Nutrition for Pregnant Women: Fulfil All of Your Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy

article by Maria Perinic
June 07, 2020
Maintaining good nutrition for pregnant mothers is incredibly important for preparing your body for the demands of pregnancy.
During the time of pregnancy, your energy, vitamin, and mineral requirements increase making it especially imperative that you consume food which will give you the energy and micronutrients that are essential in maintaining your and your baby’s health.

Although nutritional supplements are able to provide you with significant quantities of specific micronutrients, a balanced diet should be the basis of your nutritional intake.

When it comes to nutrition for pregnant women, eating the right foods can avoid health risks for both mother and child. To help take the pressure off, a meal box delivery service can steer you to a path of a nutritionally balanced lifestyle.

Why is Nutrition Important for a Pregnant Woman?

So why is nutrition important for a pregnant woman? Maintaining a balanced diet prior to and during your pregnancy will help protect both you and your developing baby from many immediate and long-term health risks.

One of the main things to remember is that as a pregnant woman, your nutritional status during pregnancy greatly depends on the availability of nutritional reserves. This means your calcium and iron levels that have built up prior to your pregnancy are vital for ensuring you maintain a balanced nutritional state during pregnancy.

If you are either underweight, overweight, or suffer from a nutrient deficiency you may need to play catch up in improving your diet to keep up with the special nutritional needs for a pregnant woman.

Taking care of your dietary needs prior to conception is important as the development of your baby depends on the health of the embryo itself. there is evidence suggesting that a mother’s nutritional status influences the proportion of cells that go on to form both the fetus and placenta.

For example, if a woman is undernourished, more of her cells are expected to form the placenta rather than the fetus. This means the fetus will be moderately smaller and its development within the womb will be limited.

Not taking in enough micronutrients can also impact fetal development during the early stages of pregnancy.

Your nutrition levels during pregnancy also have a programming effect of the fetus in that it learns its nutritional habits that will impact on the rest of its life prior to birth. Your unborn baby will adapt its metabolism as well as other body systems in order to cops with various states of nutrition.

An undernourished fetus, for example, may respond by reducing insulin and glucose production that may slow its metabolism permanently. it can also leave it with lasting metabolic conditions such as diabetes.

Nutrition for pregnant moms is incredibly important as an undernourished fetus will redirect nutrients to protect the brain. this can be at the expense of other organs such as the muscles, kidneys, and the endocrine system which regulates hormone production.

Women who have a higher chance of experiencing poor nutrition during their pregnancy include:

  • vegan and vegetarian women (micronutrients are typically obtained from animal-derived foods)
  • women of low socioeconomic status
  • women with health conditions like diabetes or infectious conditions
  • women who have recently given birth (short birth intervals do not allow a woman’s body to recuperate and prepare for the nutritional needs of a pregnant woman)
  • women with twins or triplets as it places a greater demand on their body
  • women that experience stress
  • women who smoke and drink alcohol
  • adolescent women
  • women suffering from severe nausea or vomiting during pregnancy

Good Nutrition for Pregnant Women

During your pregnancy, it is especially important to eat well in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle for both you and your unborn child. The immune system of a pregnant woman is weaker during pregnancy. Good nutrition for pregnant mothers like yourself means having to consume some foods more often while avoiding others, such as raw meats and caffeine.

Encourage good nutrition for pregnant moms by eating:

  • at least three servings of foods containing protein every day
  • at least six servings of whole grains every day
  • at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day
  • three or more servings of dairy every day
  • foods with essential fats (like nuts)
  • prenatal vitamins

Avoid the Following:

  • alcohol
  • caffeine
  • raw seafood and meats (avoid sushi made from raw fish)
  • fish high in mercury
  • uncooked processed meats
  • unpasteurized dairy

Iron

This is one of the most important minerals that you need to intake during pregnancy. Pregnant women low in iron will often feel tired and dizzy. Iron can be found in:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Lentils
  • White Beans
  • Spinach
  • Green Leafy Vegetables

 iron pregnancy

Folic Acid

Folic acid is vital for the development of a healthy fetus and it can also significantly lower the risk of neural tube effects as well as birth defects to the baby’s spinal cord and brain.

