Being pregnant is an extremely beautiful phase of life for any woman, especially more so for a first time mother. Along with happiness and joy, there is also an apprehension and worry, as every woman wants to stay in the best possible heath in their pregnancy and enjoy this stage of motherhood to the fullest. Once you are pregnant there will be people with a long list of do’s and don’ts, along with a lot of advices, some genuine and some totally unsolicited, which sometimes manages to scare and confuse you.
The phrase” In pregnancy you eat for two” is probably the most common a woman hears and is also the most untrue one, with absolutely no scientific bearing. It instead leads to weight gain and unnecessary complications. You just require to take additional 300 kcal to your daily requirement. Also it is important to improve quality of your menus by adding variety of nutrients (proteins, vitamins and minerals) to your meals. Eating wholesome and healthy food is of utmost importance for the proper development and growth of the fetus as well as the mother.
Below are some facts which every pregnant woman definitely needs to know.
Eat more Nutrients:
An absolute element of healthy pregnancy is adequate amount of nutrients. Eating a variety of foods which provides protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and healthy fat provides the nourishment required by an expectant mother. Natural food should be preferred over junk/processed food, canned and frozen stuff, food high in salt and sugar, which is high only in calories and zero on nutrients.
Ideal weight gain during pregnancy:
An almost debatable topic, the ideal weight a woman should gain in pregnancy. A pregnant woman doesn’t have to double her size or eat incessantly. An increased weight is usually to accommodate the growing fetus within and to nourish and support it. Weight gain during pregnancy is dependent upon pre-pregnancy BMI category. An average increase of 8-15 kgs from her pre pregnancy weight is considered normal. Moderate or light exercises/walk keeps one from bloating in pregnancy and keeps the mother fit and healthy till her delivery.
Our grandmothers and elders didn’t have modern medicines and tech savvy apps to guide them during their pregnancies. In spite of it, most of them had more fit and eventful pregnancies. Special foods meant especially for pregnancy and post-delivery like Panchamrut, Shatavari, nachni satva etc were given to pregnant women and new moms. It helped to keep themselves fit and healthy post the strenuous process of pregnancy and childbirth for replenishing the loss of blood and nutrients from the body during delivery and to induce milk supply in new moms.
Abstaining from alcohol in those 9 months is recommended by National Health and Medical Research Council. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy increases risk of miscarriage, still birth and birth defects.
Papaya and Pineapple Consumption:
Papaya and Pineapple if eaten in moderation is not considered harmful. An unripe Papaya leads to uterine contractions triggering early labour. Pineapples are a rich source of bromelain, which triggers early labour, due to softening of the cervix.
Caffeine intake when exceeded causes health issues in pregnant women. They may even result in stillbirth if the daily cups intake exceeds more than 200mg. An ideal 2 cups a day of coffee is permissible and considered normal, not affecting the health of either the mother or the child. It is also essential to understand that caffeine is also present in energy drinks and soft drinks. Thus its intake should be in moderation.
Pregnancy is one of the greatest gifts bestowed upon a woman, where new life is created. It should be fully enjoyed and cherished to the fullest. A doctor is considered to be the best person to guide you according to your case history for a safe and healthy pregnancy.