Clayton State University
Nutritional Needs During Pregnancy Adequate nutrition is essential to sustaining life throughout the life span. It is especially important for women to maintain adequate caloric intake with healthful nutrition during the months of pregnancy. During pregnancy, there is an increased need for vitamins and minerals such as: folic acid and iron as well as adequate intake of fruits and vegetables. In addition to eating a well balanced diet, it is also important for women to take prenatal vitamins to ensure sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals vital for the healthy development of the fetus. M.C. is a 25-year-old female who is in her 1st trimester of pregnancy (12 weeks). She is a moderately active young adult and states that she attends yoga class three times a week as well as running three times a week. She has a very good understanding of the changing needs of her diet now that she is with child. She began taking Rainbow Light organic prenatal multi-vitamin upon the news of her pregnancy. Based her gestational age as well as her pre-pregnancy weight, her caloric was determined to be at 2,200 calories (United States Department of Agriculture [USDA], 2014a). Her 24-hour dietary recall is as follows: Breakfast included: ½ cup granola, 1 medium banana (3/4 cup), 8 oz. fruit smoothie (1 cup), ½ cup soy milk, ½ raspberries, and 1 bottle of water (16.9 oz.); Lunch included: 4 oz. grilled chicken breast, 2 cups mixed green salad (1 cup), 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and 1 bottle of water (16.9 oz.); Dinner included: ½ cup portabella mushroom (3/4 cup) , ½ cup avocado, ¼ cup tomato, ¼ cucumber, 1 cup mixed greens (1/2 cup), 1 slice cheddar cheese (3/4 cup), 1 medium fillet of baked salmon (9 /12 oz.), and. 1 bottle water (16.9 oz.); Snacks included: 2 unsalted rice cakes, 1 ½ tablespoons of peanut butter, 1 oz. tortilla chips, 1 medium banana (3/4 cup), 8 oz. of herbal tea, and 1 bottle of water (16.9 oz.).
While women who are pregnant increase their caloric intake to accommodate for the developing fetus, this increase should only be around 300-calorie/day (Ricci, 2013). M.C.’s total caloric intake for the day was 2,008 calories, which was within the parameters of her recommended 2,200 calories. However, her intake of the various food groups was not as balanced as it should be. Her grain and dairy intake were the two areas lacking. During the 24-hour time frame she consumed only 3 oz. of grain compared to the recommended 7 oz. M.C.’s dairy intake was about half of the recommended amount of 3 cups. Her protein and fruit intake however, were over the recommended amounts. Her fruit intake was at 3 ¼ cups compared to 2 cups and her protein intake was 16 oz. compared to the recommended 6 oz. The only area that met the target serving was the vegetable category, which amounted to 3 cups comparable to the 3¼ cup recommended for the daily intake. Additionally, she consumed a sufficient amount of water and stated that she is diligent in taking her prenatal vitamins daily.
M.C. is on the right track with her keeping her caloric intake within the recommended amount. However, she does need some counseling with modifying the intake of several of the food groups. The foods in the areas she is lacking are vital to the development of the fetus. Whole grains are excellent sources of both folic acid and iron, two very important nutrients that contribute to reducing neural tube defects in the fetus as well as helping prevent iron deficiency anemia of the mother (USDA, 2014b). M.C. can increase her intake of grains by adding a cup of whole grain rice with her lunch or adding a snack of a couple of ounces of dry cereal into her daily diet. Her dietary intake of dairy was also an area lacking. According to Brantsaeter et al., prenatal dairy intake, especially cow’s milk, can