Diet For Healthy Pregnancy: What To Eat, What Not To Eat

By Himanshi Sharma, Senior Dietitian, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi

Nurturing a baby in the womb is like a dream comes true for every woman. One must say it is a divine blessing coming from the universe. A well-balanced diet and protein rich foods, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fibres, fruits, and nuts and vegetables play a vital role in developing and nurturing the baby. Every pregnant woman must pay attention to diet and eating methods.

The doctor may prescribe some vitamins, calcium, iron supplements and folic tablets. A healthy diet during pregnancy and timely check-up and following doctor’s advice will help in decrease the odds of experiencing  pregnancy related complications like anaemia and gestational diabetes etc. and makes the pregnancy comfortable.

Your Diet Plan During Pregnancy

  • Don’t smoke and don’t drink: Quitting the habit of smoking and drinking help you ensure safe and healthy prenatal development.
  • Get Essential Nutrients: In the first month of pregnancy, it is advisable to get essential nutrients like folic acid, calcium and iron supplements under the guidance of treating doctor.
  • Pregnancy Exercise Class: You may take a pregnancy exercise class under the guidance of professional trainers and be sure to check with your doctor before starting any exercise programme.
  • Drink adequate amount of water: Drinking adequate amount of water can prevent constipation, UTI’s, fatigue, headache, swelling and other uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms.
  • Eat well-balanced diet: In addition to drinking 8 to 12 glasses of water each day, it is advisable to eat 6 to 8 well balanced and healthy meals with plenty of folate rich foods like fortified cereals, lentils, orange juice and so on etc.
  • Include iron-rich foods in your diet:  Iron is one of the most difficult nutrients to get enough during pregnancy. Make sure you include several iron rich foods like gur, bhuna Chana, leafy veges, in daily diet and cooking in iron utensils is the best way to get iron. Try to consume iodine a iron-fortified salt.
  • Eat small meals: To avoid the problem of heart burn eat small meals more often and try to eat slowly and avoid spicy and fatty foods. Try to make a habit of taking liquids between the meals instead of with meals. and don’t lie down soon after eating.
  • Protein-rich foods: Foods such as lentils, soya, almonds, walnuts, tofu, milk and pdts, are the richest sources of protein these foods are very essential for babies growth and development.
  • Foods such as curd, milk, paneer provided much-needed calcium protein and vitamins for baby’s bones.

Approx an average a healthy plate consists of 50% fruits and veges.25 % whole grain and 25 % lean protein.

Things to Avoid
  • Raw meat: Uncooked sea food and uncooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria and salmonella.
  • Fish with mercury: Fish that contains high level of mercury should be avoided. It may results in delays development and brain development issues.
  • Raw eggs: Raw eggs or any food that contain raw eggs should be avoided. Because of exposure to salmonella.
  • Unpasteurized milk: It may contain Listeria try to make sure any milk you drink is pasteurized.
  • Caffeine: Although, it’s contradictory as many studies shows caffeine intake in moderation is permissible, there are others caffeine intake may be related to miscarriages
    In general caffeine should be limited to fewer during pregnancy and advisable to take under guidance of treating doctor and Dietitian. It is important that you are drinking plenty of water, juice, and milk rather than caffeinated beverages. Some research shows excessive intake of caffeine results In premature birth, miscarriages, low birth weight etc.
  • Alcohol: Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is not recommended and it’s not safe to consume results in many health and development disorders
    And it must continue to avoid consuming alcohol during breast feeding time period.
  • Seasame seeds: Dry Seasame seeds were earlier used as a medicine for causing abortion. It is advisable to avoid it during crucial months of pregnancy. Where almonds, walnuts, raisins are safe to consume under moderation.
  • Papaya: papain and Pepsin contents in papaya restrict fetal growth and papaya is said to stimulate an abortion. It is advisable to avoid strictly intake of papaya during pregnancy.
  • Ajinomotto and junk and processed foods: It is advisable to avoid it’s consumption to protect baby growth and for safe and healthy pregnancy.
  • Pineapple: It is believed that pine apple can make body heated up rapidly which may can cause pre mature birth or abortion. In excess of everything may results bad and nonetheless having in little quantity is safe during pregnancy.
  • Fennel and fenugreek seeds: In a very little quantity and use an ingredient for taste is ok but eating in continuation and constantly in large amount a big no.
  • Grapes: It is advisable to avoid as they additionally are found to increase body temp.
    It is difficult to stay away from these delightful delicious but avoiding the mentioned above will help enjoy safe pregnancy.
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