Eating right during your pregnancy is important, not only for the health of your unborn baby, but for your own health as well. If you are making plans for adoption, doing all you can to ensure your baby's health is essential. To give your baby the best start in life, you should begin eating right as soon as you discover you are pregnant.
Keep in mind that your body will need a higher level of vitamins while you are pregnant. Your doctor may prescribe a prenatal vitamin supplement that has larger amounts of calcium and iron. This will ensure you and your baby is getting the best nutrition. Remember to eat fortified foods that are high in calcium and other vitamins. Many cereals and orange juices are fortified with vitamins and should be part of your healthy diet.
Folic acid is another essential supplement necessary for the optimal health of your baby. You should begin taking folic acid as soon as you discover you are pregnant, and continue taking the supplement through the first weeks of your pregnancy. Folic acid is known to aid in preventing birth defects of the spine and brain.
Natural sources of folic acid include orange juice, beans, peanuts, green leafy vegetables, peas, enriched grain products, broccoli and asparagus. Folic acid is just one of the many healthy benefits of adding these foods to your diet. Your medical professional will provide you with additional information on the benefits of folic acid during pregnancy.
Your doctor may put you on a special diet for various reasons. If you are allowed an ordinary "pregnancy" diet, the specific nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy for you and your baby are included in the following daily diet:
- 6 to 11 servings of grains
- 3 to 5 servings of vegetables
- 2 to 4 servings of fruits
- 4 to 6 servings of milk and milk products
- 3 to 4 servings of meat and protein foods
- 6 to 8 glasses of water, fruit juice, or milk
- Limited servings of fatty foods and sweets
To keep your health at its best and to maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy, work at limiting the amount of sugar and sweets in your diet. This would include soft drinks or other foods which are high in calories and low on nutrition. Moderation is the key. If you find you are craving something sweet, choose fresh fruit or other nutritious alternatives over empty-calorie snack foods.
Eating right will be good for your baby and for you, too. Not only will a healthy diet be best for your baby, but it will also reduce your risk for gestational diabetes and excess weight gain. Losing those extra pounds is much easier the fewer you have to lose. Wearing a good supportive bra and exercising daily are two areas most women find helpful in staying fit and healthy, both inside and out. Drinking plenty of water and getting the sleep you need will help your hormones stay balanced and your emotions remain stable.
Consult with your health care provider before trying any new medications or herbal supplements which your doctor has not prescribed for you. Some substances can be harmful to you or your baby, so always ask first. Remember, smoking cigarettes or pot is very harmful to you and your baby. If you find you are struggling with harmful use or abuse of any substance, seek help. This could be a good time for you to move closer to a healthy lifestyle.
If you are eligible for WIC (a government nutrition program for women, infants and children), you will receive some helpful information from the program's staff about nutritious foods available for you during your pregnancy. Many times adoptive parents are allowed to help out with your expenses, including food, during your pregnancy. Just ask your adoption professional about options and available help. Your medical professional and their staff can give you suggestions that can help you stay fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond.
Remember to always ask for any help you may need. Your and your baby's good health will be important to your adoption plan.
For more help about adoption or referral to a medical provider in your area, visit Lifetime Adoption or call the adoption answer line at 1 800 923-6784.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. is a Certified Open Adoption Practitioner, an award winning author of 2 adoption books AdoptingOnline.com and Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide. Mardie is also the talk show host of Let's Talk Adoption.com with Mardie Caldwell and the founder of Lifetime Adoption in 1986. She travels and speaks nationwide on adoption topics, family topics, infertility and writing. She has been quoted in and consulted for Parenting and Adoption magazines and has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC, BBC, NBC, and Fox. Featured in Parade Magazine, Caldwell is an adoptive mother living in Northern California.