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Nutrition
Nutrition During Pregnancy



Nutrition During Pregnancy
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.72

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    adage, anemia, congenital, folic, food-related, low-calorie, low-fat, nutritionist, pregnancy, prenatal, trimester, whole-grain, additional, retardation, gradual, odds
     content words:    I'm Marie, Now I'm


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Nutrition During Pregnancy
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Sandra walked into the nutritionist's office and sat down. She looked around at the posters hanging on the wall. The door opened.
 
2     "Greetings! You must be Sandra. I'm Marie," the nutritionist said as she opened the door. "What can I do for you today?"
 
3     "I'm here because I'm expecting a baby in June. I want to eat the right foods and gain just the right amount of weight, not too much and not too little. When I started asking my doctor so many food-related questions, he gave me your name. So here I am!" said Sandra.
 
4     "Well, you've come to the right place!" Marie responded confidently. "Let's start with some basics. Eating healthy meals and snacks are an important priority. It affects the health of that little baby growing inside of you. Did your doctor prescribe any vitamins?"
 
5     "Yes," said Sandra. "He prescribed prenatal vitamins."
 
6     "Perfect," said Marie. "Your body needs certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Taking those vitamins each day is important. They contain those daily vitamins and folic acid. Folic acid has been proven to prevent certain birth defects of the brain, birth defects of the spine, cleft lip, and congenital heart disease."
 
7     "OK," Sandra said. "I'll remember to take it each day then."
 
8     "Now," Marie continued, "in terms of calories and weight gain, I recommend approximately 2,500 to 2,700 calories a day for expectant mothers. Of course, these calories should be from healthy foods. For most pregnant women, this is only about 300 extra calories a day. You need additional nutrients because of the growing baby, but I don't think you need to eat double like the old adage ‘eating for two.'"
 
9     Marie went on, "Every mom-to-be seems fixated on weight gain. A woman who is underweight usually needs to gain 28 to 40 pounds during pregnancy. A woman who is overweight usually needs to gain 15 to 25 pounds. You seem right about average height and weight so I would recommend a weight gain of 25 to 30 pounds to be quite healthy. The weight gain should be gradual now. Most of the weight gain will be in the last trimester."
 
10     "Given all this information, Sandra," Marie said, "I don't want you to go low-calorie diet on me now. It's not the time. If you don't eat enough, your body will produce ketones. Ketones indicate the body is in starvation mode. Constant ketones can cause mental retardation in the baby. Do you have any questions so far?"
 
11     "No," Sandra said. "Everything seems like common sense so far."
 
12     "That's because it is, Sandra," Marie replied. "Pregnancy should be your healthiest eating time. You need the recommended daily allowance plus... so to speak. Now I'm going to give you a chart with some specifics. I would recommend seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Besides the fiber and minerals, vitamin C helps develop healthy gums, heal wounds, and absorb iron.

Paragraphs 13 to 29:
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