The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises women to increase their nutrition during pregnancy. It recommends increasing their usual food servings and taking variety from the four fundamental food groups.
The Standard Diet
The standard diet for pregnancy nutrition consists of about four or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables, 4 or more servings of enriched cereal, bread, and whole grains, 4 or more servings of dairy products and milk, and 3 or more servings of protein-rich foods such as dried beans, peas, and pulses.
You need lots of iron for good nourishment. As per the National Research Council, the requirement of iron is not possible to be met solely by natural food, especially in the later pregnancy stages. The increment in iron requirement is due to fetal demand as well as the increment in the volume of your own blood by 30 per cent. Iron is vital for the production of red blood corpuscles.
If you do not take adequate iron, the fetus will suck its supply from you and you will end up with anemia and extreme exhaustion. Its good to take iron supplements after consulting your doctor.
Your requirement for folic acid increases during pregnancy. In fact, you should start taking enough folic acid well before you plan to get pregnant to prevent deficiency. But, not all doctors agree on the intake of folate supplements for every woman. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) panel found inadequate proof to declare that all pregnant women should take folate supplements.
Folate is found naturally in green leafy vegetables, peas, and dried beans. There is enough evidence that shows that folic acid is important for the prevention of neural tube disorders, like spinal bifida. Besides this, this vitamin helps in red blood cell formation.
As per the report published in June 1990 by IOM, supplements do not help much in providing nourishment. Doctors all over the world agree that, almost all the nutrients can be obtained through a balanced diet. Except for iron, which poses a double requirement during pregnancy, you need not depend on nutritional supplements for healthy nutrition during pregnancy. Only in cases of deficiencies, do doctors recommend supplements, out of which, the common ones are those containing folic acid and calcium.
Try to gather more and more knowledge about pregnancy by surfing the internet and visiting various informational websites. Keep yourself well informed by reading books and articles that talk about nutrition during pregnancy.