“Giving birth and being born brings us into the essence of creation, where the human spirit is courageous and bold and the body, a miracle of wisdom.”
A healthy and nutritious diet is a greatest gift to the developing baby. Supplying your body a tasty blend of nutritious food can improve your fertility, keep you healthy during pregnancy, helps in delivering a healthy baby, brings ease of labour, improves birth weight of the baby.
When you're pregnant, eating healthy foods is more important than ever. You need more protein, iron, calcium, and VitaminB like Folic acid than you did before pregnancy. You also need more calories. But "eating for two" doesn't mean eating twice as much. It means that the foods you eat are the main sources of nutrients for your baby. Sensible, balanced meals will be best for you and your baby.
You should gain weight gradually during your pregnancy, with most of the weight gained in the last trimester. Generally, doctors suggest women gain weight at the following rate:
- 2 to 4 pounds total during the first trimester
- 3 to 4 pounds per month for the second and third trimesters
Most women need 300 calories a day or more during at least the last six months of pregnancy than they did before they were pregnant. But not all calories are equal. Your baby needs healthy foods that are packed with nutrients - not "empty calories" such as those found in soft drinks, candies, and desserts.
Eat a variety of foods from these different food groups each day:
- Milk and dairy products: skimmed milk, yogurt/curd, buttermilk (chhaach), cottage cheese (paneer). These foods are high in calcium, protein and Vitamin B-12.
- Cereals, whole grains, dals, pulses and nuts: these are good sources of proteins for vegetarians. Vegetarians need about 45 grams of nuts and 2/3 of a cup of legumes for protein each day. One egg, 14 grams of nuts, or ¼ cup of legumes is considered equivalent to roughly 28 grams of meat, poultry, or fish.
- Vegetables and fruits: these provide vitamins, minerals and fibre.
- Meat, fish and poultry: these provide concentrated proteins.
- Fluids: Drink lots of fluids, especially water and fresh fruit juices. Make sure you drink filtered and boiled water. Carry your own water when out of the house, or buy bottled water from a reputed brand. Most diseases are caused by waterborne viruses. Go easy on packaged juices as they have a very high sugar content.
- Fats and oils: Ghee, butter, coconut milk and oil are high in saturated fats, which are not very healthy. Hydrogenated vanaspati oil and ghee is high in trans fats, which are as bad for you as saturated fats. A better source of fat is vegetable source because these contain more unsaturated fat.
Dairy products, along with sea fish and sea salt or iodised salt are all good sources of iodine. Iodine intake is increased for a healthy developement of the child.
Foods to be avoided during Pregnancy
Unpasteurized milk, Raw sea foods, Cheese made out of Goat milk, Raw meats,Excessive intake of Caffeine, Alcohol.