Tips for Expecting Mothers
By Rebecca Cline
We all know that moms can have extremely busy schedules and what seems like very little time for herself. Always being on the go, mothers still know the importance of good nutrition in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Nutrition is a significant part in anyone’s lifestyle, but it can be play significant impacts for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Specifically, mothers with disability who are breastfeeding should consider consuming appropriate calories and nutrients in order to nourish the infant. Let’s look at some tips that can help you continue being the strong mother and woman that you are. Here are some things to consider:
1. Water consumption: For any mother breastfeeding, drinking plenty of water will help produce more milk while considering the frequency of feedings. Along with this, an increase in water can decrease constipation, hemorrhoids, and UTIs – all which can be common in mothers. On top of that, be sure that the water you are drinking is clean, meaning that it is free from chemicals, like lead or mercury that can be harmful to the fetus.
2. Appropriate weight gain: Depending on the mother-to-be’s body mass index (BMI), a particular weight gain recommendation should be achieved to support the fetus in the womb. (Access the CDC’s resource for pregnancy weight gain here). Women who are pregnant and use a wheelchair will really need to make their calories count towards their health and well-being; moreover, these mothers should be cautious of gaining enough weight but not too much weight. Because transferring in and out of a wheelchair may become more challenging with the weight of the baby, any excess pounds that are not recommended during pregnancy will make this task even harder.
3. Fiber: As always, appropriate fiber is suggested for anyone as this helps with bowel movements. While fiber intake increases, water intake should also increase. Fiber and water together will be particularly important for mothers who use a wheelchair, and it is significant for the individual to find her balance of the two.
4. Folate: As a pregnant mother (or even a woman of child-bearing age), consuming at least 400 micrograms of folate per day is extremely significant for the development and health of the baby in the womb. Adequate amounts of this vitamin will minimize the risk of neural tube defects and other physical disabilities. For a list of folate-rich foods, read NCHPAD’s article, Eating Right with Folate.
5. Limit fish: While seafood can be a great source of protein, it can also be harmful to the fetus due to high amounts of mercury, a chemical contaminant. Pregnant mothers and mothers who are breastfeeding should reduce the consumption of certain fish, especially shark, swordfish, mackerel, and tilefish. These all present large amounts of mercury.
• Mahan, L. K., Escott-Stump, S., Raymond, J. L., & Krause, M. V. (2012). Krause's food & the nutrition care process (13th ed.). St. Louis, Mo.: Elsevier/Saunders.