proper nutrition in pregnancy

Diet is one of the most important issues for mother and child health during pregnancy. With the right diet, a healthy and easier pregnancy is possible. Medical Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Middle East University Hospital Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay gave tips on proper nutrition during pregnancy.
Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay found that the body’s need for carbohydrates, protein, fat and vitamins, which are the main sources of food, increases during pregnancy and the amount of calories increases accordingly: “The difference in calorie needs between pregnant and non-pregnant women is only 300 Calories, and that’s a difference that can be made up by adding 1 – 2 tablespoons more to a meal. It is important not to overeat and gain weight, but to consume the necessary substances in a balanced and sufficient amount. The expectant mother should gain an average of 11-13 kg with sufficient nutrition. Weight monitoring should be performed during pregnancy. It is normal to gain an average of half a kilo in the first three months and an average of 1.5 to 2 kg per month in the following periods. “

Increase the number of meals during pregnancy to five

Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay stated that three meals a day consumed during normal times should be increased to five during pregnancy. Help. Assoc. Dr. Özay explained that by increasing the number of meals during this time, expectant mothers can prevent nausea and vomiting that can occur in the early stages, as well as burning stomach and gas.

Do not consume fast food!

Asst. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay explained that eating fast food is not recommended, especially during pregnancy, as it contains a high level of additives. Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özay explained that these three reasons are the production of new tissues associated with pregnancy, the maintenance of these tissues, and the movement of the body. Help. Assoc. Dr. Özay continued, “A pregnant woman needs about 300 more calories a day than a non-pregnant woman. This clearly shows the importance of a balanced diet, not overeating. While the calorie consumption during pregnancy is minimal in the first 3 months, it increases rapidly after this period. In the second 3 months these calories mainly cover the development of the planta and embryo, while in the last 3 months they are mainly used for the growth of the baby. For a normal healthy woman, the recommended calorie intake throughout pregnancy is 11-13 kg. Of these 11 kilos, 6 kilos belong to the mother and 5 kilos to the baby and its structures.

Excessive consumption of carbohydrates leads to obesity in the mother

Assist. Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay continued, “When carbohydrates are inadequate, your body begins to burn proteins and fats to provide energy. In such a case, two consequences can arise. First, there isn’t enough protein to ensure your baby’s brain and nervous system development and, second, ketones appear. Ketones are acids that are the product of fat metabolism and can negatively affect brain development by disrupting the baby’s acid-base balance. Therefore, a low-carbohydrate diet is not recommended during pregnancy. Complex carbohydrate sources such as rice, flour and bulgur are not only energy suppliers for the mother, but also contain many B-group vitamins and trace elements such as zinc, selenium, chromium and magnesium. Too many carbohydrates do not bring the baby any additional benefit, but only lead to an increase in excess weight for the expectant mother.

Consume 60 to 80 grams of protein a day

Assist. Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay explained that there are 20 types of amino acids in nature, some of which can be made from other substances in the body, while amino acids called essential amino acids cannot be made in the body so they have to be from outside through food. Help. Assoc. Dr. Özay emphasized that proteins are the building blocks of all body cells from hair to toes and are of crucial importance for the development of the brain and the nervous system and recommended 60 – 80 grams of protein a day for pregnant women.

Drink 1 or 2 glasses of milk a day

Asst. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay explained that in cases where milk cannot be drunk due to gas and indigestion, cheese or yogurt can be consumed instead and that if there is insufficient calcium intake, external medication can be used to help.

Use olive oil instead of margarine and sunflower oil!

Assist. Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay found that protein is important for tissue development and regeneration in pregnant women and their babies. Assist. Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özay explained that legumes can be eaten with cheese, milk or meat to increase their protein value. Assist. Assist. Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özay added that 30% of daily calories should be fed from fats. At the same time, he recommended the use of olive oil by avoiding saturated oils like margarine and sunflower oil.

When should vitamin supplements be used?

Assist. Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay stated that the need for these drugs is still controversial. Since a pregnant woman with a balanced and proper diet does not need external vitamin support, the best way to get vitamins and minerals is to eat natural foods. Assoc. Dr. Özay said that pregnant women with proper nutrition would not need medical assistance: “Folic acid and iron are in an exceptional situation with regard to medical care. Since folic acid is key to the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system, it should be taken three months before conception. The increased iron requirement during pregnancy is not met naturally. For this reason, iron supplements are given externally, especially after the second half of pregnancy. As iron deficiency anemia is widespread in Turkish society, support can already be started at the beginning of pregnancy if anemia is detected in the blood count at the beginning of pregnancy. Another importance of iron use during pregnancy is that iron stores must be adequately replenished in both the expectant mother and the baby, even when there is no anemia.

The most important nutrient in pregnancy: water

Water is the primary nutrient to look out for during pregnancy, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay stated that while in the past it has been argued that salt consumption should be restricted during pregnancy, there are now opinions that it is not necessary, that consuming salt with food in normal amounts is sufficient, and that there are restrictions should not be applied. Stating that a pregnant woman should consume 2 grams of salt per day, Assist. Assoc. Dr. Özlen Emekçi Özay found that inadequate or excessive salt intake negatively affects the fluid and electrolyte balance of the expectant mother.