For many women, pregnancy is a confusing and difficult time, but a woman’s diet during pregnancy plays a central role in the health of both mother and baby, while good nutrition is essential for new mothers, especially for faster labor recovery during pregnancy, lactation and overall health. A woman’s body goes through many changes throughout this phase of life as it prepares to adapt to the growth and development of a baby. It is therefore crucial to monitor your nutritional intake for a healthy and smooth pregnancy.
New mothers go through multiple physical and hormonal changes associated with pregnancy in their bodies, and their dietary and nutritional needs may differ from those of others before, during, and after pregnancy. Nutritional needs may vary from mother to mother, particularly depending on the type of birth, as women undergoing caesarean section may require additional nutritional care for mother and baby while recovering from the birth. surgery and breastfeeding, while mothers who have normal deliveries need an equally appropriate postpartum. nutrition for overall health of mother and baby.
In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Mansi Goyal, nutritionist at Mylo, recommends the following nutritional tips for new mothers and pregnant women:
1. Increase your calorie intake by about 350 kcal per day
Considering the eating habits of people these days, most pregnant women need to adopt a healthier nutritional meal plan for themselves and their unborn baby. However, this does not equate to overindulgence. You only need to eat an extra 350 calories a day to provide you and your baby with adequate nutrition. Your calories should ideally come from a balanced diet of fruits, green leafy vegetables, nuts, protein, and whole grains. Sugary and fatty foods should be eaten in moderation. Consult your doctor to find out exactly what and how much you should consume during pregnancy based on your height, weight, and age.
2. Consume plenty of fluids
Make sure you get enough fluids by drinking several glasses of water a day, in addition to soups (preferably homemade and unpackaged) and juices (natural and not tetra-pack). According to the IOM, pregnant women should drink 2.3 liters (about 10 cups) of fluid per day to provide enough fluid for blood production. Limit the consumption of caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea, as these are diuretics that cause dehydration. Caffeine should also be limited during pregnancy as it can increase blood pressure and constrict blood vessels in the uterus and placenta, decreasing blood supply to the fetus.
3. Increase Intake of Most Beneficial Foods During Pregnancy
Vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, and other leafy greens are high in vitamin A and potassium and should be eaten regularly. Fruits such as bananas, mangoes and oranges contribute to vitamin C intake. Dairy products such as milk and yogurt are also beneficial as they are a good source of calcium and vitamin D. However, only dairy products Pasteurized dairy should be consumed because raw milk and yogurt can contain harmful pathogens. To get a good amount of iron and essential amino acids, you need to increase your protein intake by consuming lentils, beans, and white meat like chicken and fish. Fish should be eaten in moderation as it contains traces of mercury. Consult your doctor as dietary restrictions might be advised in case of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure etc.
4. Take a prenatal vitamin supplement
In addition to eating well, it is also best to take a prenatal vitamin supplement, especially one containing folic acid. Discuss with your doctor what type of supplement you should consume. The supplement will help ensure that you are meeting essential vitamin and mineral intakes, but keep in mind that a supplement is never a substitute for a balanced diet.
5. Foods not to eat during pregnancy
In addition to avoiding unpasteurized dairy products and caffeine, you should also ensure that any meat and eggs you may consume are cooked at high heat and well cooked. Avoid fish high in methylmercury, such as shark, swordfish, tilefish and king mackerel. Pregnant women should also avoid consuming raw shellfish to avoid foodborne illnesses. Be sure to thoroughly wash all the fruits and vegetables you eat to avoid exposure to listeria, toxoplasma and harmful pesticides. Tropical fruits and vegetables like pineapple, papaya, and eggplant should be eaten in moderation as they can increase uterine contractions.
It is important to meet your nutritional needs during pregnancy by increasing your intake of foods rich in vitamins and minerals. By eating healthy and watching for harmful foods early on, you can give your child the best possible start in life.