Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is the period when many women develop cravings for food at some point of the time. Some of the most popular cravings in women are for salty or sweet foods, while a few have reported cravings for spicy or fatty foods.
An expecting mother’s diet is very important during pregnancy as this decides the healthiness of the baby, and when born should have a minimum of approximately 25 pounds during birth. Other eating nutritional food that are required during pregnancy will include protein, iron and calcium rich food and avoiding or minimizing drugs like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
Reasons for Food Cravings During Pregnancy
There are very many reasons why women experience cravings for food during pregnancy and the simplest explanation is that the body is working twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week for growing the baby healthily. Some of these cravings are because of the requirement of the body for additional calories of energy required during pregnancy.
Other reasons for cravings will include nutritional deficiencies, as vegetarians will experience unusual cravings for steak and red meat, while this could be a symbol for need of iron.
Many other women will like to have that food that they would otherwise would not have touched. There are not very many reasons for the strong sensitivity to cravings amongst pregnant woman and no scientific basis has been given.
Dealing with Dying Cravings During Pregnancy
The best way to deal with those cravings for food during pregnancy is by pacifying those cravings. This does not mean over eating, however, sweet food cravings will deserve a small treat. This is the best way and is the best short term alternative. There is nothing wrong in dealing with those bizarre cravings like those for pickles and ice cream. The main reason for these interesting changes that you will observe in your body following pregnancy is due the hormonal shift that is occurring within the body. In addition, this is the time that you will expect your husband to come out with you for these carvings, and that should not be the case.
Some of the cravings that woman experience during pregnancy is weird, while many are owing to nutrient deficiencies. These cravings are quite rare and sometimes develop cravings to undesirable substances. This is because of deficiencies in iron in the body, which in the medical community is known as “pica”, which will require a visit to the doctor’s clinic. The craving for chocolates in woman has been attributed to vitamin B complex deficiencies. Some other patients crave for protein rich food, and are good for these women.
Some of the other common cravings will include strange cravings to coffee grounds, plaster, toothpaste, paint chips and other unusual substances. The doctor will do a simple blood test and can identify iron deficiency anemia for recommending additional supplementation for relieving cravings. So is better not to pacify cravings via eating undesirable substances. Craving for milk means there is deprivation of calcium; craving for fruits will signal vitamin C deficiency.
Some of the Common Observations on Cravings will Include
- Sour taste craving during the second and third trimester than in the first trimester or before pregnancy. This is the reason for craving to fruits during pregnancy.
- Some women develop salty cravings to food like potato chips and pickles, and this may be due to increase in volume of blood.
- A bitter taste during the first trimester as a warning while consumption of those fruits and food that will be harmful to the baby. This will help to avoid other food like alcohol during crucial fetal developmental phase, and this aversion ends in the third trimester when the crucial phase has ended.
Thus, there is no reason to deprive yourself of anything during pregnancy when you can strike a balance in your diet.
Recommended Daily Caloric Intakes
Some of the average recommended daily caloric intake will include paying specific attention to nutrients and about 300 extra calories to your diet
Protein are to supplemented to a minimum level of 60g during pregnancy as this is required for the growth of baby, breasts, uterus and placenta with increase in the volume of blood and for the production of amniotic fluid.
Iron is an important nutrient with three primary reasons, first iron is necessary for the maternal and fetal hemoglobin content in the blood. Secondly, in the last trimester the iron reserves in the body prevents anemia and will sustain the baby in the first four to six months, and finally the increased volume of blood and iron stores is required to adjust the loss of blood during childbirth.
Calcium is essential for the development and growth of the skeletal system of the baby, heart, muscles and tooth buds in the baby. This will require consumption of healthy food like dairy products, tofu and fish.
Vitamins are recommended for daily intake with a minimum of 20 to 25 g as folate substitution or rich foods as in green leafy vegetables, legume, liver, egg yolks and others.