Pregnancy cravings sounds legit enough to go for additional helpings – but is it really okay?
Nutrition for pregnant mums offers essential nourishment that contribute to the healthy development of their babies.
So, how much more should we be eating when we’re pregnant? And, must we eat for two?
Pregnant mums and new parents attended the Wyeth® Nutrition S-26® MAMA Pregnancy Nutrition with the Experts workshop recently to gain insightful tips from medical professionals and a new mum. Meeting these experts allowed parents to raise questions about pregnancy nutrition, and had some myths busted too!
The panel included Dr. Wong Boh Boi, Senior ParentCraft Educator from Thomson ParentCraft Centre at Thomson Medical Centre, Dr. Crystal Chin, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Hsuan & Xiaohui OG Clinic at Thomson Medical Centre and new mum, Mdm. Vania Tan.
Pregnant mum’s diet
Should a pregnant mum really be eating for two?
Dr. Wong addressed that eating for two is not necessary as the foetus is able to obtain nourishment from mum’s diet. In fact, excessive eating leads to additional weight gain and may even pose a risk for gestational diabetes. Mums would also find it difficult to lose the weight after delivery, and many mums are concerned about regaining their pre-pregnancy body.
Understanding these thoughts, Dr. Chin advises pregnant mums to take maternal milk that are low in fat. Expectant mums get to obtain nutritional benefits without worrying about an increase in fat intake, and are able to supplement their babies’ growing needs over the months.
When it comes to appetite changes, Vania shared that she had to keep snacks at bay to curb nausea and hunger pangs especially during the first trimester. Foods that she used to enjoy became a thing of the past. On the other hand, cravings are completely normal, advised Dr. Chin, but it’s important to eat in moderation.
Some healthy snacks that pregnant mums can take include nuts, pasteurized cheese, fruits, biscuits and milk. It’s best to avoid raw fish, raw eggs and alcohol, as raw food poses risk of salmonella which can lead to food poisoning.
What are the essential nutrients required during pregnancy?
According to Dr. Chin, if a mum has a balanced diet, she doesn’t really need extra calcium per se. The intake of calcium would contribute more towards stronger bones for the baby.
Also, folate supplements help prevent spina bifida and only 400μg is required daily. Some pregnant mums may need additional iron intake to support the formation of red blood cells in their bodies, as an increased amount goes towards baby’s growth.
Maternal milk supplements with DHA as well as choline help support baby’s eye and cognitive development. Dr. Wong also encourages breastfeeding mums to continue taking these as they are also found in breastmilk, and maternal milk offers benefits to lactating mums too.
Catch some of the highlights of the video below.
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Click on the next page to find out some common pregnancy concerns and other easy confinement nutrition tips from the event.