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Pre & Postnatal Health

What is the most important thing that you can do for your unborn baby in the last three months of pregnancy? Make sure that you have polyunsaturated fatty acids, mainly DHA in your system so that it can benefit your baby. Babies need to get this through you when they are in the womb and through breast feeding.

Fat is a word that we cringe when we hear it, but It is essential for the last trimester and it is crucial in the first year of your baby's life

Why are polyunsaturated fats so important to your baby?

They are crucial in the proper development of your child's brain and eyesight. Not only that, but are important to sustain the health of your baby's heart, immune system and much more. They provide the fuel (energy) and is instrumental in building nerve tissue for both the brain and the bodies nervous system. And we can't forget the proper production of hormone's.

But we are told that fats are bad?

Yes, it is true that we are told to limit the intact of fats (which is now under review). Fat is an important source of energy and helps the body absorb certain nutrients. In fact, they provide essential fatty acids that the body can't make.

What are the various types of fats?

They are saturated fats, trans fats, and unsaturated fats.

Saturated fats come from meat, dairy, and baking. These are the ones we need to be careful of over time. They contain the cholesterol we always hear about. Trans-fats are also found in meat and dairy, but also hydrogenated vegetable oil. Again, we must be careful due to the raising of cholesterol levels over time. Unsaturated  fats are our friend. These are the ones that are critical in the development to baby's health. They are the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that play an important role in the healthy development of the brain, eyes, and nervous system.

Where do we get these healthy and essential fats?

Monounsaturated fats are found in olive oil, avocados, eggs nuts, nut oils, and nut butters.

Polyunsaturated fats are found in sunflower oil, some margarines and mayonnaise and Omega 3's. You can also find them in flax seed oil, walnuts, canola oil, sunflower, cottonseed, corn, and soybean oils. And of course fish; salmon, trout, anchovies, herring, mackerel, sardines, and the dreaded cod-liver oil are particularly rich in Omega 3's. But it is advised to have only two servings or 8-12 ounces a week as there are concerns of mercury in fish.

Do these fats help in any other way?

Yes! These act as a healthy carrier for the fat-soluble vitamins that baby needs like Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K. They are the main carriers of protein, iron, and other minerals.

Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart in several ways. They help:

Reduce triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood
Reduce the risk of an irregular heartbeat
Slow the build-up of plaque in your arteries
Slightly lower your blood pressure

Omega-6 fatty acids may help:

Control your blood sugar
Reduce your risk of diabetes
Lower your blood pressure

And don't forget get your proper dosage of calcium by drinking your milk, eating your yogurt, and enjoying your cheese.

You are the key to your babies health and wellness. Make sure you eat well.

A well-balanced pregnancy diet includes:

vitamin C
fruits and vegetables
whole grains
iron-rich foods
adequate fat
folic acid

And of course exercise regularly. Aerobic exercises, such as walking, jogging, and swimming, stimulate the heart and lungs as well as muscle and joint activity, which help to process and utilize oxygen. Aerobic activity also improves circulation and increases muscle tone and strength.

For the majority of normal pregnancies, exercise can:

increase energy levels
improve sleep
strengthen muscles and endurance
reduce backaches
relieve constipation
Good luck and God Bless.

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