Healthy Pregnancy Guide: Foods To Eat/Avoid and Things To Do During Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a special time for every woman. These nine months are a total roller-coaster whether it is the emotional ups-and-downs or the unusual cravings. It is important to make sure that whatever you are eating is healthy because what you eat not only affects you but also your baby. While you need to ensure your diet consists of food items that provide sufficient nutrients, it is also necessary to understand what kinds of food items you should avoid. Thus, read below to learn more and also check out some of the other essentials things to do during pregnancy.
Foods To Eat and Avoid During Pregnancy
As pregnancy brings a huge change in your diet, it can confuse and create uncertainty in your mind. Therefore, here’s a list of food items that are to be consumed and avoided during pregnancy.
Foods To Eat During Pregnancy
Legumes and Lentils: Rich in fibre, protein and vitamins, legumes such as chickpeas, beans and lentils provide 15 grams of protein which covers the required daily amount for pregnant women. Lentils are also rich in fibre and help prevent constipation, which is a frequent problem during pregnancy.
Eggs and Lean Meat: Boiled, cooked eggs provide protein, vitamins and amino acids which is beneficial for both you and your baby. Eggs also contain choline which is good for your child’s brain development. However, regardless of how nutritious eggs are, make sure to cook them well before eating. Lean meats are rich in iron and can reduce the chances of anaemia and low-birth-weight, which occurs due to iron deficiency.
Dry Fruits: Dry fruits have vital nutrients such as vitamin A-C-E-K-B6, zinc, and potassium. Dates, especially, are a great alternative to sugary sweets and can help satisfy sweets craving. They are also rich in fibre. Dried fruits are also healthy snacks. But, eat only a handful of them daily, as too much consumption may cause health issues.
Dairy Products: Calcium plays a pivotal role in the bone development of your child during pregnancy. Dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, cheese, etc have an abundance of calcium, fat and vitamin D. It also includes high-quality protein, which helps improve digestive problems.
Green Veggies: Green veggies are packed with nutrients, vitamins(vitamin A, vitamin C, Vitamin K) protein, potassium, iron, etc. Even though you may dislike them, they are a must in your pregnancy diet especially kale, spinach and broccoli. They also contain folic acid which helps create new red blood cells.
Fresh Fruits: Apples, mangoes, berries, bananas, kiwi, watermelon are a few of the best options to choose from. Fresh fruits are always a wise choice as they contain several nutrients which is favourable for both the mother and the child. Fruits are rich in fibre, vitamins and iron and help prevent dehydration during the early stages of pregnancy.
Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
High-mercury fish: Fish that has a high level of mercury can be harmful to expecting mothers. Fish such as shark, orange roughy, swordfish and so on are to be avoided during pregnancy as they can cause some serious effect on the development of your child.
Raw or Under-cooked Veggies/Meat/Eggs: It is advisable to not eat raw or undercooked meals as they can cause toxoplasmosis which is caused by the parasite toxoplasma gondii. This infection can risk your baby’s health and cause miscarriage or stillbirth.
Caffeine: During pregnancy, it is still advisable to limit your caffeine intake by up to 200 milligrams/per day. Too much caffeine can make you more tired than usual, increase the amount of urine in your body andlead to anaemia. It also affects your placenta which supplies food to your baby. Plus, it can lead to conditions such as stillbirth, miscarriage and low-birth-
Unpasteurized Milk and Cheese: Cheese and unpasteurized milk can have bacteria such as listeria, E.Coli which are not only harmful to your baby butyou as well. Pasteurization is nothing but the process of heating the milk to kill any potential bacteria in it while still maintaining the nutritional value. You can still have cheese such as cheddar and Swiss, but avoid soft cheese such as brie, feta and blue cheese.
Junk Foods: Craving for junk food increases during pregnancy, be it ice cream or french fries. Junk foods have high levels of sugar, salt and fats in them which can lead to unhealthy weight gain, gestational diabetes and an increase in fatigue. They also lack essential nutrients and can cause adverse effects on your baby’s health.
Alcohol and Smoking: Smoking and alcohol consumption can hinder your baby’s development and cause long term health effects such as behavioural problems and heart Thus, it is best to avoid them completely during pregnancy.
Things To Do During Pregnancy
Prenatal Check-up: Regular visit to your doctor (gynaecologist) is important for a healthy pregnancy. As soon as you find that you are pregnant, you need to schedule a prenatal check-up. Your first visit will probably be the longest as the doctor will take blood as well as urine sample for testing, check your height and weight, inquire about you and your spouse’s medical history. The doctor will also discuss and suggest things to do and avoid during pregnancy.
Prenatal Yoga or Exercise Class: Any physical activity for at least 30 minutes is recommended for all pregnant women. Prenatal yoga is the best way as it not only keeps you calm and healthy but also helps alleviate fatigue and Yoga and other exercises will ensure you have a healthy delivery and help you maintain a healthy weight during pregnancy.
Get Enough Sleep: Sleeping during pregnancy can be difficult as you may face a lot of problems such as back pain, insomnia, leg cramps, trouble finding a sleeping position to adjust in, an increase in urine flow, etc. All of these are common But,getting enough sleep during pregnancy is essential as it helps you to relax & rejuvenate and reduces daytime lethargy, fatigue, among others.
Immunization: Taking vaccinations from time to time can prevent both you and your foetus from catching infections. It will also keep your newborn child immune to any infections for up to a few months after birth. Thus, talk to your healthcare provider to understand the various vaccinations that you need to take during pregnancy.
Multivitamin: During pregnancy, your body requires a large number of nutrients for the good health of you and your unborn child. Your doctor may advise multivitamin supplements only when they are needed. So, make sure to take them as prescribed to avoid any complications later on. Also, try to get as much as vitamins naturally through healthy eating.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking ample water is important as a lack of sufficient water in your body can lead to dehydration. Water also helps in building new blood vessels, tissues and eliminating toxins from the body. So, drink plenty of water throughout the day for a healthy pregnancy.
During pregnancy, it becomes necessary to pay attention to what you eat. Feel free to ask your doctor about any doubts that you have regarding your pregnancy. Make sure to consult your doctor if you are unsure what your pregnancy diet should include. Also, keep yourself physically active during pregnancy. Plus, make sure that you don’t miss out on a single prenatal check-up, as they are pivotal in monitoring the continuous progress of your child.