Healthy eating during pregnancy is very necessary to your baby's growth and development. A pregnant woman has to meet her own needs and the needs of growing fetus. An unbalanced diet can be harmful for both the developing baby and the mother, causing health problems like gestational diabetes, nutrient deficiencies, low birth weight babies or premature delivery etc.
Calcium Rich Foods: Calcium is needed for growth and development of bones and teeth of fetus. If the mother does not take adequate amount of calcium through her diet, calcium from the mother%u2019s bones is mobilized for needs of the fetus. Milk, paneer, curd, nuts, green leafy vegetables, ragi and whole pulses should be included in the diet.
Protein Rich Foods: Additional protein is required for the growth of fetus, development of placenta, increased maternal blood volume and formation of amniotic fluid. Good sources of protein are dairy products, beans, nuts, eggs, fish and lean meat.
Fish Oil/Cod Liver Oil: It contains omega-3 fatty acids, essential for development of fetal eyes and brain. Fish liver oil is also very high in vitamin D, which many people do not get enough of. It may be highly beneficial for those who do not regularly eat seafood or supplement with omega-3 or vitamin D.
Iron: Iron is necessary for fetal growth, expansion of red cell mass and for body's defense. Iron deficiency leads to anemia. Green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, legumes, roasted Bengal gram, eggs, meat, fish, chicken and poultry are rich sources of iron.
Folic Acid :Folic acid is required from conception to full pregnancy. It reduces congenital abnormalities. Glv, legumes, nuts and liver are good source
Water: It is very important to stay properly hydrated during pregnancy as the blood volume increases by up to 1.5 liters. Adequate water intake also ensures that the woman is not constipated and also has reduced risk of urinary tract infections.
CONSIDERATIONS: *Avoid having tea/ coffee with meals as it reduces iron absorption.
* Avoid smoking/ alcohol as it may lead to placental damage, fetal damage, low birth weight and growth retardation.