Experts have often emphasised the need of taking extra care of one's diet during pregnancy. In this crucial stage one cannot chomp into anything they want. You have to be mindful of what is on your plate. During this time, your body needs additional nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is also said that through second and third trimester you need additional 350-500 calories. Your diet has to be a good mix of protein, vitamins and fibre. Folate, or folic acid, is a B-group vitamin which is essential for the healthy development of the foetus in early stage of pregnancy. A diet depleted of key nutrients may prove detrimental to the growth and development of the baby. Lean meat, lentils, amaranth, brown rice and whole grains are some foods that pregnant women are often advised to include in their diet. On the other hand, foods high on transfats are a strict no-no.
Dr. Mohita Goyal, Consultant - Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Motherhood Hospital, Pune, also hands out some dietary dos and don'ts to ensure during pregnancy:
Dos and Don'ts That Every Pregnant Woman Must Ensure In Her Diet:
1. Have frequent and small portions in meals. Make sure your small meals are filled with ample nutrients.
2. Eat fibre-rich diet like whole cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables to avoid constipation.
3. Consume extra protein and calcium-rich foods like dairy products, legumes, egg, sweet potato etc.
4. Drink plenty of water to wash away the toxins and prevent urinary tract infections.
5. Avoid foods that are high on fats/sugar/salt/oil.
6. Avoid alcohol/lots of caffeine. Keep yourself hydrated at all times, be it with water, coconut water or chaach.
7. Avoid high mercury fish, under cooked meat, raw sprouts and raw eggs.
8. Avoid unpasteurised milk, cheese and fruit juice.
If something is not suiting you or is causing even a minor discomfort, you must consult your gynecologist. For that matter, if you are making any significant change to your diet you must have a word with a certified expert beforehand.