Disclaimer: This is not medical advice and should not be used in lieu of speaking with your physician about your pregnancy diet. This is purely a perspective based on our own research.
Whether you are pregnant with your own child or you are a surrogate mother carrying a child for someone else, it is natural to feel an extra pressure to lead a healthy lifestyle while you’re pregnant. It is widely known that pregnant women should avoid harmful substances like alcohol or raw fish. But you may find yourself asking what it is that you should be eating to ensure the optimal development of that little life growing inside of you. These are our top four foods to eat while you’re pregnant, selected because they are rich in key nutrients that are necessary for both you and your baby.
The most well-known ingredient in every prenatal vitamin is likely folate, or Vitamin B9, which is essential to preventing neural tube defects in the child. It is recommended that pregnant women consume at least 0.64 mcg of folate per day. While your prenatal vitamins may contain the recommended daily amount of folate, you should also try to eat foods that are rich in the nutrient to ensure the best absorption. These include but are not limited to leafy greens, legumes, citrus and beans. Certain breakfast cereals are also fortified with folate.
Top Folate-Rich Food to Eat While Pregnant: Leafy Greens
Whether or not you are pregnant, your diet should include a healthy dose of iron to ensure that your body is able to develop a sufficient amount of red blood cells. Red blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen throughout your body. When you are pregnant, they are also responsible for delivering oxygen to the child, so you should be consuming extra iron. 27 mg of iron per day is recommended in order for pregnant women to avoid developing an iron deficiency. Lean meats are among the best sources of iron. If you are vegetarian or vegan, you are a at a higher risk for iron deficiency, but it can still be avoided with the right diet. Spinach, kale, broccoli and beans are all great vegetarian and vegan sources of iron. Vitamin C has also been shown to increase your body’s absorption of iron.
Top Iron-Rich Food to Eat While Pregnant: Lean Meats
When you are pregnant, it is very important that your diet includes high amounts of calcium - likely much more than you would normally consume on a daily basis. Calcium is integral to ensuring healthy bones, teeth, muscles, nerves and blood clotting in both you and the baby. It is recommended that pregnant women consume 1000-1300 mg of calcium per day. Dairy products, especially milk and yogurt are easy ways to meet this quota. Just remember to avoid unpasteurized dairy products because they could contain bacteria that is harmful to you and the baby. If you are lactose intolerant, fear not. You may use alternatives to milk, such as Lactaid, and there are plenty of dairy-free foods that are high in calcium, including dark, leafy greens and broccoli.
Top Calcium-Rich Food to Eat While Pregnant: Yogurt
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids aid in the development of the brain and eyes of the baby. High concentrations of these so-called “good” fats are found in many types of fish that are easy to come by at the grocery store, including salmon, cod, trout and halibut. For this reason, fish can be a very healthy food to eat while you’re pregnant - so long as you choose the right one! It is crucial that you avoid raw fish or fish types that are potentially high in mercury, as both of these things can be harmful to the baby. Risky fish that should be avoided included but are not limited to bigeye tuna, marlin, and king mackerel.
Top Omega-3 Fatty Acid Food to Eat While Pregnant: Salmon
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the best foods to eat while you’re pregnant. If you are a surrogate mother with California Surrogacy Center looking for more guidance as you begin your pregnancy, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (858) 509-3954 or send a message using the form below. Our staff is always happy to answer your questions, and we pride ourselves on offering an accessible support network to our surrogate mothers, egg donors and intended parents.