The importance of good nutrition during pregnancy
According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), about 300 extra calories are needed daily to maintain a healthy pregnancy. These calories should come from a balanced diet of protein, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains with sweets and fats kept to a minimum. A healthy, well-balanced diet during pregnancy can also help to minimize some pregnancy symptoms such as nausea and constipation.
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommends the following key components of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy: appropriate weight gain, consumption of a variety of foods in accordance with the Food Guide Pyramid, and appropriate and timely vitamin and mineral supplementation.
Fluid intake is also an important part of healthy pregnancy nutrition. Women can take in enough fluids by drinking six to eight glasses of water each day, in addition to the fluids in juices and soups. An expectant mother should talk with her physician about restricting her intake of caffeine and artificial sweeteners. All alcohol should be avoided in pregnancy.