Before I start bombarding you with advice, please accept my heartiest congratulations on being pregnant. It is generally marvellous but you are responsible for helping your baby to grow in a healthy and nurturing environment. It can be confusing what to eat and what not to as a lot of well-meaning people give you conflicting advice.
For the next nine months, what you eat, what you drink, what you weigh and how physically active you are, would have a potential effect on your child’s current and future growth. So, here we bring to you a diet list of do's and don'ts for all preggers. Scroll on and read!
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- Try and have 3 main meals and 3 snacks in a day to give constant supply of energy.
- There is no need to follow a specific diet plan which is stressful to cook and follow. Try to include as many variety of colours in your diet as possible such as veggies or fruits. This is how you would get all the desired nutrients. You can include, yellow colour as in mango, ripe banana, pumpkin etc, red colour as in tomatoes, water melon, pomegranate etc.
- Eat your dinner early. There should be 2-3 hours gap before dinner and sleep. If you feel hungry at bed time, you can take a glass of milk or a small snack. Try to finish the main meal by 8 pm, and if you still want to wait for your husband to come back and join him on dinner table, have a smoothie, a fruit or a cup of soup.
- Take your multivitamins and other supplements on time. They contain higher levels of nutrients such as folic acid, calcium, iron, zinc, fibre, etc that pregnant women require.
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- Be physically active during pregnancy. Do regular exercises and yoga. It will help you combat many of the health issues that arise during pregnancy, including heartburn, leg cramps, backache, excessive weight gain, and mood swing problems. Moreover, physically active women usually have normal delivery.
- Have not more than one cup of coffee or up to 200mg of caffeine a day. However, an occasional cup of greet tea, milk tea or coffee is safe and can be taken as your schedule if you do not have acidity.
- Do limit your exposure to pesticides by choosing organic and locally grown foods.
- Stay hydrated with at least 8-12 glasses of water a day.
- Inhale freshly-cut lime or ginger and drink lemonade with a few drops of ginger juice.
- Ask your doctor for advice if the sickness stops the way you eat.
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- Always try to wash your fruits and vegetables nicely before consuming them. If possible, peel all your fruits before consumption to decrease pesticides in them. Fruit washes available in many stores are safe to use. One should be especially careful with fruits like grapes and tomatoes as they can have a high level of dangerous pesticides.
- Don’t eat for two - All you need is 300 more calories in the second half of pregnancy and 500 more calories when you are breastfeeding.
- Avoid overeating of cereals like wheat and rice as these result in a high blood sugar level followed by a sudden drop, making you lethargic and low in energy.
- Avoid eating raw salads, uncooked meat like grilled stuff from outside. At home also please ensure these are washed very well before consumption and do not eat leftover raw salad.
- Avoid rich, spicy or fried foods, particularly spicy pickles, chaat, pani puri, aloo tikkis etc.
- Certain foods like unripe pineapple, raw papaya and pineapple should not be consumed in large quantities in the first three months.
- Avoid blue cheese, sea water fish (if not cooked properly) and canned food containing monosodium glutamate.
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- Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.
- Don’t Clean the cat’s litter box or dog's poop without wearing gloves.
- Don't go more than two to three hours without eating.
- Don’t ignore the symptoms of constant vomiting, severe sudden pain in your lower abdomen, swelling of the hands, feet, face or eyes etc as normal. Visit your doctor immediately if you are not feeling well.
It is OK to enjoy all the stuff like panjiri that your mom lovingly prepares for you, but mind the portion size and the calories especially if you are overweight.
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Pregnant and breastfeeding women are often advised to eat frequently and in small portions in order to keep their blood sugar levels nearly constant. The same advice is true for diabetic women as well. After all you are going to be pregnant only once or twice in your life so have fun and enjoy all the pampering.