adding these foods to your grocery list.
Whether it’s on a sandwich, in a salad, or blended into a smoothie, spinach will give your body and baby a boost of folate. A form of vitamin B, folate is ideal for helping your new baby develop and it helps to prevent defects of the spine and brain. Along with spinach, kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, and peas also contain folate. Aim for 400 to 800 micrograms daily — a half cup of spinach has around 130 micrograms.
Milk, cheese, and yogurt (especially Greek yogurt) are great sources of calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. These nutrients help promote strong and healthy bones. Cereal or a parfait for breakfast in the morning, snack cheese, a glass of milk at night and you’ll be able to get the recommended three to four servings of dairy. Look for low-fat dairy products, fortified soy milk, and avoid certain soft cheeses like Brie, Camembert, and Mexican style cheeses.
Not only are legumes great for helping you feel full for longer, beans, lentils, peas, chickpeas, and peanuts are great sources of fiber, protein, iron, folate, and calcium. Like we mentioned above, folate is essential for helping your baby’s development.
These sweet treats are great for pregnancy in multiple ways. First, they are full of beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A. Try to get between 10 and 40 percent more vitamin A throughout your pregnancy to help with your baby’s growth. Second, sweet potatoes contain vitamin B6, which can help reduce symptoms of morning sickness.
Healthy snacking is an important part of maintaining a healthy diet during your pregnancy, and snacking on berries is a great solution. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are all great options as they contain healthy carbs, vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. These nutrients help your body absorb iron and promote healthy skin cells and a strong immune system in your baby.
Pregnant women need to increase their daily calorie intake, and what pregnant woman would say no to an extra piece of bread? The key is to make sure you’re getting whole grain breads and foods, including oats, barley, and brown rice. These foods contain fiber, B vitamins, iron, and magnesium, all of which help give your baby much-needed energy and aid in the growth of placenta.
What’s known as a superfood, avocados are high in healthy fats, folate, and potassium. And they’re just plain delicious. The healthy fats found in avocado helps the development of your baby’s brain and skin. Potassium (which can also be found in bananas) has also been shown to help with leg cramps.
Getting enough iron is a must for pregnant women for several reasons, and meat is a great source. Pregnant women need about twice as much iron, and it works to transport oxygen and promotes a healthy blood supply for both mother and baby. Without enough iron, mothers have a risk of developing anemia, and there’s a greater risk of premature delivery, postpartum depression, and low birth weight. It’s important however, to choose low-fat meats like chicken and other sources of iron, such as beans, spinach, and quinoa.
Fish is another source of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. The challenge is eating the right fish and getting the right serving. Look for fish that are lower in mercury, such as salmon, cod, tilapia, oysters, and shrimp. Avoid fish like swordfish, bigeye tuna, and mackerel. Throughout pregnancy, women should try to aim for two to three servings.
If you don’t already drink a lot of water, it’s time to really kick it up a notch. Expecting mothers should try to get 12 to 13 glasses of water every day. Water works to help transport all of the nutrients from the foods above to your baby. Along with drinking glasses of water, look for foods that have high water contents, like berries and cucumbers.
Now that you have a good idea of what foods are most important for your baby’s development, you can create an ideal grocery list. And while you’re making your to-do list, think about planning ahead for your 3D ultrasound with Kicks and Giggles. 3D ultrasounds are typically done between 28 and 32 weeks, but can be done as early as 16 weeks. It all depends on what you want the final image to portray. The longer you wait, giving your body time to absorb all of these healthy nutrients and your baby time to develop, the more detailed of an image we’ll be able to provide. However, if you wait until 32 weeks or after, it can be more challenging getting an ideal image as there isn’t as much room for your baby to move around!
Getting your baby’s first images is a wonderful part of the pregnancy journey and our ultrasound technicians offer a comfortable and welcoming environment for you and your family. Whether you choose to get a 3D or 4D ultrasound, you can look forward to getting a glimpse of what your new baby will look like! We also offer gender determination appointments, so you can start planning the details of your nursery. Get it all at Kicks and Giggles, located in Orem. We offer appointment-only 3D ultrasounds, so be sure to contact our technicians to schedule your appointment today! We can’t wait to be a part of this special moment.