You can find folic acid in:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Granary bread
  • Brown rice
  • Supplements

 folic acid pregnancy

Protein

Protein helps the growth of fetal tissue, which also includes the brain. It also helps increase the mother’s blood supply and helps the uterine and breast tissue to grow during pregnancy.

Find protein in:

  • Cooked seafood or fish
  • Liver
  • Chicken
  • Lean beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Nuts
  • Tofu

 protein pregnancy

Calcium

In order to help regulate your bodily fluids as well as help build your unborn baby’s bones and tooth buds, it is recommended that you have 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.

Calcium can be found in:

  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Tofu
  • Pasteurized cheese
  • Almonds
  • Salmon
  • White beans
  • Turnip greens
  • Cabbage

 pregnancy calcium

 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential in building your baby’s teeth and bones, and it is suggested that you take in 600 international units per day. Vitamin D foods include:

  • Fish
  • Milk
  • Orange Juice
  • Eggs
  • Salmon

 vitamin d pregnancy

Water

It is especially important for women to stay hydrated during pregnancy, particularly during the last trimester. Doctors recommend drinking at least one and a half liters of water as dehydration can cause contractions that can lead to preterm labor.

Meal Kit Delivery Services During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most precious and exciting times in a woman’s life. First-time mothers and those with children will agree that it can also be very overwhelming with countless books, blogs, and podcasts telling you how to best nurture yourself and your unborn child.

Obviously from what we’ve mentioned above, there is a whole new world of nutrition-specific elements to your pregnancy that you now need to uphold. Nutritionists recommend a balanced diet of calcium, protein, dairy, and Vitamin D which might mean a whole revamp of your cooking ritual. All of this in combination with you feeling both nauseous, hungry, and tired at the same time can be a challenge.

This is where meal kits come in. Meal delivery kits are designed to save you time, money, and energy. The best thing about these meals is that you can tailor-design them to cater to your nutritional needs as well as your cravings.

It can be overwhelming to go to the grocery store carrying all that extra weight around, looking perplexingly at the array of ingredients that you might not know how to prepare.

Even if you shine in the kitchen, the best meal delivery kits will bring all of your necessary ingredients straight to your doorstep, and that’s just during pregnancy. After giving birth you will be ever more strapped for time, not to mention tired.

While there are no specific meal plans for pregnant women, you will find completely balanced meals that will not only taste great, they will also make your life a lot easier during this time.

You will be able to choose from family meals that cater to special diets including:

Here are the best home delivery services that encourage good nutrition for pregnant moms.

Top Home Meal Kit Delivery Services

Sun Basket

Sun Basket_210x100

No matter what you choose to order from Sun Basket, you can be sure of one thing – you will be eating clean. Meals delivered from Sun Basket consist entirely of sustainable and organic foods that don’t just taste good, but they’re actually good for you.

There are numerous choices when it comes to the plans on offer from Sun Basket. The Family Menu allows you to select from Chef’s Choice or the Vegetarian option, both of which allow for six weekly recipe choices.

Classic Menus have even more options catering to specific diets, Chef’s Choice, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Lean & Clean, Vegetarian, Vegan, Pescatarian, Mediterranean, and Diabetes-Friendly.

Not only will you escape the need to purchase groceries in the store, but you will also save money long-term when you sign up with a meal delivery kit. Sun Basket will cost you $10.99 per serving for a family of four. The Classic Menu for two or four adults will set you back $11.99 per serving. An added bonus is that you will not have to pay shipping for your first order.

To find out more about Sun Basket read our in-depth review here.

Home Chef

Home_Chef_210x100_bg

Home Chef is America’s third-largest meal kit provider, delivering more than three million meals each month. The reason behind their success is that you get fast, tasty, and easy meals delivered to your door weekly without any hassles.

