Calcium supplements postpartum
Pregnant or breastfeeding your baby? The Nutrients You Need
A healthy woman needs an additional 300 to 500 calories per day during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy while nursing her baby to meet her energy demands and support her baby's healthy growth.
During pregnancy or while nursing your baby, be sure to eat a wide variety of healthy foods.
What nutrients does a pregnant or breastfeeding woman need?
Here you will find a list of essential nutrients that will help you and your baby stay healthy and grow and develop. These nutrients are found in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes (such as beans), dairy products, and lean meat. Your doctor may also recommend taking a prenatal multivitamin that contains iron daily.
Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth and plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the circulatory, muscular and nervous systems. Pregnant women and those nursing their babies should get about 1,000 mg of calcium daily. Some healthy sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products, orange juice, calcium-fortified milk alternatives, cereals, and kale.
Eating carbohydrates helps provide the energy needed for your baby's growth and development and breastfeeding after birth. The best sources of carbohydrates are whole grains, fruit, and vegetables, which are also good sources of fiber. Avoid refined carbohydrates, such as flour, white rice, and added sugars.
Fiber is a nutrient that helps improve constipation, which is common during pregnancy. Whole grains (such as brown bread and brown rice), fruits, vegetables, and legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) are good sources of fiber.
Folic acid helps the baby's brain and spinal cord develop properly. It is also needed to make white blood cells and red blood cells. Women who take at least 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) of folic acid daily before conception and during the first few months of pregnancy reduce the risk of giving birth to a baby with a neural tube defect (incomplete development). of the brain and spinal cord).
Pregnant women should get 600 micrograms (0.6 milligrams) of folic acid daily during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy—women who are breastfeeding need 500 micrograms (0.5 milligrams) of folic acid per day. Sources of folic acid include bread and cereals fortified with this nutrient. Folate is the natural form of this nutrient and is found in green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, avocados, lentils, and beans.
Fat is an integral part of a healthy diet. Fat is necessary during pregnancy for the baby's growth and development. Choose healthy (unsaturated) fats and limit unhealthy fats, like saturated and trans. Healthy fats include olive oil, canola oil, other vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon.
Iodine helps the thyroid gland make hormones that contribute to the baby's growth and brain development. Not getting enough iodine during pregnancy can put your baby at risk for thyroid problems, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. Pregnant and nursing women should use iodized salt when cooking and eating foods rich in iodine, such as shellfish and dairy products. They should also take prenatal vitamins that include 150 micrograms of iodide (a source of iodine easily absorbed by the body) daily. If the prenatal vitamins you take each day do not contain enough iodine, talk to your doctor about adding an iodine supplement.
Following a diet rich in iron and taking prenatal vitamins that contain iron daily while pregnant or nursing your baby will help prevent iron deficiency anemia. Women who don't get enough iron can feel tired and have other problems. Good sources of iron include lean meat, poultry, fish, iron-fortified cereals, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), and green leafy vegetables.
Protein helps build your baby's muscles, bones, and other tissues and promotes growth and development, especially during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Pregnant women need more protein than non-pregnant women, but they shouldn't take protein supplements in shake or powder form. Lean meat, poultry, fish, beans, nuts, peanut butter, eggs, and tofu are good protein sources.
Vitamin A helps the development of the baby's heart, eyes, and immune system. Vitamin A deficiencies are rare in developed countries, but too much vitamin A can cause birth defects (also known as "congenital anomalies"). Therefore, prenatal vitamins should not contain more than 1,500 micrograms (5,000 IU) of vitamin A, and pregnant women should not take vitamin A supplements. Milk, orange-colored fruit, vegetables (such as melons, carrots, and sweet potato), and dark green leafy vegetables are good sources of vitamin A.
Vitamin B12 plays a vital role in the formation of the baby's red blood cells and the development and function of his brain. Unfortunately, vitamin B12 is only found in animal products, such as meat, fish, milk, eggs, and products fortified with vitamin B12, such as cereals and non-dairy milk alternatives. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, talk to your doctor about taking a vitamin B12 supplement while pregnant and nursing your baby.
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and use it to build strong, healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D is made when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D-fortified skim and low-fat milk, vitamin D-fortified orange juice, egg yolks, and salmon are good sources of vitamin D. Experts recommend that pregnant women get 600 IU (international units) of vitamin D daily.