Eat Wise when Pregnant

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Pregnancy is a very crucial phase in a woman’s life. This 9 months journey changes a woman’s life forever. In these few months, she understands the meaning of life. She nurtures that tiny soul inside her body and gets one with it. The fetus is entirely dependent on its mother for its sustenance.  A woman’s’ body undergoes numerous miraculous transformations in these 9 months. It is true that nature has made a woman in such a way that her body can ensure safety health and well being of her child in every way but it becomes very important that the mother is not left unattended. The child becomes the replica of its mother. If the mother has been healthy during gestation, the arriving child will also be a healthy one and vice verse. Hence, utmost care is taken to ensure that the newly arriving life and the nurturing mother both remain safe and sound. Proper care needs to be taken on each and every aspect to make this journey a happy one.

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The medical field has evolved significantly and close monitoring of the developing child is now possible. An array of medicines is available which help the nurturing mother to cope up with all the complications. But are medicines all that is needed to ensure a healthy child birth? The answer is obviously no.

The most important thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the nutritional needs of a pregnant increase by several folds as the developing child derives all its nutrition from the mother’s body. Hence it is important to make sure that the mother gets a highly nutritional diet. A lot of people mistake nutritional for high calorific diet. We need to understand what will prove beneficial and what can harm the child and plan a mother’s diet accordingly. Here are a few suggestions that one can adopt during pregnancy.

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The diet pattern should be decided keeping in mind the phase of pregnancy. The first 3 months do not need extra food or calories as the baby does not start growing until the 4th month. In this month you just need to be careful with what you eat.

  • Smoking :

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Keep in mind that smoking is a big No-No during the entire 9 months of pregnancy. Cigarettes contain tobacco which contains nicotine. Nicotine can pass through placenta and reach the fetus. This can cause several complications on child birth.

 

  • Fruits and Veggies : -

It is important to incorporate fruits and vegetables in the diet when you are pregnant. Fruits are a rich source of mineral as well as anti oxidants. These are very essential for the developing fetus. Anti oxidants also protect the fetus from harmful free radicals. Fruits and especially vegetables contain fibers which help in cleaning of the gut. The indigestible fibers help in easy bowel movement and thus prevent constipation which is a very common problem during pregnancy. Approximately five serving in a day are sufficient to take care of your daily needs.

 

  • Dairy : -

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Dairy products are also to be included in the diet. Make sure that your incorporate dairy products like low fat milk, low fat yogurt, curd, some cheese and buttermilk. It is important for a pregnant woman to take in around 1000 to 1300 mcg of calcium. Dairy product being rich in calcium is a perfect source. The approximate intake would be to have around 4 servings of dairy product in a day.

 

  • Beans and eggs : -

Another nutrient of immense value is protein. A growing fetus needs a lot of proteins and hence it is very important to keep the diet protein rich. The best food items for this are beans and eggs. In addition one can also include pulses, nuts, fish as well as poultry.

 

  • Iodine: -

Iodine is a very important mineral as it is required for the regulation of a lot of metabolic functions. Iodine also helps in the development of the brain and the entire nervous system of the growing fetus hence a woman should include 250 micrograms of Iodine in the diet on a daily basis.

 

  • Folic Acid : -

Folate or folic acid is basically a class of vitamin B. This particular nutrient is very essential during the early phase of pregnancy as it helps to protect the fetus against congenital abnormalities. Folate deficiency causes a birth defect which is termed as neural birth defect. Folate also prevents cleft palate as well as heart defects in the new born baby.

 

While planning the diet a woman should keep in mind the weight gain parameter. Check out this parameter depending on your BMI (Body Mass Index) –

BMI from 18 to 25 – weight gain over the entire 9 months should be between 11 and 16 kg.

BMI from 25 to 30 – weight gain over the entire 9 months should be between 07 and 11 kg.

BMI less than 18 – weight gain over the entire 9 months should be between 12 and 18 kg.

The weight gain in the first trimester should not be more than 2 to 3 kgs.

These stats are of significance when you are expecting a single baby. But the picture changes to a large extent when the mother is expecting multiple babies like twins or triplets. In such a case, the entire gestation period is to be monitored very closely. Seek your doctor’s advice while planning your diet chart in such times.

Also keep in mind that it is not just those 9 months where in you have to take care of your body. Be very careful with the food you eat and the medicines you take even after delivery especially when you breast feed the child.

Hope these few simple suggestion will help you in the most important and heart warming experience of your life. The baby care starts right from the moment when it is still a fetus. Hence make sure that you take good care of yourself.

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