Unit 21: Nutrition for Health & Social Care
Discusses nutritional and energy requirements, comparing and contrasting similarities and differences between the two groups for each nutrient, and for energy.
Pregnant women and breastfeeding women...
It is important for pregnant women to understand what kind of food is best for them and their baby as it will fully protect the health of the mother and provide optimal growth and development of her unborn baby. In the first half of pregnancy, nutrition requirements mainly concern quality, while in the second half; quantity is also an issue to ensure fetal growth. Proper nutritional habits should already be established at the start of this second life – if possible even before conception. The pregnant mother's body is subject to greater demands to ensure fetal development as well as the growth, health and functioning of the uterus, placenta and amniotic fluid. A daily increase of 150 calories in food consumption is recommended at the start of pregnancy, which will eventually reach an extra 250 calories a day by the end of pregnancy. The average weight gained is between 9 and 12 kg (20 to 26 lbs) although there is a natural variation between individuals. With overweight women, it may be less, while thinner women may gain more. However, Pregnant women require more energy (or calories) during the last trimester of pregnancy and more protein, vitamins A, C, D, and the B vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and folic acid throughout pregnancy and when breast-feeding, requirements for Vitamin B12, calcium, phosphorous and zinc are also increased.