The new mantra of pregnancy is to eat as much as your body needs. Which logically concludes that being pregnant does not involve overeating, but requires that the expectant mother eat as much as she feels her body requires and as much as her stomach can take or tolerate.
The flip side to eating while pregnant is that morning sickness and general unanticipated nausea makes the task of eating at regular intervals a very tricky task to fulfill. However, proper nourishment for the mother as well as the unborn child is an indispensable necessity and cannot be ignored or sidelined. That being said, doctors recommend that all essential vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins must reach the baby as well as the mother.
Tips for Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
- Women must control the amount of fats and sweets they consume as these may increase the chances of developing gestational diabetes during or after delivery.
- Expecting mothers must have plenty of fruits at regular intervals during the day as it helps provide essential vitamins. It also helps prevent bowel problems such as flatulence, constipation or diarrhea.
- Fruits and green vegetables offer plenty of fiber as well as necessary vitamins and minerals, which are needed for the healthy growth of the baby.
- High fiber foods such as wheat, rice, bread, and pasta are an absolute necessity during pregnancy and must be included in the daily diet in a substantial quantity. The reason being that apart from offering carbohydrates and fiber, these food products are also filling with each normal serving. This helps prevent overeating and binging on unhealthy food.
- If you are a non-vegetarian, make it a point to include meat products such as poultry, eggs, meat, and fish into your daily diet. You must have non-vegetarian meals at least 2-3 times in a week, if possible. However, it is inadvisable to eat too much of red meat, as it's difficult to digest and is not exactly the best for health.
- For those who cannot digest meat, may instead opt for nuts as they too are rich sources of proteins and nutrition. Cashews, peanuts, almonds and apricots are especially excellent sources of protein.
- Calcium is extremely essential during this phase, as the mother needs to build up her strength. Calcium is also essential for muscle and bone development which is needed by the unborn baby. Calcium also helps in blood clotting, which is crucial during the time of delivery. Which is why dairy products must be made a mandatory part of the pregnancy diet. Drink lots of milk, eat plenty of yogurt and enjoy treats such as ice creams and milk shakes to your heart's fill.
- Seek the advice of your doctor for any prenatal vitamin supplements, if needed. Do not take any supplements without the prior consultation as well as prescription of a licensed doctor.
- Make sure you ask your doctor for sufficient iron supplements as well. Iron is needed for growth of hemoglobin which carries oxygen in the blood. Iron is also essential for developing resistance against diseases and minor infections.
- Pregnancy is also the time when the body needs a continuous supply of folic acid, which can be retrieved from leguminous foods such as all types of beans and green leafy vegetables. If you are bored of your own cooking, seek the help of nutritionist for coming up with yummy and healthy recipes for pregnant women which will ensure that you eat regularly.
- Avoid alcohol intake during pregnancy as it hampers with the growth of the baby and may increase chances of the baby being born with birth defects and mental retardation.
- Limit the amount of caffeine consumed, and do not have saccharin as it, unlike normal sugar, can pass through the placenta.
- Dieting during pregnancy is not a good idea, and women must not practice dieting during this period. They may resume or begin with dieting as soon as their baby has been weaned from breastfeeding. The reason being that the medication present in the dieting pills will pass through the mother's milk into the child's system.
Finally and most important of all, pregnant women must drink plenty of water at regular intervals as both the baby and mother can face severe conditions of dehydration. This condition can be fatal especially for the baby. Also women tend to experience craving for specific types of food during pregnancy, which is why they must go ahead and enjoy eating those foods as well. However, anything in excess is bad, so be careful that you do not go overboard with your binging, and instead try focusing on eating regular, healthy meals.