Pregnancy is the most incredible period in a woman’s life. It is the time when a new life develops in the mother’s womb.The foods eaten during this period are the main source of nutrients for the growing baby. The first three months are most crucial because this is the stage of the development of all the organs of the baby. Special precautions and nutritious diet is required throughout pregnancy.
[ Hindi version ]
A pregnancy is one of the most awaited and cherishes time in a woman’s life. It is a beautiful phase which comes up with extra responsibilities of your health and diet. An eye is kept over you by the elders on your diet plan. But feeding extra is not the case here, looks that are you eating nutritional and are you on a special diet of pregnancy? Most of us do not consider these aspects, as it is very crucial. It decides the health of the new born and possess a drastic impact on both mother’s and child’s health. The first three months are the most crucial in the pregnancy stage as it results into development of baby’s organs. Throughout your pregnancy, but especially during the first three months be careful about using alcohol, drugs and medication. You need to see the right food for you and extra precautions must be adhere
Fish and seafood
They are excellent low fat sources of many nutrients. Fish and seafood provides ample of essential nutrients and a great part of diet. However, intake of fish and seafood is a concern during pregnancy, because some types may contain high level of mercury. A consultation with your dietician is the best option.
Best things to do
Prepare to –do list and place it where you can see it often. It should include walk, drinking at least 8 – 10 glasses of water in a day, and be positive.
Alcohol effect is always avoided as it is an addiction. The danger of alcohol during pregnancy is severe as it may cause Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS). There are several health issues faced by babies due to FAS are
- Babies may grow slowly
- Abnormal facial features
- Develop learning problem
Moreover alcohol is an ingredient in several medications. One should ask about the safety measures of consuming such medicines during pregnancy.
You should keep your system functioning normally as it is very important. So, keep doing regular exercise. Walking is best quite helpful to get rid of stress. Special yoga poses may also helps you get relief from strain.
The effect of caffeine is different on different people. It may cause irritability, sleeping disorders, anxiety, nervousness, and irregular heartbeats as several other problems. Scientists presume that caffeine may lead to premature or smaller than normal babies associated with several birth defects. A precautionary measure is to cut down the drinks containing caffeine to be on the safer side.
Add fiber rich foods
The foods that are rich in fiber are sprouts, cereals, spinach, and legumes. This will help you to erase constipation problems that regularize your stomach functions. Try to avoid heavy foods, maintain balanced diet with right amount. Fruits such as strawberries are rich in folic acid are good for health. It is advisable always to have small meals several times instead of large meal at once during pregnancy. It helps you stay filled, healthy and fit.
The effect of cigarette is quite harshening in one’s life, and if it is performed during pregnancy the effects could be threatening for the mother as well as for the child. Women who smoke during pregnancy give birth to babies who weigh less than those who don’t smoke. Low weight babies can go through other problems like infections, trouble keeping warm, feeding problem and more.
Try to minimize over processed foods and aerated drinks. Foods containing sodium nitrate, such as cured meat like ham or bacon. These are carcinogenic (cancer causing) substances. Fruits and vegetables should be properly washed before cutting in order to remove the pesticides.
Medications and herbs
Medications to be taken during pregnancy should meet with advisory measures with your doctor or physician. Some medications or herbs may harm your baby. Be cautious about medicines with multiple ingredients as they contain more substances which may harm your baby’s health.
Fetal solvent syndrome- major birth defects: Exposure to chemicals may cause birth defects. Talk to your Health provider if you are dealing with an issue like this or you have chemical exposure in your surroundings.
To summarize, it is mandate to remain active all the time and check on your diet plans effectively. Proper exercise also helps for a safe delivery. Your health is associated with child’s health, don’t get over-stressed and angry as emotional imbalance put a direct impact on your health.
Precautions to follow during pregnancy
- Fish and sea food, alcohol, caffeine, smoking, food additives and certain medications and herbs must be avoided or limited during pregnancy. These can have an adverse effect on the mental and physical development of the unborn baby or may become a hindrance in the growth of the baby. There is often a risk of premature delivery or a child may develop some birth defects.
