Nutrition Tips for Expecting Mothers
Although it’s always important to eat a well-balanced diet, it’s especially so when you’re pregnant. What you eat during pregnancy affects the development of your baby, even their teeth. Although baby teeth don’t typically emerge until the 4-6 month mark of your child’s life, they start developing between the third and sixth month of your pregnancy. Making nutritious choices now can lay the groundwork for your child’s dental health.
Eating a sufficient amount of nutrients, especially vitamins A, C, and D, protein, calcium and phosphorus, will provide.
Look to incorporate these items into your daily diet:
- Fruits and vegetables. This group should make up about half of what you eat every day.
- Grains. At least half of the grains you eat should be of the whole grain variety, which includes oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice.
- Dairy. Sufficient calcium will protect your bone mass and help your baby develop strong bones and teeth, too. Good sources of dietary calcium include low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt and calcium-fortified soymilk.
- Lean proteins. This means lean beef, skinless poultry and fish. Also, mix up your choices to include eggs, beans, peas and legumes, too. Eating Vitamin D foods, like cheese, margarine, fatty fish, such as salmon, and eggs helps you and your baby absorb the calcium, too.
On top of having a balanced diet at mealtime, try to resist the urge to snack, even if you experience unusual food cravings. When you do snack, choose foods that are nutritious for you and your baby such as raw fruits and vegetables, yogurt, or cheese, and make sure to follow your physician’s advice regarding diet. Your sweet tooth may be even more insatiable during your pregnancy, but go for healthier options, like fresh fruits and be sure to brush after the sugary stuff.
Not only is your diet important for your baby’s development, but hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can put you at greater risk for gum disease. Be sure to tell your dentist that you’re pregnant and talk to your dentist about maintaining great oral health both during and after your pregnancy.