Eating is a natural process but what is complex during pregnancy is eating foods that are healthy and nutritious because that’s what your baby will have for its growth. This is the reason why doctors help you with a chart termed as a pregnancy diet chart explaining to you what to eat and in what quantity.
Owing to complexities during pregnancy, a pregnant woman is advised and suggested in a countless number of ways and about the countless number of thing, one of which is related to her diet.
- There is this one thing that most of the pregnant woman experience that is Food cravings, which according to them is about a particular food which they should consume, well medically it occurs when your body craves for nutrients, proteins or any liquid, so one should avoid food items that are not so healthy.
- Another misconception among pregnant woman is the age-old principle that once you are pregnant, it means you have to consume food for two persons at a time, which is wrong. Instead, you will eat as much as required for yourself to feel content, considering your calorie intake.
- Pregnant women who feel morning sickness, think they should stop consuming food, but the reason behind morning sickness can be anything from hormonal changes to blood sugar levels.
Food items or nutrients to be taken during pregnancy
No doubt that water is a necessity and should be taken by every individual in maximum quantity but what makes it super important to be counted in a pregnant woman’s diet is the importance of staying hydrated at all cost during pregnancy. Headache, Short term memory loss, tiredness, fatigue are prime reasons behind shortage of hydration taking place in a pregnant woman’s body. It also helps in increasing the volume of blood flow and reduces the chances of urinary infections, two major things very much prevalent during pregnancy.
Fruits and vegetables
The second and third month of pregnancy are considered the most vital phase and a pregnant woman should be very cautious during that stage. She should have more of vegetables and fruits that are rich in fiber and vitamins. Vegetables that are leafy and dark just like Broccoli contain enough nutrients that a pregnant woman’s body requires which are Vitamin A, C and K, iron, potassium. Fruits that have plant compound content in them like Berries help the body in absorbing iron present in the body.
Whole Grains are a source of fiber and iron such as in oatmeal, breads and rice, etc. A pregnant woman’s half of the diet should contain food items that are made of whole grains as they hold a vital importance in the diet of a pregnant woman.
Dairy Products are a great source of calcium, vitamin D and protein, all of which are very essential for the baby’s growth even after the birth. So food items like milk, yogurt, and Greek yogurt should be consumed 3 to 4 times everyday. It helps in the functioning of the nerve, blood clotting and strengthens the bones as well. Dairy Products also aid in proper functioning of the digestive system because they contain probiotic bacteria.
Protein rich food
Food items like Meat, Poultry and eggs are rich in iron and protein, both of which are required during pregnancy, as iron carries the oxygen to the baby and protein helps in development of the baby. Deficiency of iron can cause a premature delivery or your baby can be underweight, so never forget to have at least a little of the meat in your diet, similarly eggs are recommended too, for a good development of the baby’s health and brain.
Fruits have that moisture in them which also keeps your body hydrated but no wonder that dried fruits are also best for a pregnant woman to include in her diet, because of the amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals present in them. Out of so many dry fruits available which are most beneficial are, Prunes for better constipation; Dates to benefit in cervical dilation and minimize the need to induce labor. But what needs to be taken care is the amount in which you are consuming them as they contain too much of sugar, so keep the quantity in check, 1-2 in a day is more than enough.
This group includes Soybeans, Peas, Peanuts, Beans, Chickpeas, all of which include fiber, potassium, magnesium, iron, folate. They are important for a pregnant woman to take during the first few weeks of pregnancy as that’s when the fetus is developing into becoming a baby.
All of the above-mentioned food items not only maintain the healthy growth of the baby, but it helps the pregnant woman stay strong during pregnancy because during that time, symptoms such as weakness, fatigue and mood swings are very common.
Food items whose consumption needs to be limited
Pregnant Women who are either addicted to tea or coffee, should limit its consumption to some extent, lower than the usual. As heavy intake of caffeine products can initially be the cause behind miscarriage or premature birth of the baby.
Though a pregnant woman should consume fish as it is rich in protein which again is essential for the baby’s growth but as we all know anything consumed in huge quantity can cause serious health complication, so does fish. According to medical science, a maximum of 12 ounces of fish is more than enough for a pregnant woman in a day. It can cause hindrance to the development of baby’s brain.
Food items that should be avoided
Raw meat and unpasteurized food
A pregnant woman should not consume raw meat or raw fish or raw egg and unpasteurized food during pregnancy as not only they account for causing food poisoning, they can have other serious issues such as mental disorders or blindness for the baby.
Alcohol and smoking habits
A pregnant should avoid drinking and if she has smoking habits, she should completely avoid it as it can have serious health complications for your baby. As alcohol gets into the blood which during pregnancy can pass to your baby as well, this causes problems such as mental disability, behavioral disabilities of your baby. It can also cause miscarriage.