ADULT HEALTH – Following are some of the tips in relation to safe pregnancies.
1. Nutrition. Have a healthy and nutritious diet before, during, and after pregnancy. It should be based on the following basic food groups:
- Calcium-rich foods. Consume at least 1,000 mg of calcium (at least three servings or one-and-half cups of calcium-rich foods) before, during, and after pregnancy, particularly fermented dairy products have helpful bacteria necessary for the maintenance of healthy intensinal flora.
- Vegetables. Saluyot, kangkong, talinum, sili, camote tops, asparagus, broccoli, mustard, peas, spinach, and turnip greens are high in folic acid, which is necessary for the prevention of neural-tube defects. Consume at least three to four servings (three to four cups raw, or one-ans-a-half to two cups cooked) of vegetables daily. Make sure these leafy vegetables are taken with Viatmin-C rich foods for better absorption.
- Fruits. Fresh, unprocessed fruits like citrus fruits, grapefruit, mango, papaya, strawberry, and orange are high in vitamin C. Consume at least three to four servings daily One serving is equal to one slice of mango, melon, pineapple, or papaya; one-and-one-fourth cup strawberries; 10 pieces of grapes; one banana; or half an apple.
- Extra lean meat and legumes. Consume at least three servings (one matchbox size of lean meat or one-third cup beans equals one serving) of extra lean meat, skinless poultry, fish, or seafood; or one cup of cooked dried beans and peas. Limit eggs to four a week.
- Grains. Consume at least seven servings of grains like unpolished rice, whole wheat, oats, cornmeal, and wheat products like pasta, noodles, and breads. At least five servings should come from whole grains. One-half-cup cooked rice equals one serving; one cup pasta/noodles/cooked oats equals one serving; one-half-cup of a corn on a cob equals one serving; one small sweet potato equals one serving; two pieces small gabi equal one serving.
- Nutritious Additions. Also include nuts and seeds like walnuts, almonds, pili, cashew, pumpkin/squash, sesame, or sunflower seeds in your daily diet. Five pili nuts, one-fourth cup cashew, one-third cup almonds, or one-half cup pumpkin equals one serving.
2. Weight. Try not to limit weight gain to two to five pounds during the first three months, and 0.7 to 1.4 pounds per week during the second and third trimesters.
3. Supplement. Take multiple vitamins and minerals daily that contain 100 to 200 percent of the recommended daily allownace.
4. Safety. During pregnancy, do not drink alcohol, smoke, or take any drug not approved by your physician. Also, be vigilant against food poisoning.
5. Exercise. Discuss with your doctor exercises fit for pregnant woman.
6. Medical/Prenatal Checkups. Visit an obstetrician regularly to monitor weight and progress of your pregnancy and obtain necessary tests.
– Alysa Manzano, Medical Observer