FULFILLMENT OF NUTRITIONAL NEEDS DURING PREGNANCY
To meet the nutritional requirements of pregnancy, the woman should base her diet on MyPyramid. Special care should be taken in the selection of food so that the necessary calories are provided by nutrient-dense foods.
One of the best ways of providing these nutrients is by drinking additional milk each day or using appropriate substitutes. The extra milk will provide protein, calcium, phosphorus, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. If whole milk is used, it will also contribute saturated fat and cholesterol and provide 150 calories per 8 ounces of milk. Fat-free milk contributes no fat and provides 90 calories per 8-ounce serving and thus is the better choice.
To be sure that the vitamin requirements of pregnancy are met, obste-tricians, nurse midwives, and physician’s assistants (PAs) may prescribe aprenatal vitamin supplement in addition to an iron supplement. However, it is not advisable for the mother to take any unprescribed nutrient supple-ment, as an excess of vitamins or minerals can be toxic to mother and infant.
The unusual cravings for certain foods during pregnancy do no harm unless eating them interferes with the normal balanced diet or causes excessive weight gain.