Are you expecting your baby while still being in your teen years? Are you worried that your delicate age can be detrimental to the growth of your little one? Fret not! Read this article to find out no must-haves you should have to enjoy a healthy pregnancy as a teen mom!
Starting a new family is an extremely important decision, as it impacts your life in so many ways. Sometimes though, sexually active teens who engage unprotected sex risk becoming pregnant. So, what do you do if you face unplanned pregnancy? Read on and find out about teenage pregnancy nutrition.
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How Is Teenage Pregnancy Different?
Teenage pregnancy is different to a planned pregnancy. First and foremost, it is unplanned. As a teenage mom, you are more likely to have more nutritional deficiencies than moms in their 20s or 30s, as many adolescents don’t follow good eating habits and eat calorie-rich and fatty diets.
Staying up late, wearing one’s self out, working too hard, not following the correct diet, are all factors that contribute to an unhealthy lifestyle. Adolescents also have inadequate knowledge about the correct diet to follow, or how following an unhealthy diet could impact you negatively. (1)
Studies conclude that teen moms with a history of drug use tend to relapse and face a higher risk of living in poverty. Infants born to teen moms are also more likely to have developmental problems. Find here how important is nutrition for pregnant teens.
[ Read: Nutritional Foods For Teenagers ]
Teenage Pregnancy Nutrition Facts To Remember:
Pregnancy is a crucial stage for both you and your baby, and as a teenage mom, you need to be extra careful about your diet. In fact, pregnancy could provide you an incentive to improve your overall lifestyle and develop healthy eating habits for the rest of their life.
Certain teen pregnancy nutrition facts that you need to focus on include:
1. Folic Acid Supplementation:
Pregnant women need to pay close attention to folic acid supplementation, especially in the first trimester. Low folic acid levels can increase the risk of the unborn baby contracting neural tube defects. You need to make sure that you consume an equivalent of 400 micrograms of folic acid on a daily basis for the initial six weeks of your first trimester.
2. Healthy Weight Gain:
Teen girls tend to consume around 25% less food than adolescent boys and are more likely to suffer from nutritional deficiencies. Poor dietary intake could affect both you and your unborn baby. Follow a healthy pregnancy diet to make sure that you put on enough weight to provide for the baby in your womb.
3. Iron Supplementation:
Many teen moms suffer from low iron levels. A lack of iron can lead to anemia and other complications. As a pregnant teen, you will need to consume at least 27 milligrams of iron a day. If you don’t eat red meat and other non-vegetarian iron sources, consider talking to your healthcare provider about taking iron supplements. It is also important to note that low iron stores during the first two trimesters can increase the risk of preterm delivery and also increases the risk of low birth weight.
[ Read: Healthy Foods For Teens ]
4. Calcium Importance:
Every pregnant woman needs to ensure that she takes 1300 milligrams of calcium a day, found in dairy products, almonds, certain fishes and green leafy vegetables. As a teenager, your body is still increasing in bone mass. Pregnancy tends to increase the need for calcium significantly.
You need to ensure that you follow a well-balanced, healthy diet with moderate physical activity. A good diet is beneficial for both you and the baby in your womb. Consult a nutritionist to get proper advice about your diet as a teenage mom.
We hope this article helped you understand teenage pregnancy nutritional needs. Do you know of any other nutritional facts important for teenage moms? Tell us below.
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