Women need proper care and healthy diet during their pregnancy. If the expecting mother is a teen then it becomes all the more essential for her to stay on a healthy diet. Teens who get proper care and make the right eating choices have a very good chance of having healthy babies. Nutritional needs of pregnant teens are high as young girl is still growing, and has demands of a pregnancy to manage.
Pregnancy can be an overwhelming experience for a women but it can be a challenge for teenagers. The main reason behind this is her young age and health conditions. Being pregnant and a teenager mean that you have to provide nutrition for two and have to be very careful.
Why pregnant teens are at particular risk
Teenagers have high nutrition needs and during pregnancy, it becomes more essential for expecting mother to stick on a proper diet. Young mother can face following health problems:
High blood pressure
Young mothers often have increased risk of high blood pressure that can lead to hypertension. This can lead to excess protein in the urine and can lead to swelling of the body and organ damage.
Low birth weight baby
This situation arises if the young mother could not provide proper nutrition to the child. Lack of nutrition can increase the risk of low body weight of the baby. Newborns are more likely to weigh less than average weight of the baby. Low birth weight babies need to put on a ventilator so that they can breathe properly after birth.
The risk of premature birth is always high in the case of teenage pregnancy. A normal and full term pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks and a baby delivered before 37 weeks is a premature baby. In most of the cases, doctors try to stop the premature labor by medications and proper bed rest. Premature birth can lead to various functional problems in the baby.
Young mothers often have a higher risk of anemia and this can be dangerous for the mother and baby as well. Anemia means deficiency of blood and this can be very dangerous for the mother at the time of delivery.
Stress and depression
Young mothers often have to go through lot of stress and depression. Most teenage girls do not have support from their families and society. In this situation, they need moral support otherwise, they can go in the state of serious depression.
Diet of a pregnant teen
Diet of a pregnant teen should include folate, folic acid, calcium, protein, iron, and vitamins. These things help in the proper growth and development of a baby.
Folate and folic acid
Folic acid is essential to take before and during pregnancy as it can prevent birth defects of baby’s brain and spinal cord. Folic acid is vitamin B and fortified cereals are the best source of this.
Calcium is essential for the growth and development of bones and muscles. It provides strength to bones and dairy products like milk, cheese, and butter are the main source of calcium. Teen mothers need more calcium compared to women over 18 years.
Protein covers all nutrition needs during these days. It helps in the development of face and other organs of a baby. Omega-3 fatty acids are the main source of protein.
Vitamins are equally important as protein and calcium. It can reduce the risk of many birth defects, premature birth, and low birth weight of a baby. It can be very beneficial for women to maintain their health during and after pregnancy.
Iron is essential to make hemoglobin and low hemoglobin level can lead to serious problem like anemia.
Teen mothers need more vitamins, proteins, iron, calcium, and folic acid. The nutritional needs of young mothers are very high so, it is vital for them to stick on healthy diet during and after pregnancy.