What a mother eats during pregnancy directly affects the child’s immune system. According to the findings of scientists at the Medical Research Council (MRC) the diet of the mother during of pregnancy can permanently change the gene function of the child. The mother’s’ nutrition can affect the child’s cancer risks and immunity against other diseases.
Various other studies have proved that the food that the mother eats during the nine months of pregnancy will impact the baby’s health. This raises the question: what should expectant mothers eat during pregnancy?
Here are five nutrition tips that can have a beneficial effect on the child’s health.
1. Get Adequate Amount of Folic Acid
Studies have shown that getting enough amount of folic acid during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of premature delivery. Also, an adequate amount of folic acid, particularly during the first few months of the gestation period, will decrease the risk of neural-tube defects by up to 70 percents. You should consider eating about 600 mg of folic acid daily when the pregnancy is confirmed. After delivery, the amount of folic acid should be reduced to 400 mg.
2. Eat Seafood
Seafood contains ample amount of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Eating seafood can have an extremely beneficial effect on the health of the child. DHA is omega-3 fatty acid that can boost mental development of the child. It can also lead to improved memory, vision, motor skills, and comprehension of the language during early childhood. Consider eating about 12 ounces of seafood in a week. If this is not possible, you should consider taking DHA supplement after consulting with your general physician.
3. Avoid Intake of Alcohol
Alcohol is poison for a pregnant mother and her baby. Consuming the drink during pregnancy can negatively affect the baby’s health. No amount is safe for the pregnant mother. Consuming even small amount of alcohol during the pregnancy can result in causing cognitive dysfunctions, such as learning problems, behavior problem, attention deficit disorder, aggressive behavior, and hyperactivity in children.
4. Adequate Intake of Iron
Iron is essential for every woman. The mineral is particularly important for pregnant women as it plays a crucial role in healthy blood and transport of oxygen throughout the body. The baby will benefit from the extra amount of iron in the blood. You should intake about 30 mg of iron every day during pregnancy. After conception, the daily dose should be reduced to 15 mg.
5. Avoid Eating Unpasteurized Milk and Cheese
Unpasteurized milk and cheese harbor bacteria. The food items can contain Salmonella, Listeria, and E.Coli . Consuming them during pregnancy can result in premature delivery or miscarriage. So, in order to be on the safe side, you should avoid eating this food item during pregnancy. Other food items that you should avoid eating include poultry, undercooked meat, and eggs. Also, dump leftover food that is left on the table for more than two hours.
The above food items when consumed during pregnancy can have a beneficial effect on the child. An important thing to keep in mind is that you should not eat too much. Some women ‘eat for two’ and gain a lot of weight. However, overeating won’t help in ensuring a healthy child delivery. Instead, it could increase the risk of gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and delivery of a premature baby. So keep the above five tips in mind and eat healthy!