Underweight During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a very exciting time in life, but may also make you feel very stressful at times. During stress, some women may turn to food for comfort, whereas some women may start neglecting their diet, in fear of gaining weight during pregnancy from those oh so famous pregnancy craving symptoms.

But if women start neglecting their diet during pregnancy they may pose their unborn babies to serious harm. Since the growing baby in your uterus depends on you for nourishment. This makes eating right during pregnancy extremely important if you want a healthy baby, particularly if you're underweight to begin with.

Risks of Being Underweight

If you're underweight while pregnancy, you might put your baby at a higher risk of developing serious birth defects and undergoing a premature birth. According to the American Dietetic Association, if your diet doesn't include at least 400 micrograms of folic acid, you put your baby at a higher risk of being born with Spina Bifida, a condition where the spine of the baby fails to close during pregnancy. Babies born with Spina Bifida experience a number of physical challenges.

So to be on the safe side, you should try to include at least 600 to 800 micrograms of folic acid into your diet by eating foods rich in folic acid. Some foods high in folic acid include:

  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Spinach
  • Asparagus
  • Orange Juice
  • Breads
  • Breakfast Cereals

Learn more about what to eat during pregnancy by reading through our Pregnancy Nutrition article.

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