growth of a tiny baby inside a mother's womb is like the foundation
of a building. The diet of the mother during the 9 months of pregnancy
directly affects the foundation of a new human life. So young mothers
to be must take great care and proper advice to make sure your diet
is healthy and nutritious for your baby.
As new cells,
tissues and bones are being formed all the time, the most important
nutrients that must be supplied and that are required in excess
are protein, vitamins (specially B) and minerals. (Especially
calcium and iron).
Milk / Curds
is one of the most important foods to be consumed as it is a rich
source of protein, vitamin A and D and Calcium. Those who eat egg
may eat one egg daily during pregnancy. Chicken and fish too may
be eaten in small quantities and preferably at lunch, as they may
be difficult to digest. Restrict mutton, beef, etc. as they are
too fatty. For a good iron intake, never skip a meal, try to ensure
dhal intake at lunch and dinner and make sure you eat whole-wheat
chapati's at least once a day, preferably at dinner. Also eat fresh
fruits and vegetables daily as their supply of B and C vitamins
help the iron absorption.
In the 2nd half
of pregnancy, the need for protein and calcium are markedly increased
and therefore I would recommend that additional glasses of milk
(total 3 glasses) are consumed from the 4th or 5th month. Milk is
a rich source of protein and calcium, which are essential for the
development of the tissues and bones of the baby growing inside
and controlling Nausea and Vomiting
and vomiting are mainly caused by the changes in the hormones produced
during pregnancy. For some it is more severe than for others. It
is aggravated by any kind of emptiness in the stomach. As the baby
grows your food requirements increase and if this need is not met
by regular meals and regular timings of meals, acids build up in
the stomach and you feel nauseated. For some this is felt strongly
early in the morning and we advise you to try and eat a couple of
biscuits or a small banana even before you get out of bed. Otherwise
by the time you start brushing your teeth you may vomit. For some
this happens around 6pm if they have not eaten any thing since lunchtime.
Please make sure that you eat some biscuits and milk by 4 pm and
again have some fruit by 6pm.
and controlling Heartburn
During the last
trimester when the fetus is growing rapidly, the expanded uterus
may press against the stomach, causing contents to return to the
esophagus; the burning symptoms may be reduced somewhat with these
anti heartburn tips
- Food intake should be divided
into 4-6 small meals, which are eaten slowly in a relaxed environment.
- Spicy, high fat, and rich
foods, as well as caffeine, alcohol, and individually bothersome
items, are to be avoided.
- Food intake just prior to
bed or naptime can cause symptoms.
- Antacids should only be taken
if prescribed by the attending physician.
Those who start a pregnancy already 10,20
or more kgs overweight can become diabetic during pregnancy. Those
with family history of diabetes and overweight will be more prone
to this. Diabetes in pregnancy endangers the life of the fetus and
also can cause hypoglycemia in the new born.
Try to reduce weight before you plan a pregnancy. If you get
pregnant and you are already overweight you cannot then go on a
weight reduction diet. However you may strictly avoid fatty foods
and sweets and see that the weight gain is gradual and not in excess.
You may then not need to gain 10kgs but only 6-7 kgs throughout
the 9 months.
If you develop
diabetes you have to control the diet strictly and maintain fasting
blood sugar levels below 100mg/dl. All concentrated sugars and fried
food have to be avoided completely. Rice intake should be restricted
to once a day preferably at lunch and dry chapatti must be eaten
at dinner. Milk must be thoroughly skimmed and use previous days
milk for today's intake. Insulin may be required as per doctor's
This can be caused by excess weight gain in pregnancy, imbalanced
dietary intake and inadequate activity or movement. It is not advisable
to restrict salt severely but food items like chips, mixture, papads,
and pickles must be strictly avoided if B.P rises. Weight gain should
be controlled and slow walking both morning and evening must be
alcohol, smoking etc
you shouldn't eat?
a category, you should avoid "junk foods" - Potato chips,
mixture, vada, bajji etc. Pastries, cookies, chocolates, mitai and
other snacks that fill you up without providing nutrition. Occasional
snacking isn't harmful, however. You also may find that certain
foods make you uncomfortable because they produce gas that presses
on the abdomen. Avoid addition of butter and ghee to bread, rice
or chapatti. The oil used in regular cooking is sufficient for your
body. Fad diets and weight reduction diets like cabbage soup diet,
GM diet, etc should not be followed during pregnancy.
Try to ensure that the following
are included in your daily menu plan
- 2 Fruits - One at 11 am and
one at 6 pm
- 2 Salads - One cup at lunch
and one cup at dinner
- 2 Servings Dhal / Pulses
-Half to one cup at lunch and at dinner
- 3-4 glasses Milk/Curd - Through
out the day as milk, coffee, tea, curds, buttermilk etc.
- 2-3 liters Water- Through
out the day
Regular walking is very good during pregnancy as it improves the
circulation and keeps one feeling healthy
and fit. Walking is the safest exercise to take up during all stages
of pregnancyAfter the 4th month or so, regular walks are very helpful
and I would recommend 20-30 min in the morning and 20 min in the
evening too. This improves the circulation and keep the appetite
healthy and makes the muscles strong in the legs and hips, which
ensures a smooth delivery.Never go for a walk on an empty stomach
as it may cause giddiness and result in a fall. However if for any
reason the doctor advises you not to walk you have to follow her
During the last
trimester, as the weight increases
more rapidly, you may not be able to walk as far as earlier. Do
not strain and force yourself to cover the earlier distance. Just
try to complete 20 mins. at a moderate pace. But again try to walk
both in the morning and evening rather than just once for a long
duration, 4-5 km may take 45-60 min on an average and I would say,
this could be too much in pregnancy, 20-30 min is safe.
The ideal weight
gain through 9 months should be between 10 -12 kgs.
- (13 weeks) 1.5 - 2kgs
2 trimester - (26 weeks) 4kgs
3 trimester - ( 39 weeks) 4kgs
39 to 40 weeks 10kgs
Note: "Please strictly avoid overeating or eating for 2".
You are eating normally for yourself and a tiny baby not an other