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The 7 Secrets of Nutrition for Pregnant Women

The 7 Secrets of Nutrition for Pregnant Women

Having another life inside you is both magical and challenging at the same time. We wish to share 7 secrets about the nutrition of pregnant women. This will help in nourishing the baby and mother.

Diet and nutrition before, during, and after affects the long-term health of your baby. This includes the risk of common non-communicable diseases. Examples can be obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

We now know that pregnant women do not actually have to "eat for two". However, a healthy and varied diet is important for both the mother and the baby. The average weight gain during 9 months should be 10-14kg.

Increase in nutritional need

We all know that the nutritional needs increases at this time. Following are the 7 secrets about nutrition of pregnant women:

1. Additional calories for meeting energy requirements

Energy requirements are 85kcal, 280kcal, and 470kcal in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters respectively per day during pregnancy. This means 2nd and 3rd trimesters demand more calories. Similar is the case with protein requirements.

2. Good quality fats

Fats such as PUFA should be included in the diet. We must take Omega 3 and omega 6 rich foods such as fish (low in mercury), vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds. Most fish contain competing benefits and risks in the form of omega-3 fatty acids and mercury.

Ideally, pregnant women would consume those fish that are low in mercury and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Examples can be salmon, sardines, and anchovies. You should avoid high mercury fish such as shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel. 

3. Fiber

Women should consume a fiber-rich diet to prevent constipation which is common. Include 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Staying well-hydrated is very important.

4. Folic acid

It is extremely important to prevent the occurrence of neural tube defects in the child. Its requirements should be met through diet or supplementation. Important even before conception and during pregnancy as well. Good sources are green leafy veggies, pulses, nuts, eggs and fish.

5. Iron

Iron needs nearly double during pregnancy. We should meet this requirement through diet or supplementation. Good sources include egg, chicken, ragi, bajra, green leafy veggies, dates, and seeds. Vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus, guava, capsicum, lemon, etc. can assist with iron absorption Whereas coffee & tea can inhibit iron supplementation.

6. Vitamin D

Its deficiency is common in pregnancy. Especially in high-risk groups such as vegetarians, women who live in cold climates, and ethnic minority women with darker skin. You require Adequate sunshine, eggs, fish, or vitamin D supplementation to prevent bone defects in your baby.

7. Other Important Nutrients

Other nutrients such as calcium, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, etc. are also equally important. You should go for regular check-ups in order to ensure that there is no deficiency. You might require nutrient supplementations during this time.

Exercise & Stress

Having discussed 7 secrets about the nutrition of pregnant women we must focus on exercise and sleep too. Even some amount of exercise under an expert is also beneficial for both the mother and child.

If you take too much stress it can cause shorter gestations and lower birth weights. Stress appears to negatively affect fetal brain development. Stress also raises the risk of hypertension and the immune system of the baby.

So, indulge yourself in stress-relieving activities that you like and stay happy. Example music, reading, watching cartoons, revisiting old family photos, etc. Sleep well.

In conclusion

Therefore, preconception and during pregnancy, nutrition and lifestyle play a huge role in determining the well-being of your baby. Connect with us for diet during pregnancy.

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