Nutrition for Pregnancy – What should be your diet during pregnancy?

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What is nutrition during pregnancy?
Nutrition and pregnancy refer to the nutrient intake and dietary planning that is undertaken during pregnancy. Nutrition of the fetus begins at conception. For this reason, the nutrition of the mother is important from before conception as well as throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.

How many calories should be taken during pregnancy?
Frankly speaking, there is no extra need of calories during 1st Trimester of Pregnancy. Even a normal balanced diet of 25 Kcals/ PBW can be taken.

Why Folic acid supplementation should be taken during the first trimester?

  • Folic Acid is the major micronutrient which the body needs during these 3 months of pregnancy, As it helps in the development of the brain, skull and spinal cord of the fetus.
  • 400 microgram of folic acid from tablet + eat food rich in this vitamin.

What are the sources of Folic acid which can be taken through diet?
Sources : Dark green leafy vegetables like Spinach/ coriander/mint, broccoli/cabbage/bhindi/ pulses, peas, orange, eggs are also good sources of folic acid.
Tip: Folic acid is lost during cooking so steam the vegetables or cook in little water.

Why Iron supplementation should be consumed during pregnancy?
Iron is required to prevent anemia, infection and to support baby’s growth & brain development. Baby stores iron in his / her liver which is sufficient for a baby for first 6 months of like ( as mothers milk is not rich in iron)

What are the dietary sources of Iron?
Sources and Tips : Lean meat/ chicken/ fish/ pulses/ legumes/ nuts/ Leafy veg.For better absorption have Vit C rich fruits and vegetables with or just after meals. e.g. Lemon Juice.

Is Calcium needed during Pregnancy?
Calcium is required for baby’s bone teeth and to keep you healthy ( to prevent calcium loss from your body) Sources and Tips: Low-fat dairy products( Milk/ Curds/ Paneer), Fish, soya, almonds, figs, apricot, green leafy, amaranth ( rajgeera) Along with calcium Vit D is required Calcium is absorbed in presence of Vit D. Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D. So make sure you go for walk or do yoga in sunlight preferentially between 8-10 am.

How to cope up with Nausea during Pregnancy?

  • Avoid staying on an empty stomach.
  • Eat small and regular meals.
  • Don’t drink with meals, Drink fluids or beverages like lemon water/ kokum juice/ Buttermilk in between meals.
  • Avoid strong odor’s.
  • Include foods that ease nausea-like ginger, fennel, fresh mint, lemon, basil, cinnamon.
  • Listen to good music and try to be happy and fresh.
  • Enjoy your pregnancy.

How to cope with Constipation?

  • Increase water intake. Have minimum 3 liters of fluids a day including water.
  • Increase servings of fruits and vegetable to 4-5 servings of each.
  • Increase whole grains and millet’s in the diet.
  • Avoid refining flour ( Maida), ready to eat items and Junks.
  • Be active. Do low-risk exercises like walking or low-intensity aerobic exercises.

* Talk to the doctor if have issues like low line placenta.

What is Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (PIH) and What all Dietary changes need to be done to manage PIH?
Pregnancy-induced hypertension (PIH) is common in pregnancy, it may be mild to severe. PIH result’s in protein urea, increase in blood pressure, etc. Monitor your blood pressure regularly. Increase your protein intake: Egg whites, Soya protein, milk, curds, whey, nuts are good sources of protein in the diet. Restrict your salt intake. Include coconut water, the fruit’s in your diet.

What is GDM ( Gestational Diabetes) and How to manage with diet?

  • GDM or Gestational Diabetes is a rise in blood glucose during pregnancy.
  • Make sure your blood glucose levels are in control, so include Fiber in each meal.
  • Avoid sugar, honey jaggery in the diet.
  • Have small and frequent meals.
  • Talk to a registered dietitian to manage sugars in GDM.

What all things to be done post 35th week:

  • Visit your doctor every week or if you observe the less fetal movement.
  • Observe fetal movements if found low have fluids and juices.
  • Have lots of Fruits and Vegetables in Diet to prevent constipation.
  • Monitor your Blood Pressure and Blood glucose.
  • Do Breathing exercises and other exercises recommended by your gynecologist.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking throughout the pregnancy.

What all foods to be avoided during pregnancy?
Raw or uncooked fish especially shell fish, Fish high in mercury, raw egg, raw meat, unpasteurized dairy, unwashed fruits and vegetables, unwashed dry fruits, excessive caffeine, herbal supplementation and canned food. Avoid alcohol and smoking.

Dr. Shamika Gavade
Nutritionist – Currae Gynaec Birthing IVF Hospital .

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