Adequate nutrition during pregnancy has greater potential for a long-term health impact than it does any other time. The mother’s diet should produce adequate nutrients so that maternal stores do not get depleted and produce sufficient milk to nourish her child after birth.
A quick glance at some easy diet tips to follow when you are pregnant to ensure you supply your body with adequate nutrition.
1. Small and frequent meals should be taken. Fasting or missing meal should be avoided.
2. Consumption of eggs and other nonvegetarian foods helps in meeting increased protein demands.
3. More fiber should be added to the diet to prevent constipation which is a common problem during pregnancy. 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables should be included in the daily diet.
4. Diet rich in calcium to prevent osteomalacia. Calcium supplements may also be taken. A minimum of 3 glasses of milk is recommended.
5. Iron-rich foods should be taken to prevent anemia and to build up iron stores in the fetal body. Iron supplements may be taken. The inclusion of green leafy vegetables ensures iron and calcium supply.
6. Diet should contain the optimum amount of sodium. In the case of edema or hypertension, sodium is restricted.
7. Raw fruits and vegetables should be included in the diet to meet Vitamin C and fiber requirements.
8. Plenty of water should be taken to keep bowel movements regular and maintain amniotic fluid.
9. Fatty rich foods, fried foods, excessive seasoning, strongly flavored vegetables may be restricted in case of nausea and gastric distress.
10. Avoid too much coffee or tea.
11. The diet should include fish, flax, and soya bean to meet the requirement of omega-3 fatty acids.
12. Fluids should be taken between meals rather than with meals.
13. An adequate amount of calories should be taken so that enough fat is deposited during pregnancy which is required for lactation.
14. Sugar substitute should be used in moderation during pregnancy as the effects on the fetus are inconclusive.
15. Weight reduction regimens are not recommended because of the effect of ketosis on the fetus.
16. Do not curb your cravings unless prohibited. If your cravings are generally an unhealthy option, take them in small amounts.
17. Eat five or six well-balanced meals with plenty of folate-rich foods like fortified cereals, asparagus, lentils, wheat germ, oranges, and orange juice. “Folic acid is crucial for the proper development of the baby’s neural tube (it covers the spinal cord), and it’s vital for the creation of new red blood cells.
18. Eliminate toxins because of their link to birth defects, miscarriage, and other problems. You should avoid tobacco, alcohol, illicit drugs, and even solvents such as paint thinners and nail polish remover while pregnant. Smoking cigarettes, for example, decreases oxygen flow to your baby; it’s linked to preterm birth and other complications. “If you can’t stop smoking, drinking, or using drugs, let your doctor know.
M. Sc. Gold Medalist