When it comes to the meals you can check the difficulty and prep time of each meal before committing to it. If you want to cut the cooking time you can choose the Quick and Easy meals, which will take less than half an hour to prepare, with some taking just 10-15 minutes.

if you want to cut out prepping time completely, you can choose the Home Chef oven-ready meals that will require you to just heat your meal and enjoy it. Every user receives an email at the start of the week with eleven meal options to choose from and you have until Friday to make your selections.

Meals cost $9.95 per serving, but you can also add smoothies and fruit baskets for $4.95 each or quick five-minute lunches for $7.99.

To find out more about Home Chef read our in-depth review here.

Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot Meal Delivery Logo

If you have been on a plant-based diet, or wish to incorporate healthy greens into your diet, Purple Carrot might be the way to go. Each week you will receive the ingredients and recipes to make vegan meals.

You can choose from two-meal or four-meal servings with dinners including tasty recipes such as tortilla soup, stuffed sweet potatoes, crispy black bean tacos, and crispy artichoke rotini. Additionally, you can choose from breakfast, lunch, and snack options as well.

A Purple Carrot shipment will set you back around $82 – $120. This is because dinners cost between $8.99 and $10.99 per serving wish breakfast servings costing $4.49 and $8.99 lunches.

To find out more about Purple Carrot read our in-depth review here.

Green Chef

Green Chef210x100

Another top meal delivery service – Green Chef – offers delicious meals delivered straight to your doorstep. You can choose from Balanced living, Paleo, Keto, Plant-Powered, or the Family plan.

You can choose between two or four meal servings, but if you opt for the latter, your cost per meal goes down. Meals are set between $9.99 and $12.99

Your ingredients arrive cleaned, pre-portioned, and sometimes chipped. Everything is sealed in plastic, with each meal kit packed in its own labeled paper bag. The packaging includes cold bags as well to keep everything cool.

‘Until truly “sustainable” food packaging is possible, we are doing everything in our power to make sustainability our bottom-line. By partnering with the Plastic Bank, we’re able to offset more than the plastic in every Green Chef box, which has a tangible impact on reducing plastic pollution in our oceans. This also creates new economic opportunities — the plastic bank pays locals in Southeast Asia to collect plastic that would otherwise end up in the ocean. We also belong to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, where we are fully engaged with industry-leading suppliers and innovators.’

To find out more about Green Chef read our in-depth review here.

Balance

Balance MD logo 210x100

Unlike many other meal delivery services where you need to choose a plan and put in your payment information, Balance allows you to choose your meals first. this is great if you want to check out what’s on offer before handing over your credit card details.

You can choose from breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus with meals catering to diets including Heart Healthy, Gluten-Free, Diabetic, Low Sodium, Low Carb, Menopause, Dairy-Free, Mediterranean, and Vegetarian.

you don’t have to worry about canceling your order or skipping meals. This is because there are no subscriptions. This is particularly important as many food delivery services limit you to either two or four portions, but what if you want three portions?

As there are no subscriptions that will tie you down, you can also just choose from something off the menu, and order the one meal. This isn’t recommended as it comes with shipping costs, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that you can do it.

Balance meals range from $5.99 for an English muffin sandwich to $13.99 for a grilled salmon with a creamy pesto sauce dish.

To find out more about Balance read our in-depth review here.

Conclusion: Getting All the Nutritional Needs of a Pregnant Woman

Pregnancy is definitely a unique time in any woman’s life. There are many changes you go through including physical and emotional changes. One of the biggest aspects to think about when it comes to the wellbeing of your unborn child is introducing a healthy and well-rounded diet to your daily routine. After all, there are special nutritional needs for a pregnant woman.

Getting enough protein, iron, vitamins, and other minerals is of extreme importance for both your and your new baby’s health. Wrapping your head around these changes can be extremely daunting, especially when that coincides with you being nauseous, tired, and generally overwhelmed.

Meal deliver kits will not only save you from slaving away for hours in the kitchen, they can also help you cut costs, which is important especially with a new family member on the way.

Delight in excellent quality meals with minimal effort and instead put your energy into enjoying every step of this new and exciting adventure of yours. You deserve it.