Pregnancy is one of the not-so-easy periods in a woman’s life. A diet program before, during, and post-pregnancy helps the body in adjusting to the various growth and recovery stages. Many grandmothers and mothers force a pregnant woman to eat a variety of foods. But it is important to consult a dietician before intake of any food.
Nutritional needs should also be properly met. During pregnancy, maximum safety for the mother and child should be of prime importance rather than weight gain.
Pregnancy and diet (does not mean starving but eating healthy food) should go hand in hand. As and when the baby starts developing, the nutritional requirements for a to-be mother increase. Pregnant women should include consumption of milk and milk products, fibrous fruits, green leafy vegetables, and protein rich cereals and pulses. The increased need for iron and folic acid should also be met from different foods that a pregnant mother eats. Exposure to sunlight also helps as it provides with vitamin D which is very essential for our body.
Normally a pregnant woman needs approximately 1700 – 1800 kcal of food daily. Along with this, the protein intake also increases. Appropriate caloric intake in pregnancy helps prevent the problems associated with low birth weight. Salty packaged fried foods like chips should be avoided. Proper diet and nutrition during pregnancy is a must for healthy development of the baby. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, nuts and grain products that contain dietary fiber and nutrients is essential during pregnancy.