Pre pregnancy diet

Your health care provider will set goals for total weight gain during pregnancy based on your pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index (BMI). A pregnant woman needs about 300 calories a day more than she did pre-pregnancy to support the rapid growth of the fetus and her changing body. Folic acid is especially important during pregnancy and even more before becoming pregnant. Pregnant women need to eat a variety of carefully chosen foods over the course of the day to get the recommended amount of calories, protein, vitamins and minerals needed during pregnancy. Occasional treats are a good thing, as long as they are used in moderation and they can help keep the diet interesting.
Aspartame, the artificial sweetener found in most diet soft drinks and other sugar-free treats, is considered safe for most pregnant women when consumed in moderate amounts.
Here are five things you can do to improve your diet and safeguard your (and your baby-to-be's) health.

According to the American Dietetic Association, a pregnant woman needs 300 calories a day more than she did pre-pregnancy.
A pregnant woman needs more of many important vitamins, minerals and nutrients than she did pre-pregnancy. Food requirements during pregnancy are not drastically different from a normal well-balanced diet. The Food Guide Pyramid provides you with guidelines to plan healthful meals and snacks before, during, and after pregnancy.
Because caffeine can cross the placenta and affect the fetus, pregnant women should apply the principle of moderation to caffeine consumption and discuss it with their personal physician. The fetus needs nourishment, and a woman's body metabolizes nutrients differently while pregnant. There is no harm in satisfying food cravings within reason, especially when they make a nutritional contribution to the diet.

The main health issue for pregnant women who use artificial sweeteners is that they may be missing out on more nutritious foods and beverages. Now's the time to discuss any of these factors with your practitioner — and to enlist the help of a dietitian if your eating habits need reshaping. Choose a prenatal supplement with 400 to 600 mcg (micrograms) of folic acid to be sure you're getting your fill.

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