Fertilization marks the initiation of pregnancy, a period of 9 months when a mother carries a baby inside her womb till the baby is fully developed and ready to be delivered to face the challenges of the world.The gestational period is a critical phase when your body and your baby needs complete nourishment.Nutrition during pregnancy is not only vital for the mother but also the developing baby.During the three trimester, The body is undergoing different physiological changes which requires a proper nutritional care to cope up. Your body may suffer mild Edema, low blood pressure or abnormal levels of nutrients in your blood.
Working as a nutritionist in a hospital, I have received many pregnant women with the complaint of PICA.
You might have heard pregnant women craving for Sand and Cement, this is called PICA. PICA is an umbrella term used for such cravings which includes Geo-phagia (eating sand or cement), Pago-phagia (consumption of ice), and amylo-phagia (starch). This normally occurs when a body is incredibly low on calcium and Iron.
Moreover, there is a need to create awareness regarding the importance of folic acid in Pregnancy. Seeing mothers delivering a baby with birth defects breaks my heart. One of the commonest birth defect observed is Neural Tube Defect.Folic acid, a micronutrient required for cell division, DNA synthesis, and neural tube formation.The deficiency of Folic acid or folate can lead to life-threatening and lifetime defects such as spina bifida and Anencephaly, genetic defects in which the neural tube fails to close properly and develop into the mature brain and spinal cord eventually.
HEALTHY FOOD IS A KEY TO HEALTHY PREGNANCY
The food guide below will lead you to the path of healthy and comfortable pregnancy.
- Adopt the principle of “ variety, balance, and moderation”
It is recommended to eat all food items from all the food groups. There are majorly 5-6 food groups including milk, vegetables, fruits, fats, bread and cereals, and meat. Bread and cereals are a good source of Carbohydrates and fibers. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy while the fibers will help you relieve gestational constipation and reduces the risk of Hemorrhoids.
Protein from the meat will help in the tissue development of the fetus and mother, as the healthy mother would give birth to a healthy baby. 20% of your energy should be from protein-rich foods.
- Proper Intake of calories is necessary.
Have you ever heard people telling a pregnant mother, “You now have to eat for two bodies”?
Yes! This statement has some real science in it.
The period of gestation is about 38-42 weeks (9 months). Your body doesn’t need extra calories other than your daily required calories in the first trimester but the energy requirement increases with time.
|No extra calories required
|4th -6th Month
|360 additional calories
|7th -9th month
|410 additional calories
For instance, your daily caloric requirement is 1500 calories and it’s your 2nd trimester so you would have to take 1500+450 calories.
- Proper intake of Vitamins and minerals
Since the body is undergoing different physiological changes during pregnancy, the deficiency of certain vitamins and minerals occurs. Iron deficiency is one of the most prevalent complaints of pregnant mothers. The vitamins and minerals are not only beneficial for mothers but adequate intake is necessary for fetal growth and development as well. The deficiency of certain micronutrients can cause serious complications.
- Control Blood Pressure and Blood Glucose level.
Most of the time, the pregnant mother faces the issue of increased blood pressure and blood glucose level (Gestational hypertension and gestational diabetes.)
Eating a balanced diet with a low glycemic index and glycemic load and consume salt according to the daily requirement which should not exceed more than 2300mg can save you from the risk of Gestational diseases. These gestational diseases are temporary but if not properly monitored can lead to lifetime chronic diseases.
Services Offered at Ahmey Clinic
Ahmey Clinic has hired Nutrition experts and we are always open to any concerns you may have. Our dietitians and nutritionists are here to discuss nutritional necessities and deficiencies and can make sure any necessary tests or referrals are actioned.
- Customized diet plans are available
- Consultations regarding your nutritional status
- Dietitians and nutrition available with extensive experience.