There is a variety of changes that transform a woman’s body during pregnancy. The nutritional pattern followed by the mother will affect both her and her baby’s health. Eating healthy is an essential requirement during pregnancy. It is also important to stick to a balanced diet so as to comply with an adequate nutritional pattern. For the mother, it is vital to eat food rich in nutrients so as to guarantee that her baby receives all the necessary vitamins (Girard & Olude, 2012). Moreover, the baby’s development and growth can be positively affected by a balanced diet and appropriate nutrition. Nutritional needs tend to increase in pregnant women, and there are several simple steps that should be followed during the pregnancy to stay healthy. The baby requires some micro- (vitamins and minerals) and macronutrients (products rich in calories) for the successful growth and development. Therefore, women have to consume more such nutrients throughout the pregnancy.
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Physiology of the Pregnancy
The state of pregnancy can be characterized as a major transformation of the normal female physiology. At all times, the analysis of the needs and changes that transpire in a woman’s body may help to understand the bodily mechanisms and any potential problems that may occur during pregnancy. The latter ultimately assists in identifying any pathophysiologic transformations and taking critical measures to eliminate the effects of a disease/ pathology. The physiology of a pregnant woman imposes limitations on her interaction with surroundings. Additionally, the management of pregnant women becomes difficult, and the ability to diagnose a disease in the case of pathology tends to zero. Physiology of the pregnancy requires from the healthcare providers specific clinical skills. Proper management of a pregnant woman is a complex task that is contingent on maternal physiology and should be carefully approached in case of medical or surgical therapy.
Pregnant Nutritional Requirements
There is a number of special requirements that the majority of pregnant women should follow. Nonetheless, this diet is based on an extensive array of healthy foods that can cover the nutritional needs of a pregnant woman. The easiest way to comply with the nutritional requirements of such a diet is to divide the necessary nutrients into groups and consume different foods from every group every day. All the daily meals should contain nutrients from at least three different groups so as to positively affect the body. Grains can serve as an excellent source of calories and energy. Antioxidants and a number of important vitamins can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. The food rich in protein and iron is represented by various nuts and meats. Vitamin D and calcium can be found in all of the dairy products. If at least two of these nutritional groups are disregarded, the pregnant woman’s body will not be able to function properly due to the lack of nutrients.
Pregnancy requires the woman to eat healthily and diversely. The most important thing to remember is to evade consuming junk food as it does not possess any nutritional value. Instead, the woman should consume low-fat/ natural food. It is safe to say that fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, chicken, and beans will be beneficial for the mother’s and her child’s health. Even considering the information above, the woman should not give up on her favorite foods throughout the pregnancy. On the contrary, she will have to find an equilibrium between her nutritional needs (such as vital minerals and vitamins) and her favorite foods. There are four key focus groups that the woman should pay attention to while being pregnant. These groups are protein, calcium, iron, and folic acid (Blumfield, Hure, Macdonald-Wicks, Smith, & Collins, 2013).
Protein is responsible for fetal tissue development and the transportation of blood to the baby. Protein is used to develop the fetus’ brain and helps with a number of other things during pregnancy. Calcium is an essential element needed to build the baby’s bones. Another crucial function of calcium is to regulate the bodily use of fluids. Iron increases blood flow and enriches the woman’s organism with potassium and sodium. This allows the mother and her baby to receive more oxygen. The last element is folic acid. Its effect on the female organism is displayed by the reduced risk of shortcomings associated with the neural tube (Ramakrishnan, Grant, Goldenberg, Zongrone, & Martorell, 2012). These shortcomings may manifest in the form of the problems with the baby’s spinal cord or brain.
Facts That Affect Nutrition During the Pregnancy
A number of nutritional choices and other factors may affect the pregnancy (Hovdenak & Haram, 2012). The key three facts that have an impact on the food choices in pregnant women are anxiety, nervousness, and exhaustion. Therefore, it is reasonable to suggest that a healthy diet will positively affect the newborn. The findings of the majority of the existing studies claim that an increased consummation of carbohydrates is triggered by pregnant women’s anxiety and nervousness. The increase in the consummation of foods that are not micronutrient-rich led to a decrease in the consummation of critical vitamins (for instance, vitamin C) and folic acid. Pregnant women are also exposed to the impact of numerous psychosocial factors. An increase in the consumption of zinc-rich and energy foods was identified among the women who were more exhausted. They also displayed a critical decrease in the consummation of foods containing folic acid (Lucas, Charlton, & Yeatman, 2014). Anxiety and its adverse impact are directly connected to the intake of the foods that are rich in vitamin C. The study also shows that women pressured by the pregnancy consume fewer products containing protein.
Pregnancy is a complex process that impacts the woman’s physiology, and its multidimensional effect on the organism can be mitigated by proper nutritional strategies. There is a number of foods from different product groups that should be consumed daily. The mother should remember that her diet has a direct impact on the health of her future child. Therefore, it is crucial to provide the fetus with all the necessary micronutrients and macronutrients. Even though the mother may not evade consuming her favorite foods that do not have any nutritional value, her diet should be effectively balanced so as to guarantee that no pathologies would transform during the pregnancy. Nutritional support during pregnancy is an important point due to its direct impact on the ability to manage a pregnant woman and help her to understand the significance of a healthy nutritional pattern. The key responsibility of the healthcare professionals is to help the woman to go through all of the pregnancy stages successfully and keep up with a healthy diet that is adjusted to the needs of that particular female.
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Blumfield, M. L., Hure, A. J., Macdonald-Wicks, L., Smith, R., & Collins, C. E. (2013). A systematic review and meta-analysis of micronutrient intakes during pregnancy in developed countries. Nutrition Reviews, 71(2), 118-132.
Girard, A. W., & Olude, O. (2012). Nutrition education and counseling provided during pregnancy: Effects on maternal, neonatal, and child health outcomes. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 26(4), 191-204.
Hovdenak, N., & Haram, K. (2012). Influence of mineral and vitamin supplements on pregnancy outcome. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 164(2), 127-132.
Lucas, C., Charlton, K. E., & Yeatman, H. (2014). Nutrition advice during pregnancy: Do women receive it and can health professionals provide it? Maternal and Child Health Journal, 18(10), 2465-2478.
Ramakrishnan, U., Grant, F., Goldenberg, T., Zongrone, A., & Martorell, R. (2012). Effect of women’s nutrition before and during early pregnancy on maternal and infant outcomes: A systematic review. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 26(14), 285-301.