During pregnancy, it’s important to maintain a healthy well balanced diet. These nine months are the most critical for the mother as well as the baby. Whatever is consumed has a direct effect on the fetus. Hence, it’s imperative for the mother to watch what she is eating and also take a nourishing diet benefiting the baby, as well as her body.
There is an increased demand for minerals and vitamins by the body during pregnancy. A substantial transfer of calcium takes place between the mother and the fetus. For the first six months, calcium is stored in the mother’s bones. It’s in the last three months that the fetus draws on calcium for the development of skeleton.
This is when calcium containing foods like milk and milk products should be increased in the diet. Similarly, iron is also required for the development of the fetus. Foods like meat, fish, egg yolk, whole-grain products and vegetables are rich in iron should hence be included in the diet. Folic acid present in foods like vegetables, wheat germ, tropical fruits and eggs is also essential; hence they must be consumed.
During pregnancy the fluid intake should be increased. Drink at least two litres of fluid every day. The fluids can be in the form of juices, soups, coconut water etc. Include low fat dairy products like skimmed milk, low fat cheese, yoghurt and soy products in your daily diet. Bake, boil, grill or stir-fry food instead of frying it. Add one tablespoon of bran (wheat husk) flour to your wheat flour when making chapattis. Again, eating raw fruits and vegetables, prunes, whole grains or bran cereals like readymade wheat flakes is good for pregnant women.
Vegetables like spinach, lettuce, potatoes, celery and artichoke hearts, apples and bananas are considered as golden vegetables for an expecting mother. Taking these fulfils the need of many vital nutrients. Citrus or juicy fruits like lemons, oranges and pineapples contain a lot of vitamin C and they all can be integrated in the diet for complete nourishment. In addition, consuming dried fruits like figs and almonds provide instant energy and improves digestion.
Pregnancy is the time when one should sit back and enjoy all the good things in life and also those which are in store. Diet alone does not ensure a healthy baby. Certain precautions must also be taken during pregnancy. Alcohol and smoking are highly injurious during this period. Also, too much caffeine, salt, fat, and processed food should be avoided.
If the mother is happy, the new born is healthy and happy too. So during pregnancy, stay cheerful, calm and practice meditation. All these steps accompanied with a good diet go a long way in making a lovely baby.