DIET DURING PRGENANCY
Pregnancy is a period of great physiological stress for the woman as she is nurturing a growing foetus in her body. There are a lot of physiological, biochemical, and hormonal changes occurring in the maternal body which influences the need for nutrients.
Importance of Nutrition on the outcome of Pregnancy
As the mother is the source of all nutrients to foetus, health of the newborn depends on the nutritional status of mother during pregnancy and prior to conception. A mother who has been well nourished prior to conception enters pregnancy with a reserve of several nutrients that can meet the needs of growing foetus without affecting her own health. Such a mother suffers fewer complications during pregnancy. So, it becomes all the more important for women who eat a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet if they are planning for a family.
The mother’s diet during pregnancy has a direct influence on the foetal growth and hence, the size and health of the newborn. Mother’s eating an inadequate diet during this period give birth to low birth weight babies which are generally premature as well.
Poor diet during pregnancy also affects the mother’s health. A malnourished mother provides nutrients to the foetus on the expense of her own tissues. This increases the risk of complications during pregnancy and at the time of delivery.
Inadequate diet during pregnancy also affects the health of the baby after birth. The babies born to the undernourished mothers develop nutritional deficiencies like anaemia, rickets etc or suffer from infectious diseases due to lack of immunity.
Since, a well nourished mother is likely to have an uneventful pregnancy, normal labour and give birth to a healthy child, it is imperative to meet the nutritional needs of the pregnant mother adequately.
Dietary guidelines during Pregnancy
The pregnancy is divided into three trimesters with respect to growth and development of foetus; hence the nutritional requirements also differ in the three trimesters. First trimester is the phase of hormonal and physiological changes, so qualitative improvement has to be done in the diet in terms of adding more of fruits and fibre along with good quality proteins in the diet.
During the second and third trimester, the calorie requirement increase to an additional of 300Kcal per day. The healthy diet for pregnancy should focus on
Eating a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need. Recommended daily servings include 6-11 servings of breads and grains, two to four servings of fruit, four or more servings of vegetables, four servings of dairy products, and three servings of protein sources (meat, poultry, fish, eggs or nuts). Use fats and sweets sparingly.
Select foods high in fiber that are enriched such as whole-grain breads, cereals, fruits, and vegetables.
Choose at least one good source of folic acid every day, like dark green leafy vegetables, and legumes (lima beans, black beans, black-eyed peas and chickpeas). Every pregnant woman needs at least 0.4 mg of folic acid per day to help prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Choose at least one source of vitamin A every other day. Sources of vitamin A include carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, spinach, water squash, turnip greens, beet greens, apricots, and cantaloupe.
Eat and drink at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods a day to help ensure that you are getting 1000-1300 mg of calcium in your daily diet during pregnancy.
Eat at least three servings of iron-rich foods per day to ensure you are getting 27 mg of iron daily.
Choose at least one good source of vitamin C every day, such as oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, honeydew, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, green peppers, tomatoes, and mustard greens. Pregnant women need 70 mg of vitamin C a day.
Since Pregnancy is a period wanting for proper nutritional care, Dietitian is the best person to prepare detailed trimester wise plan as per your requirements.
Contact your nearest Diet Mantra Clinic to consult our Expert Dietician for a personalized Diet planning during Pregnancy.