Nutrition During Pregnancy

Child bearing imposes both physical and mental strain. To be able to counter this, it is important that the mother has a healthy diet during pregnancy. Health and well-being of both mother and baby in the womb depends on the mother having a wholesome nourishing diet.

The aim of the nutritional plan
Successful pregnancy requires a diet that: 
  • Maintains maternal nutritional needs and helps in the development of a healthy foetus 
  • Provides continuous adjustments in maternal body composition and metabolism 
  • Provides good maternal nutrition, which is vital for health and reproductive performance of the mother and the health, survival and development of the baby 
The dietary advice is as follows: 
Eat a variety of food from all food groups (cereals, pulses/non-veg, milk, fruits and vegetables, oils & nuts, sugar).
  • Cereals: Choose from whole wheat, wheat bread, multi grain bread, ragi, bajra and jowar
  • Pulses: Include a variety from green gram, horse gram, soya beans, black eyed beans
  • Fruits: Eat 2-3 whole seasonal fruits daily
  • Vegetables: One cup each with lunch and dinner. Restrict root and tubers
  • Green leafy vegetables: Thrice a week
  • Milk and milk products: Preferably skim milk. 400 ml a day
  • Oil: Choose from sunflower or safflower oil. 3-4 tsps a day
  • Fluid intake should be at least 2-3 litres per day
  • Raw salad with at least one meal a day
  • Non vegetarian foods: Chicken (no skin), fish (not fried) or eggs white
  • Have small, frequent meals 5-6 times per day.
  • Maintain at least 1 1⁄2 -2 hour gap between dinner and bedtime.
  • For morning sickness keep crackers, plain sweet biscuits/ rusk or toast handy.
  • Have at least one portion of dry fruits 25gms (almonds, walnuts, figs-2, raisins) each daily. Follow it up with citrus fruits so the absorption of iron is better.
  • Coconut in excess
  • Sweets, toffees
  • Deep fried foods
  • Soft drinks, alcohol, ice cream, honey, jaggery, etc.
  • Salty foods like pickle, processed foods, salty snacks
  • Maida based foods like naan, kulcha, roomali roti
  • Fats like vanaspati, butter, cheese, ghee, re-used oils
  • Limit the intake of caffeine containing foods to less than 300mg/day (i.e. 2 cups of coffee or 3 cups of tea)
  • Salt intake 5gm /day and if patient has pregnancy induced hypertension, then restrict the intake to less than 1⁄2 teaspoon/day
A Sample Diet Plan
On waking   Almonds (2) + water 1 glass or Plain milk or tea/coffee with one spoon sugar
 8 - 9 am  Roti- 3 numbers (no oil) or 1 medium bowl of upma/poha or 2 table spoon raw oats cooked in water. Add 150 ml milk + 1 Fruit or Wheat bread sandwich with vegetable slices. 1 Fruit/egg white omelet or 1 medium bowl of wheat flakes with skimmed milk
11am Buttermilk/tender coconut water/1 Fruit
1 - 1:30 pm
Rice- 1 cup (100g) + 2 rotis
Sabzi- 1 cup (100g) + salad 1 cup + dhal or greens -1 cup (100g) + curd 1 cup (75 ml), greens thrice a week
Low fat paneer/egg/grilled chicken/fish (1 serving)
Tea 4 pm Tea/coffee 1 cup + 2 plain biscuits or wheat crackers
6 pm  (optional)Whole fruit (guava/apple), home made sprouts or bhel puri (150g)
or 2 Vegetable sandwich (multigrain bread + green chutney + cucumber)
or Buttermilk mixed vegetable soup (200 ml)
8-8.30 pm
2 Dry rotis + green gram/brown channa/mixed vegetable curry/palak dal/mushroom curry Bed time Skimmed milk (1 glass)

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