Are you aware of the vital role that your diet plays during pregnancy? A healthy pregnancy diet is founded on a basis of nutrient-rich whole foods, supplying essential vitamins and minerals for both you and your baby. While there are specific foods to avoid and precautions to take, maintaining a well-balanced diet that supports your baby’s growth and development is crucial. We had the opportunity to speak with Swathi, a Dietician at Manipal Hospital, Vijayawada, who outlined the dietary requirements during pregnancy and provided insights into what’s safe and unsafe to eat.
Swathi emphasized, ‘Pregnant women should give priority to their diet to address the unique nutritional needs of their unborn babies. The body demands additional nutrients during this period, with an extra intake of 400-500 kcal per day recommended during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.’ According to the Journal of Family and Community Medicine, inadequate nutrition during pregnancy affects not only the newborn but also has adverse consequences for the mother’s well-being. When a pregnant woman’s diet falls short of supplying the essential nutrients for both her own needs and those of the fetus, the fetus compensates by depleting these nutrients from the mother’s tissues. This depletion can weaken the mother, increasing the risk of severe complications and the likelihood of giving birth to a Low Birth Weight (LBW) infant who may face difficulties with adequate feeding during the early stages of life.
Foods To Add To Your Diet During Pregnancy
Swathi provided a list of food items to incorporate into your pregnancy diet, which includes:
Dairy products play a vital role in fulfilling the heightened protein and calcium needs. Protein is essential for the development of your baby’s tissues and organs, while calcium is crucial for bone formation. Include yogurt, cottage cheese (paneer), clarified butter (ghee), and milk in your diet to boost calcium levels and aid the growing fetus.
Eggs are frequently hailed as a superfood because of their high content of vitamins, proteins, and minerals. They contribute to the growth of the baby by generating and repairing fetal cells. Eggs are also a rich source of choline, which is crucial for the development of the baby’s brain and nervous system.
Bananas are a valuable source of folic acid, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants, which can enhance immunity and promote better vision.
Legumes and pulses offer plant-based protein, fiber, calcium, and essential iron, all of which are essential for the health of expectant mothers.
Nuts and oilseeds are rich in healthy fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, along with protein and fiber, which aid in the development of the fetal brain.
Do’s and Don’ts During Pregnancy
Do’s During Pregnancy
- Eat regular, small meals at scheduled intervals.
- Incorporate a generous amount of fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens, into your diet,
- and ensure you stay well-hydrated.
- Take a 15-20 minute walk after each meal.
- Consume tea and coffee in moderation.
- Include a moderate quantity of nuts and oilseeds in your diet.
Don’ts During Pregnancy
- Avoid processed, packaged, deep-fried, and unhealthy foods, as well as carbonated beverages containing MSG (monosodium glutamate).
- Refrain from eating raw papaya, pineapple, sesame seeds, and soya milk, as these may trigger contractions.
- Take measures to manage stress for better mental health.
- Avoid high-mercury fish.
- Steer clear of partially cooked eggs, smoked, or grilled non-vegetarian dishes.
- Do not consume raw milk (packaged) to mitigate potential risks.
The information provided in this article is shared by a registered healthcare professional and is intended for informational purposes solely. It is recommended that you seek advice from your own specialist for a personalized dietary plan that suits your specific requirements.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutrition_and_pregnancy