What Should I Eat to Prepare for Labour and Childbirth?
Preparing for childbirth is like preparing for a race. It is a challenge for a mother’s stamina and strength. Therefore, you will need to prepare yourself with energy and nutrients before childbirth.
When you are preparing yourself, you are actually at the same time preparing for your baby before he/she comes to this world. One of the key elements for preparing a pregnant mother for childbirth is a balanced and nutritious diet.
During pregnancy, mothers will need to consume extra protein for the growth of the baby. Protein is used to create skin, muscle and hair. Before childbirth, protein is essential to strengthen muscles. If you are pregnant, we would advise you to eat dairy and lean meat which has a high quality of protein. If necessary, you can choose supplements with natural and unsweetened protein powder.
Many women have low iron stores due to menstruation every month which might lead to anaemia. As you are pregnant, your blood volume increases by 30% to 50% and you need to top up your iron levels.
Right before childbirth, your baby will store up the iron which will be needed for the first few months of life. Something you can consume before childbirth is dark and leafy vegetables, dried fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
Everyone needs vitamin D which aids in absorbing calcium. It is especially important for pregnant mothers as well as breastfeeding mothers as it helps the baby in developing bones and teeth. Without enough vitamin D, your baby might have soft bones. Vitamin D can be found in natural sunlight and some foods such as eggs and salmon. Before childbirth, pregnant mother needs to consume more vitamin D so that the baby can obtain enough vitamin D.
Compared to an average adult, you will need more calcium when you are pregnant to provide the calcium for the baby. Calcium is necessary for the bones development of a baby. If you don’t consume enough calcium, your baby may draw the calcium from your bone. This can lead to porous bones later in the life of a mother.
Calcium is usually difficult to obtain from diet and it is easier to take a supplement which helps to boost iron levels for pregnant mother. Some natural food you can consider to increase iron level are dark leafy vegetables, legumes, tofu and milk.
During pregnancy, you will need to adapt to the body changes and role changes as well. These changes might cause anxiety and stress as each of them may feel extremely unfamiliar and new to you. With enough consumption of Omega-3, your risk of depression can be reduced.
It is great if a mother is able to intake Omega-3 throughout the pregnancy especially in her third trimester as Omega-3 can help to reduce the risk of premature birth, according to research. Omega-3 can be found in fish liver oil, walnut, chia seeds and seaweed.
Zinc is a mineral that is essential for growth, development, immune functions and cell division and tissue growth of a baby. Low zinc concentrations will cause birth defects and premature birth.
According to research, zinc can help to reduce the risk of premature birth by 14% compared to those mothers who do not receive zinc. To avoid such a situation, this food for pregnant women keep the zinc level high: nuts, whole grains, and legumes.
After giving birth, you will need to have a balanced and nutritious diet, as well as enough rest for recovery. You will need to consider what to prepare for your confinement meals. Check on our menu, there are some of the best food after delivery that you shouldn’t miss!