Unsurprisingly, a lot goes into making a baby. The good news is there’s something you can do to help yourself have a healthy pregnancy and baby: Eat a healthy pregnancy diet. By following a few guidelines dedicated to baby’s wellbeing and yours, you’ll experience some impressive benefits:
For baby: Helps improve the odds baby is born at a healthy weight, boosts brain development, descreases risk for certain birth defects (including neural tube defects like spina bifida) and, as a bonus, could result in better eating habits after birth as your baby grows to be a potentially picky eater.
For you: Decreases the odds you’ll experience some pregnancy complications (anemia, gestational diabetes and preeclampsia are less prevalent among women who eat well), makes your pregnancy more comfortable (a sensible diet can minimize morning sickness, fatigue, constipation and a host of other pregnancy symptoms), balance your emotions (good nutrition can help moderate mood swings), improve your odds of a timely labor and delivery (you’re less likely to go into preterm labor) and a speedier postpartum recovery (a well-nourished body bounces back faster and has less pounds to shed after delivery).
Luckily scoring these benefits is relatively simple. The foundation of a healthy pregnancy diet is the same as the average healthy diet: a balanced mix of lean protein and calcium, whole grains, a rainbow of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats (with usually a little more calories and nutrients to nourish baby).