Pregnancy brings a lot of new changes to a womans life both physical and emotional. Every member of the family starts taking extra care of the diet of expectant mother. It is essential that they take care of her nutrition, for the health of the child is very much dependent on the mothers diet.
Pregnancy is a time when appetite is altered and nutritional needs change. What the expectant mother eats or drinks can affect her babys health. Though underweight (10% less than ideal weight) is not desirable, obesity in pregnancy increases the risk of mother developing hypertension and diabetes during pregnancy. Normal weight gain during pregnancy is usually around 10 to 12 kg but obese patients should not put on more than 7.5 to 8 kg overall during pregnancy.
Nutritional requirements vary from individual to individual and each stage of pregnancy has special requirements. A pregnant womans requirement is about 2500 cal/day and her diet should include 100 grams of protein, 100 grams of fat and three glasses of milk besides plenty of green leafy vegetables and fruits. For patients who cant tolerate milk, high calcium foods such as yoghurt and cheese are substituted.
Meat is rich source of iron and protein. And for vegetarians nuts and legumes are adequate. It is a common practice to prescribe calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin D and other trace elements like zinc. One should be cautioned against overdoes of nutrients, as it could prove harmful during pregnancy. However, food articles like pickles should not be taken. Nausea and vomiting during pregnancy have a serious impact on the physical and emotional aspects of the womans life.
General advice is to eat healthy food but drink lots of water. Also heartburn is common problem during pregnancy, so usual meal pattern of these square meals is unsuitable, it is good to have five or even six small meals throughout the day.
Morning sickness is not always experienced in the morning. Commonly women develop an aversion for fried food, coffee and some even experience a craving for sweet food and sometimes craving for non-food items like soap, coal, etc., but this must be discouraged.
Disclaimer: This article is not meant to provide health advice and is for general information only. Always seek the insights of a qualified health professional before embarking on any health program.