- Smoking can lead to low birth weight babies who are likely to have health problems like infections, feeding and breathing problems
- Eating raw fish, meats or poultry may increase your risk of infection or parasitic disease. Cooking food destroys bacteria and parasites. Milk that is not pasteurized may also cause illness.
- Avoid saunas and hot tubs that maintain a temperature greater than body temperature. They can potentially cause overheating and affect the development of your baby.
- Avoid contact with cat feces as it can lead to toxoplasmosis. It is a condition caused by a parasite found in cat feces, plant soil, and raw or undercooked meat. The parasite can cause brain damage in a developing baby if the mother becomes infected during pregnancy.
- Exposure to chemicals must be avoided as it may cause major birth defects. These may include household cleaners, insecticides, hair dyes, permanents, finger nail polish, electrolysis and paint fumes.
Other precautions and concerns
- Rh Negative Mothers: If the mother‘s blood is Rh negative and the baby’s blood is Rh positive there is an Rh incompatibility. As the baby’s red blood cells leak into the mother’s, the body will produce antibodies to fight the Rh factor which will affect the next baby. Special treatment is given in this condition by the health provider.
- Preeclampsia:Preeclampsia is also called Pregnancy Induced Hypertension or toxemia. It is found in 5% cases and is common in first pregnancies, twin or multiple pregnancies, teenage pregnancies and in women with diabetes. It can be fatal for the mother and baby if left untreated. In case the pregnant woman experiences blurred vision, headache, upper abdominal pain, rapid weight gain or increased swelling, the doctor must be contacted immediately.
- Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes only occurs during pregnancy which can cause problems for the mother and the baby. It can result into a big baby, premature birth. Jaundice in the baby, low sugar or in rare case a still baby. The mother can develop high pressure, kidney infection, shortness of breath and there can be increased chances of caesarean. It is very important to follow the diet, exercise and blood sugar monitoring plans.
- Avoid tight clothes and high heels: Make sure that you body is undergoing changes and breathing space is necessary to proper health. So avoid tight clothes and wear comfortable clothes. Wear comfortable flat shoes instead of high heels to avoid accidental tripping. Flat shoes also give pressure at the right point in your feet. While walking wear shoes that helps you at pressure points.
- Increase sleeping hours: Try to increase sleeping hours, but not more, have enough sleep. Your body is undergoing certain hormonal changes. Don’t have a sudden impact of the changing conditions try to avoid those problems.
- Yeast infections: A vaginal candidacy is a very common seen infection in expectant mothers. It occurs due to high estrogen levels and increase in content of glycogen secretion in vagina. Try to maintain a clean vagina clean and taking probiotics as advised by physician that will be helpful.
- Avoid junk foods: Most of the junk foods increase your weight. You would naturally gain weight due to growth of the baby not with the food. Junk foods give unwanted fat that lead to health problems to both baby and you. Increase in weight directly effects blood pressure and diabetes during pregnancy. Stay hydrated always.
Best foods during pregnancy
Protein and calcium will be required during pregnancy for the development of the baby’s tissues and bones. Extra folic acid will be needed to protect against birth defects and more iron required helping red blood cells carry oxygen to the baby.
Pregnancy super foods include
Whole grains whole-grain breads and cereals are fortified with folic acid and iron and have more fiber than white bread and rice. Include oatmeal for breakfast, whole grain bread sandwich for lunch and whole-wheat pasta or brown rice for dinner.
Beans Black beans, white beans, pinto beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, and kidney must be added to a pregnant woman’s diet. Besides providing protein and fiber, they are a good source of iron, folate, calcium, and zinc.
Salmon is a low mercury fish and a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids that is good for the development of the baby’s brain and eyes,
Eggs are a good source of protein that is required by the mother and the baby. They also contain more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for baby’s brain development
Berries Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are delicious snacks packed with vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber.
Low-fat yogurt low-fat yogurt has more calcium than milk and is high in protein
[ Hindi version ]