Each woman has her own energy needs according to her constitution, age, and professional activity. This is why you should follow a balanced diet which will have to provide you with the necessary calories and also include essential nutrients.
During pregnancy an additional intake of 300kcal is recommended during the first quarter, which should grow to 350kcal during the second and finally to 450kcal during the third.
This is a mineral that can be found in the structure of teeth and bones, but it also helps with various metabolic reactions and muscular contractions. Since it is the basic material from which your baby's bones will be formed, you should consume a sufficient amount that ensures that your organism will not use the calcium from your reserves, which would create medium-term and long-term complications for your body, such tooth decay and osteoporosis.
Experts have concluded that during pregnancy you should consume at least 4 calcium-rich portions of food per day, since your body's needs will increase up to 1200 mg/day. What else can you eat? Milk and dairy products in any form: Cheese, yoghurt, milk-based desserts, ice-cream, or even food products enriched with calcium supplements that your gynaecologist will prescribe.
Outdoor exercise helps generate vitamin D, which is essential for absorbing calcium. There are different types of exercise appropriate for each stage of your pregnancy, although going for walks is always allowed.
This is a water-soluble vitamin that is essential for the development of your baby's organs, for cell division, and the production of red blood cells, both in your body and your baby's. Also known as B9, a lack of this vitamin can provoke preterm birth or malformations, especially neurological, such as spina bifida or anencephaly. For this reason, and to avoid possible deficiencies, gynaecologists tend to prescribe folic acid supplements during pregnancy, especially during the first quarter or even before becoming pregnant.
Where can I find it? You will find it in cereals, pulses, leafy vegetables, nuts, fruit (especially citrus fruits), bran, poultry, seafood, and kidney. Note that if you cook the vegetables you will lose 70% of their folic acid.
A crucial mineral during pregnancy due to an increase in blood volume and the development of the placenta and of your future baby. The need for iron increases during pregnancy, and especially during the last quarter. Iron deficiency can cause anaemia. Symptoms include general tiredness, weakness, and dizziness, although in its mild form it can be asymptomatic.
How can I build good iron reserves? It is essential to maintain a healthy and varied diet. Eat especially red meat, as it contains iron in its heme form, which is easier for your body to absorb, but also include poultry, seafood, pulses, cherries, apricots, potatoes, dates, and cereals enriched with iron, as they all contain iron, although in non-heme form.
Often gynecologists prescribe iron supplements, especially during the last quarter of pregnancy, as well as monitor the levels of this mineral in your blood. If this is the case, it is best if you take them together with food that is rich in vitamin C (oranges, lemons, grapefruits, kiwis, and red and green peppers) and on an empty stomach. Food that is rich in fibre or calcium, antacids, and calcium supplements reduce iron absorption, which is why you should avoid taking them together with these types of food.
Iodine is crucial for growth and organ development, especially the brain, and also for synthesizing the thyroid hormones that regulate the metabolism of most of your cells.
How can I obtain a sufficient intake of iodine? Use table salt enriched with iodine and make sure your diet includes seafood, such as salmon, cod, tuna, and sardines. If necessary, ask your doctor about the possibility of taking iodine supplements.