Diet In Pregnancy
- A healthy and balanced diet will help you feel good and provide everything you and your baby need.
- The baby totally depends on you for its nourishment, so it’s critical to get all the nutrients in your diet.
- In pregnancy, you don’t need to “eat for 2”. You only need to consume about 300 calories more per day.
Pregnancy Diet Planner in Jaipur | Nutritionist Specialist for Pregnant Women
If you are pregnant or are planning a pregnancy, a balanced diet is of utmost importance as it keeps you healthy and helps in growth and development of the baby.
A balanced diet is composed of different foods with right balance of nutrients, i.e. proteins, carbs, vitamins, minerals and fats that leads to a healthy pregnancy.
Generally our balanced diet takes care of everything we need during pregnancy, but folic acid supplement is recommended to avoid neural tube defects in baby.
Do you need to “eat for 2”?
There is a misconception that during pregnancy, mothers need to eat extra for the baby also apart from herself. But it’s absolutely a wrong statement. There is no need to eat extra even if you are carrying twins or triplets.
One should never miss on the breakfast and should have a healthy one daily as it avoids craving for food high in fat and sugar. Keep changing the amounts and variety of foods you eat to get the right balance of everything.
What’s the take on Fruit and vegetables in pregnancy?
One should consume plenty of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy because they are rich source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, which helps digestion and prevents from constipation, which is bound to increase during pregnancy due to hormonal influence. Fresh fruits and vegetables are preferred over packed once, and have to be cleaned thoroughly before use.
Carbohydrates in pregnancy
They are important source of energy and and should cover over one-third of your food.The examples of carbohydrate rich food are cereals, potatoes, rice, bread, noodles, oats, maize, millet, cornmeal and pasta. One should choose wholegrain or higher-fibre diet like whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, brown bread etc over refined ones.
Proteins in pregnancy
Protein-rich foods include:
- Meat (but avoid liver)
All these food items are safe in pregnancy when consumed in correct way. Avoid undercooked meat as it can be the source of serious infections. Fish is a rich source of proteins but shark fish, swordfish and marlin should be avoided when planning pregnancy. Also, no more than two portions of fish should be consumed in a week as it may contain toxins/ pollutants
Dairy foods in pregnancy
Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, and yoghurt are rich source of calcium but low-fat variety should be preferred wherever possible.
While using dairy alternatives such as soya drinks, go for unsweetened, calcium-fortified versions.
Unpasteurized cheese should be avoided in pregnancy.
Foods that are high in fats and sugar
They are rich in calories, which ultimately contribute to weight gain when consumed in good quantity. This further increases the cholesterol in blood and hence, the chances of heart disease.
Foods that are high in fat, sugar, or both, include butter, oils, cream, chocolate, chips, cakes, biscuits, pasteries etc.
Foods and drinks with high fat and sugar content should be used less often and in small amounts.
Replace foods containing saturated fatty acids with foods containing unsaturated fatty acids, such as vegetable oils.
Healthy snacks in pregnancy
Hunger cramps are common in pregnancy, but try not to eat snacks that are high in fat and/or sugar, such as chips, chocolates, sweets and biscuits. You can opt for something healthy such as small sandwiches, vegetables salad such as carrot or cucumber, plain yoghurt, apricots, figs, vegetable and bean soups, wheat porridge.
While Pregnant, you are not just eating alone. Whatever, you eat is shared by your child. Hence it is important to eat well during pregnancy. Other than this, a healthy diet will contribute in the growth and development of your child.
Preparing food safely
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.
- Clean all surfaces and utensils, and your hands, after preparing raw foods (poultry, meat, eggs, fish, shellfish and raw vegetables) to avoid food poisoning.
- Raw foods should be stored separately from ready-to-eat foods, to avoid cross contamination
- Use a separate knife and chopping board for raw meats.
- Meat (but avoid liver)
- Meat should be cooked very thoroughly until steaming all the way through.
Dr. Mayuri Kothiwala commends a balanced diet to help mothers gain maximum nutrients. It will include a variety of fruits and vegetables, breads and grains, protein sources and dairy products. Regular blood tests help doctor to know what is lacking and can hinder the fetal growth.
Other than a healthy diet, the pregnant mothers are also supposed to eat pre-natal vitamins to obtain nutrients. These nutrients like folic acids are hard to get from food and hence taken in form of medicines.