Waiting for long to see those two pink lines on the pregnancy test and when it finally happens, you know your world is about to change. It’s an unexplainable feeling to know that you are pregnant and are soon going to welcome a mini version of you in this world. But in this happiness, don’t ignore your diet and health.
A baby reflects what a mother eats and drinks during pregnancy. A to-be-mother should consume healthy foods and beverages to provide the important nutrients a baby needs for growth and development.
In this blog you will learn:
- Key pregnancy nutrition
- Foods that are healthy
- Foods that are unhealthy
- Health and nutrition in each trimester
Key pregnancy nutrition
A pregnant woman needs more folic acid, calcium, iron& protein than a woman who is not expecting.
- Folic acid: it is crucial in preventing birth defects in the baby’s brain and spinal cord. It is found in leafy green vegetables, fortified or enriched cereals, bread and pasta, beans, citrus fruits.
- Calcium: it helps in building baby’s bones and teeth. If a mother does not consume enough calcium, the mineral will be drawn from her bones and given to the baby. It is found in milk, yogurt, cheese, calcium-fortified juices and foods, sardines or salmon with bones, kale, bok choy.
- Iron: To-be mothers require 28 milligrams of iron a day. Not getting enough iron during pregnancy can lead to anemia, which results in fatigue and an increased risk of infections. Found in meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, iron-fortified cereal.
- Protein: More protein is a builder nutrient, it helps to build important organs in the baby, such as the brain and heart. It is found in meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, eggs, nuts, tofu.
During pregnancy, the goal is to be eating nutritious foods most of the time. Pregnancy diet is divided into four food groups: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, and dairy products.
- Fruits and vegetables: Pregnant women should focus on fruits and vegetables, especially during the second and third trimesters. They are low in calories and filled with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Get between a 6-8 bowl of fruits and veggies every day.
- Lean protein: Pregnant women should include good protein sources at every meal to support the baby’s growth. Protein-rich foods include meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, cheese, milk, nuts, and seeds.
- Whole grains: These foods are an important source of energy in the diet, provide fiber, iron, and B-vitamins. Half of a pregnant woman’s carbohydrate should come from whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta or bread and brown rice.
- Dairy: A pregnant woman should consume at least 3-4 servings of dairy per day. Dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese are good dietary sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D.
Foods that are unhealthy
- Caffeine: Consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine a day can contribute to miscarriage or premature birth.
- Alcohol: Alcohol in the mother’s blood can pass directly to the baby through the umbilical cord. Consumption of alcohol during pregnancy can lead to fetal disorders, physical problems, as well as learning and behavioral difficulties in babies
- Fish with high levels of mercury: Seafood such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, and tilefish are high in levels of methylmercury which harmful to an unborn baby’s developing brain, kidneys and nervous system.
- Unpasteurized food: pregnant women are at high risk of getting sick from food poisoning caused by unpasteurized food. Infection may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and illness or death in newborns
- Raw meat: A mother can pass the infection on to her baby, which can cause problems such as blindness and mental disability later in life. Avoid raw fish such as sushi, shellfish, clams, oysters, Raw or undercooked eggs, such as soft-cooked, runny or poached eggs Foods containing undercooked eggs, such as raw cookie dough or cake batter, tiramisu, chocolate mousse, homemade ice cream, homemade eggnog, Hollandaise sauce. Raw or undercooked sprouts, such as alfalfa, clover.
HEALTH & NUTRITION IN EACH TRIMESTER
Mother and baby:
During 1st-trimester mother’s body goes through numerous hormonal changes that affect the whole body. Changes that can be noticed in mothers during the first trimester are tiredness, morning sickness, nausea, vomiting, strong food cravings, constipation, weight gain/loss, and your baby starts the formation of all internal organs, Heart starts beating, Nerve & Muscle development starts, Arms –legs-eyes starts developing.
- Protein: protein is important for Cell formation & Weight Gain it is found in Milk & its products, Sprouts, Poultry
- Folic Acid: Folic is necessary for nerve development. Found in Spinach, Egg Yolk, Whole wheat flour, Walnuts, Peanuts
- Vitamin C: it is necessary for Tissue formation it is found in Fresh fruits, orange, lemons, amla, guava tomato, capsicum
- Vitamin B12: For Brain development. Found in Meats, Milk, Eggs
Mother and baby:
This is a vital phase in pregnancy as important developments occur in the baby. Mother can see changes like a backache, Tingling/numbness in hands, Nausea/vomiting, swelling on foot, fatigue & your baby’s Muscle & bones starts to develop, with skin, hair, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails, taste buds, hearing & bone marrow starts making blood cells.
- Proteins: essential for Growth of baby & blood formation it is Found in Pulses (Dal), eggs, fish, meat, milk, curd (Dahi) etc
- Vitamin A: essential for Skin, Eyes, Hair Development it is found In Milk, Egg Yolk, Butter, Leafy vegetables, Red-orange fruits & Vegetables.
- Iron: essential in Blood formation found In Fenugreek, spinach, dates, sesame, pulses, soya, meats
- Calcium: helps in Bone & Teeth formation Found in Milk, curd, paneer, cheese, leafy vegs, ragi etc
- Vitamin C: For Calcium absorption found In Orange, guava, lemons, amla, tomatoes
- Vitamin D: For Bone development & calcium absorption it is Found in Sunshine, milk, eggs, meats
Mother and baby:
Important development continues in baby and mother’s body prepares itself for delivery. Mother can face changes like difficulty in breathing, heartburn, heaviness in stomach, cramps in muscles weight gain or loss, swelling in the foot. Your baby’s body parts fully developed Brain development, rapid weight gain, fat iron, calcium stores in the body.
- Proteins: essential for Milk production in mothers, Rapid weight gain in a baby it is Found in Pulses, eggs, fish, meat, milk, curd etc
- Iron: For Storage of iron in baby’s body it is found in Fenugreek, spinach, dates, sesame, pulses, soya, meats
- Calcium: helpful for Milk production in mother, strengthening of bones. it is Found in Milk, curd, paneer, cheese, leafy Vegetables, Ragi etc
- Vitamin C: For Iron absorption. It is Found in Orange, guava, lemons, amla, tomatoes
- Essential fatty acids: For brain development in a baby it is found in Walnuts, almonds, flax seeds, fish liver oil etc.
Eating a varied and healthy diet is the best way to get all the nutrients you and your baby need. What you eat today and, in your pregnancy, reflects upon your child’s health his whole life. Eat a well-balanced diet. We recommend filling half of the plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it with whole grains and a quarter of it with a source of lean protein, and to also have a dairy product at every meal along with the prescribed supplements. We know how important your health is along with your baby’s health. That is why we specially tailor our meal plans to fulfill all your health requirements and deficiencies during the pregnancy!
Take care of your health because God has trusted you to bring a new life. Know what you eat and above all smile, always!!