Why is nutrition important during pregnancy?
Nutrition is key to a healthy pregnancy and baby. Good nutrition improves a woman’s ability to cope with labor and makes it easier for her to get back in shape after the baby is born. A pregnant woman should eat a well balanced diet including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fat. Assuming the mother-to-be is a normal weight before pregnancy, she needs an average of 300 extra calories a day to keep herself and her baby healthy.
If a woman has a normal body mass index (BMI), she should gain between 25 and 35 pounds during the course of her pregnancy. She also needs to take folic acid each day to help avoid neural tube defects, and more iron is also necessary because iron helps the baby grow as well as produce extra blood. A healthy mother and baby are the result of nine months of proper nutrition.