It is essential for expectant mothers to eat enough protein during pregnancy because it helps to maintain maternal health and develop a healthy fetus.
Most women recognize that the foods they eat play a huge part in helping their child to grow in the uterus. The quality and composition of foods eaten during pregnancy is just as important as the amount of food eaten. Protein is particularly useful because it helps to form new cells and build the body of the fetus. There are many benefits to getting adequate protein during pregnancy, so expectant mothers should try to make sure that they are eating the right types of protein rich food.
What Does Protein Do in the Body?
Protein is so important during pregnancy because it has a huge role in keeping people healthy. Food items filled with carbohydrates simply provide energy, but protein is needed to build every single cell in a human body. Protein helps to build up your baby’s soft tissue, the placenta and your red blood cells. Not only that, but it also helps form hair, nails, bones and organs, but it is also used to create the hormones that regulate every function in the body. Since protein has so many important functions, it is no surprise that it makes a big difference during pregnancy, especially during the second and third trimesters.
How Does Protein Affect Fetal Development?
Because it is generally seen as an important nutrient, many medical studies have been done that examine the effect of protein on a fetus. A meta-analysis of 20 separate research trials found that protein intake was directly related to birth weight. Infants who were born to mothers that ate the proper amount of protein while pregnant had a higher birth weight than those born to women who did not eat enough protein. Low birth weight can lead to a variety of problems, including increased infection risk, jaundice and respiratory distress syndrome, so it is normally considered beneficial for a newborn to have a higher weight. Without enough protein, a fetus may be feeble or ill at birth.
Can Protein During Pregnancy Help Expectant Mothers?
Protein is not just important for the health of the fetus. Proteins help to keep blood sugar stable, so a diet full of proteins has been linked to a lower risk of gestational diabetes. Women who eat a lot of protein while pregnant gain more muscle and less fat, so they are less likely to deal with all the health complications of obesity. Since protein builds the cells needed to carry oxygen and iron throughout the bloodstream, it can help to keep pregnant women from develop anemia or suffering from dizziness and fatigue. In general, adequate protein supplementation helps pregnant women to have a safer and more comfortable pregnancy.
How Can a Mother Make Sure She Is Getting Enough Protein?
The average daily requirement for pregnant women is 60 to 75 grams, which should be divided into three or four servings. Women who are not pregnant normally just need a couple servings of protein a day, but the amount increases once a woman is pregnant. The precise amount you need will vary based on your weight, but generally, pregnant women need around 90 grams of protein each day. You can get protein from lean meats, beans, eggs, milk, tofu, nuts and fish. However, it is important to keep in mind that certain types of soft cheeses and fish species may not be advisable during pregnancy.