Healthy eating during pregnancy is critical to your baby's growth and development in utero. In order to get the nutrients you need, you must eat from a variety of food groups, including fruits and vegetables, bread and grains, protein sources and dairy products. The diet has to be balanced and varied, in order to meet all the requirements of both, the mother and the baby.
At no other time in life is nutrition as important as before, during, and after pregnancy. On the other hand, women can still, eat out several times a week, or order pizzas/burgers to go, as long as they also follow a few simple eating-for-two dietary guidelines.
If there are pre-existing conditions such as Polycystic ovaries, thyroid abnormalities, diabetes, etc, it might be wiser to actually take a proper appointment with a dietician and follow a tailor-made diet plan.
What to keep in mind when you are eating-for Two during Pregnancy
The categories of food that have to be included in any pregnant woman’s armamentarium are:
Fruits and Vegetables
Five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables (including at least one serving of a dark vegetable, two servings of dark green leafy vegetables, and one serving of citrus fruit). These are loaded with antioxidants.
Bread and Cereals
Six servings of enriched, whole-grain bread and cereals. The quantities can be adjusted as per the individual needs and other conditions like Gestational Diabetes, PIH, etc.
Three servings of nonfat or low-fat milk or milk products. In case of Lactose Intolerance, this intake has to be reduced. Fresh yogurt is an excellent probiotic to help keep the gut flora healthy, which is very crucial during the pregnant state.
- Two to three servings of extra-lean meats, chicken without the skin, fish, or cooked dried beans and peas.
- Nuts and legumes in adequate proportions.
Eight glasses of water, and plenty of fluid intakes. (The pregnant state is predisposed to urine infections, which if not diagnosed or treated adequately, can be the cause for Preterm labour.
It is also very important to be on Folic acid supplements 5 mg, at least 3 months antenatally, in order to prevent Neural tube defects in the foetus.
Pregnancy causes a slowing of the forward peristalsis and predisposes to constipation. Therefore, a balanced diet, with all of the above, incorporated in adequate measures will majorly help to overcome this. Also one needs to take care at small frequent intervals, in order to reduce chances of acidity and too much nausea. Frequent, healthy dry snacks too are very useful in keeping in check sudden hypoglycaemic episodes.
And last, but not the least, one needs to keep the body, mind, and soul in a state of happiness, which can be brought upon by a healthy lifestyle, good diet, appropriate exercise and a joyous state of anticipation
The author, Dr. Madanki Srinivasan is a Fertility Consultant at Care IVF Kolkata. View her profile here. For an appointment with her call 033-66-398-600.