1. Pregnant women require additional nutrients because they are also developing another human being within their body. They can no longer rely on the nutritional needs they had prior to becoming pregnant. These additional nutrients are crucial to fully developing the fetus and producing a healthy baby. Pregnant women should focus on eating a balanced diet that includes: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats. They should also focus on eating additional iron, folic acid, and calcium on top of the recommended daily needs of a non-pregnant woman.
Hannah could develop anemia if she does not consume enough iron in her diet, this would lead to issues with clotting and other bloodborne issues. Anemia could also affect the baby negatively by causing bleeding issues at birth. Folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects that could affect the spinal cord. Without the addition of folic acid (which is prevalent in prenatal vitamins), a fetus can develop birth defects that range from being stillborn to having lifelong ailments. Gestational diabetes is also something that Hannah and the baby are at higher risk for if she continues having a poor diet.
I would recommend to Hannah that she focus on eating a healthier, more well-balanced diet throughout the day. This would include eating at least three full, balanced meals throughout the day, as well as healthy snacks between meals. She needs to realize she is no longer eating just for her and that the baby eats what she eats. So, although it won’t hurt much to eat a small bag of chips as a snack once in a while, she needs to adjust her diet to include more fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. She should also begin taking prenatal vitamins to assist in supplementing those additional nutrients she may be lacking at the moment.
2. Hannah’s breakfast consists of a coffee and a croissant. Although it is still okay to have caffeine in small doses while pregnant, this can still pose a future risk to her baby. “High levels of caffeine in pregnancy can result in babies having low birthweight, which can increase the risk of health problems in late life,” (NHS, 2018). Furthermore, in extreme cases, this may cause a miscarriage. Carrying on throughout the day, she often skips lunch or eats chips from the vending machine which is adding to the lack of nutrients for not just herself, but for her baby as well. Luckily, she ends up having a well-rounded dinner with her family.
Since Hannah is underweight, this can be very detrimental to her baby’s health. Two major risks would be: Premature Birth and Low Birth Weight. Premature birth is when the baby is born approximately a month before it reaches full term, or 40 weeks. The low birth weight is when the baby is roughly under five and a half pounds which can put the child “at risk for health and development problems as they get older,” (WomensHealth, 2018). Some nutritional recommendations would be to balance out her diet instead of only having 1/3 of a well balanced meal per day. Furthermore, choose foods that are high in Vitamin C & B6, Iron, Calcium, Folic Acid, Protein, Fiber, and Fatty Acids, because these nutrients, such as folic acid will create a “formation of baby’s spinal cord and brain systems, tissue growth, and cell division,” (Lamaze, 2020). Overall, when you are pregnant, you must be cognizant that you are providing nutrients to your baby, not just yourself, so be aware of what you should and shouldn’t be putting into your body.