Wanting To Have Children - Healthy Nutrition Before Pregnancy

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Wanting To Have Children - Healthy Nutrition Before Pregnancy
Wanting To Have Children - Healthy Nutrition Before Pregnancy
Video: Wanting To Have Children - Healthy Nutrition Before Pregnancy
Video: Planning for a Baby: 6 Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy 2023, February
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Healthy eating before pregnancy

A balanced, varied diet is an essential cornerstone for a healthy pregnancy - it is best to start with it in advance. To prepare for pregnancy, the general recommendations for a healthy diet apply. In addition, nutritional advice from trained experts can help to create customized menus for you that specifically take into account your state of health and your lifestyle.

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  • How can I build up healthy reserves for pregnancy?
  • What should the menu look like?
  • Which vitamins and minerals are particularly important?
  • Who can I contact and how is the cost covered?

How can I build up healthy reserves for pregnancy?

The body stores vitamins and minerals as well as phytochemicals and proteins from food in order to have sufficient reserves available between meals and during times of high demand. During physical exertion - for example during illness or pregnancy - the consumption of these substances increases.

Deficiency in certain nutrients can cause complications during pregnancy. Sufficient reserves of vitamins, minerals, secondary plant substances and proteins prevent this. Full storage is necessary even before pregnancy so that the body can cover the increased consumption from the beginning of pregnancy. A balanced diet is an important requirement so that the necessary amount of nutrients is available.

Note In the first weeks of pregnancy there is no increased need for calories, it is not necessary to eat more!

What should the menu look like?

Almost all nutrients can be supplied to the body with a balanced, varied mixed diet. It consists of an appropriate amount and combination of nutrient-rich and low-energy foods:

  • Vegetables, legumes (e.g. peas, lentils and beans) and fruits provide plenty of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Five servings a day are recommended (three servings of vegetables, two servings of fruit). In addition, fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber and low in calories due to the high water content.
  • Carbohydrates, for example from potatoes, rice, pasta or bread, form the basis of a balanced mixed diet. Whole grains are best because they contain more nutrients and fiber.
  • Lean meats, sausages and eggs ensure a good supply of protein (three servings per week).
  • Fish once or twice a week and three servings of dairy products a day are ideal for the supply of calcium, iodine and omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. in salmon).
  • One to two teaspoons of high-quality vegetable oils such as rapeseed, soy and olive oil or seeds and nuts should be on the menu every day. They contain valuable fatty acids.
  • Too much animal fat and sugar, among other things, favor the development of obesity due to the high energy content. In addition, animal fats and salt promote the development of cardiovascular diseases. For these reasons, foods that are very high in fat, salty and sweet should only be eaten in small quantities and not on a daily basis.
  • A gentle preparation of the food, at a low temperature and briefly cooked as far as possible, preserves the valuable ingredients.
  • By consuming one and a half to two liters of low-calorie fluids (e.g. water, mineral water, unsweetened fruit tea and highly diluted fruit juices in a ratio of 1: 3) a day, losses through breathing, sweating and excretion are compensated for.

Note If you wish to have children, avoid foods that are associated with an increased risk of food infections even before pregnancy. These include raw or incompletely cooked meat, raw fish and seafood, raw sausage and raw milk products, raw eggs as well as soft and blue cheese. Fish species with possible heavy metal contamination (e.g. tuna, swordfish, halibut) should also be avoided.

Which vitamins and minerals are particularly important?

Folic acid is a B group vitamin. It is essential for the optimal growth of the child, especially in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. It also has a preventive effect against the development of a serious deformity in the child, the neural tube defect (open spinal cord). Folic acid is contained in green vegetables such as lettuce, spinach and broccoli as well as in legumes, whole grain products and nuts. However, the amount required for adequate protection is very high and often cannot be achieved with a balanced diet alone. Therefore, a dietary supplement with 400 micrograms of artificial folic acid per day is recommended at least one month before pregnancy. The preparation should be continued during pregnancy.Your doctor will inform you about personal use - especially with regard to the selection of the preparation and the clarification of possible interactions with other drugs.

Iron is part of the oxygen-transporting red blood pigment hemoglobin and as this is primarily responsible for blood formation. Due to the blood loss during the monthly menstrual period, women have an increased need for iron, which is often only just covered. So that additional iron is available for blood formation in the embryo, the stores can be replenished before pregnancy by consuming iron-rich foods. Red meat, legumes and green vegetables are good sources of iron. Vitamin C, which is found in fruits and some vegetables, improves the absorption of iron through the intestines.

Liver is a good supplier of iron, but it contains high levels of fat-soluble vitamin A. This cannot be excreted by the body and can cause developmental disorders in embryos. It is therefore recommended that you avoid liver products (e.g. liver pâtés) and vitamin preparations containing vitamin A before and during pregnancy.

More on the subject of nutrition during pregnancy

Who can I contact and how is the cost covered?

  • You will find advice and information on the subject of "nutrition" on the health pages of the federal states.
  • Under certain circumstances (e.g. obesity, other health risk factors or patients with eating disorders), the Austrian Health Insurance Fund offers free, personal nutritional advice from dieticians. A medical referral is required. You can find more information on the social security website
  • Freelance dieticians offer nutritional advice for healthy people as well as nutritional therapeutic treatment for sick people as prescribed by a doctor. The costs are not covered by social security. You can search for dieticians in your area via the website of the Association of Dieticians Austria.
  • For more information, see the Eating Right program from the start.

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