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The nutritional needs during pregnancy are different compared to pre-pregnancy and not many mothers are aware of this, which leads them to make some common mistakes with their prenatal diet. What are the mistakes, you might ask? Well, we have got you covered! Below is the list of mistakes to help you avoid them!
1. Not Establishing a Proper Diet
Perhaps the biggest culprit is that mums tend to neglect a properly balanced diet in preference for certain nutrient-heavy meals. Some mums emphasize only proteins or carbs in their diet to compensate for the energy loss.
While a focused meal plan would do wonders, neglecting other nutrients would do just as much harm as overconsuming one. Thus, you need to have a balanced meal plan consisting of at least a quarter plate of your choice of staple, a quarter plate of your choice of protein and half a plate of vegetables! Remember, two to three servings of fruits daily are recommended too. This way, you would be able to generally cover all the different macro and micronutrients your body needs! Not only do these wide varieties of food ensure sufficient nutrients in your prenatal diet, but they also keep your meals delicious and interesting!
2. Neglecting Fruits and Veggies in Your Diet
You are what you eat! These wise words hold to this age because the meals you consume determine how your body functions in the long run. Therefore, you need to pay more attention to vegetables and fruits.
There are many ways to boost the intake of veggies and fruits in your diet. For instance, you can always try to add fruits to your cereal in the morning or complete your meals with fruit at the end as a healthy dessert with minimal preparation.
Besides that, do you know that a simple vegetable salad can contain two to three servings of vegetables in one go? So even if you have not had any vegetables for the whole day, a big hearty bowl of salad (do make sure to wash your vegetables thoroughly) at night would do the trick! Plus, they are generally low in calories too, so long you choose healthier salad dressings like lemon dressing, balsamic dressing or vinaigrette instead of creamy dressings!
So the next time you are at the restaurant, try to find ways to add cooked vegetables to your meals. The recommendation is to have at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruits daily. Similar practices should continue beyond pregnancy and into your diet meal for breastfeeding mom .
During pregnancy, there is a misconception that mothers should “eat for two” instead of “nourish for two”. Hence, instead of adding only 300 to 400 calories to their meals during the 2nd to 3rd trimester as recommended by experts, they may unintentionally take in more than required. Sometimes it is a struggle with all the cravings and increased appetite in mothers, especially during their 3rd trimester, but that is why it’s so important to talk about it with your Dietitians so that you are equipped with the skill and knowledge to choose better foods and snacks to keep you nourished and satiated without excessive calorie intake.
For some basic reference, 300 to 400 is only equivalent to one to two additional healthy snacks in a day, such as a cup of yoghurt with a serving of fruit, an egg sandwich, a bun or a steamed ‘pao’ paired with a cup of plain milk tea.
While consuming more sweet delicacies and indulging yourself after a long tiring day or for special occasions is not wrong, it just shouldn’t be on a regular basis. Plus, it is wise to keep tabs on your eating habits as excessive pregnancy weight gain may put you at a higher risk of developing gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy )and emergency caesarean section. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy may also make it more difficult for weight loss after birth. Hence, making you more prone to Type 2 Diabetes later in life.
4. Taking Too Many Health Supplements
Sometimes, too much of a good thing can be harmful. While health supplements can be very beneficial in promoting health, consuming them excessively over a long period may be detrimental to your health. Always ask your doctor or dietitian before consumption.
While we understand the need to be adequately nourished and stay healthy, we would recommend taking health supplements only as prescribed by your doctor or dietitian. After all, the prescriptions are there for a reason. They are meant to guide you on proper intake and supplement your diet, not be dependent on it to right your wrongs in your diet. This is essential in promoting a safer pregnancy and delivery.
5. Not Cutting Down on Sugar Intake
Foods high in simple sugar should be limited! Some studies have shown that if mothers frequently take sweet foods or even sugar-free drinks with non-nutritive sweeteners, their offspring may grow up with a higher preference for sweet drinks and food too!
Sweet foods and drinks tend to be calorie dense and thus may lead to excess calories and increase your risk of obesity and, subsequently, type 2 diabetes in both mother and child when in adulthood. Excessive weight gain during pregnancy may also make it more difficult for mothers to achieve a desirable postpartum weight loss diet for breastfeeding moms.
Limiting such indulgence to a sweet dessert or drink to only once every week or two is healthier and better for mummy and baby. Therefore, it is important to monitor your sugar intake.
6. Not Prioritising Good Hygiene with Their Food
Your food hygiene is a crucial factor to count on, especially when you are pregnant. Your newborn would benefit from gaining nutrients obtained from clean and well-prepared foods.
When eating out, have meals at a hygienic food outlet and have a fully cooked meal. This is important because consuming raw or partially cooked meats or fish during pregnancy would expose you to harmful bacteria. According to the American Centers for Disease Control , CDC states that pregnant mothers are 10 times more likely to experience Listeria infection than others. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillborn or preterm labour.
Avoid deli meats and smoked seafood unless heated piping hot before consumption. You may think that salads and pre-cut fruits are great and healthy to have during pregnancy. However, avoid pre-prepared salads, pre-cut fruits and unpasteurised fruit juice sold at the supermarket, shops or hawker centres as they may be held there for long hours at uncontrolled temperatures where bacteria could breed. It is better to only have such foods at home that you are able to wash thoroughly before cutting and consuming them fresh. Speaking of hygiene, you might find MumChecked an excellent outlet for your hygienic and baby-related products!
Recovering Your Body From Pregnancy & Childbirth
If you are already astonished by how much pregnancy changes your body at this point, this list hasn’t covered other more well-known symptoms like pregnancy water retention, heartburn, constipation, dizziness, and not to mention mental stress! With all these tremendous changes that your body goes through, it’s important to plan for your postpartum recovery — and one of the most effective ways is by having a nutritious confinement diet.
Tian Wei Signature is a confinement meals Singapore delivery service that serves nutritious fusion and traditional Chinese confinement meals at your doorstep during lunch and dinner. Incorporating a wide variety of nourishing ingredients, every meal is well-balanced and carefully reviewed by our in-house dietitian to support new mothers’ postpartum recovery and lactation.
With a new mother’s breastfeeding needs in mind, our confinement meals Singapore menu also comes with dishes filled with lactogenic ingredients, confinement soup package, and milk-boosting slb cookies to help boost the supply and nutritional quality of breast milk. Interested to learn more about our confinement meals? Discover our full menu by clicking the “Menu” button at the top of this page!
Meanwhile, if you are interested in starting early in preparing baby essentials to welcome the arrival of your little bundle of joy, MumChecked is a trusted online shopping site that offers a wide range of mum and baby products with great deals and rewards. Other than exclusive monthly offers and point rewards, first-time shoppers also get a FREE $5 voucher!
A miracle is happening in your body as it adjusts and makes room to grow a new human being. Along the way, your body will go through various changes, which most would gradually fade after you give birth. Meanwhile, embrace them as another reason that makes your journey to motherhood even more unique.