Does the Diet Require to be Replenished during Pregnancy
18th Jul 2011
Pregnancy is a time of added metabolism due to the changes in the maternal body. These include growth of the placenta, increase in blood volume, adipose tissue & in the size of uterus & breasts. It also includes increase in the interstitial fluids & amniotic fluid. All these changes generally amount to an overall gain of over 7-8 kgs. The growth of the foetus occurs gradually (foetal wt:12th week-15-20 gms; 40th week- >3kgs). These anabolic events increase the nutritional requirements of the pregnant woman.
To achieve a healthy balanced diet during pregnancy, one needs to eat foods containing reasonable amounts of starchy carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins & minerals each day. Starchy carbohydrates are found in bread, cereals, pasta, rice & potatoes; they provide energy, vitamins, minerals & fibre. Meat, fish, eggs, chicken, nuts, beans, peas, lentils supply proteins & minerals. Milk & dairy products like cheese, yoghurt/curds give proteins, vitamins & calcium. Folic acid can be found in green leafy vegetables, fruit & nuts, bread & rice. Most fruits & vegetables, well washed salads are good sources of vitamins & minerals. Iron status in vegans at times is poor. Hence it would be wise to discuss your food plan with a qualified nutritionist to check for calcium, iron, vit B12 & protein adequacy.
It is necessary to cut down on sugary snacks & frizzy drinks & keep your intake of junk foods to minimum. Cut down on your intake of caffeine-based drinks like tea, coffee, colas & chocolate; try drinking boiled/mineral water & diluted juices or buttermilk as alternatives.
Meanwhile look at your lifestyle & be sure that your diet includes a sensible range of (liked & tolerated) foods for you & the baby in the womb.