Diet During Pregnancy

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Diet During Pregnancy


  A period of great physiological as well as psychological change for a woman. She has to :

  • Maintain her health at optimum level to prepare for delivery and lactation
  • Provide good nutrition for the development of the foetus.
  • Produce adequate nutrients so that maternal stores do not get depleted
  • Produce sufficient milk to nourish her child after birth


  • First trimester – the rate of growth of the foetus is slow. Mother is unable to eat well due to the morning sickness.
  • Next two trimesters – foetus grows rapidly and hence nutritional needs for the formation of new tissues is increased.
  • Apart from the increase in foetal tissue there is an increase in maternal tissues like mammary glands and tissues supporting the foetus like placenta.
  • A term neonate will have adequate stores of iron, protein, vitamin C and other vitamins. Otherwise, the foetus will have intra uterine growth retardation.
  • A well balanced diet that is high in fiber, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and low in saturated fats will help a mother to stay fit and supply the foetus with all the essential nutrients for healthy development

A good diet is inclusive of proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, fats, vitamins and good amount of water.             


    • A good intake of protein in regular diet aids in cell growth and blood production.


  • Pulses  like rajma, channa, sprouts, peanut, tofu,fish, lean meat, poultry, egg whites, nuts, skimmed milk and it’s products are all rich in proteinCarbohydrates:


    • Food with carbohydrates helps to produce energy that is necessary for the body.


  • Rice, ragi,wheat,barley,jowar,potatoes,cereals,  fruits and vegetables are good sources of carbohydrates.Calcium:


  • Food rich in calcium is a must during pregnancy that aid in developing strong bones and teeth.
  • It also helps in muscle contraction and proper nerve functioning.
  • Ragi, Milk, cheese, curd, egg, fish, green leafy vegetables, nuts,sesame,rajma and channa  are rich sources of calcium.
  • Calcium intake is very important during pregnancy, as the baby demands a high supply of calcium. So it is necessary for the mother to increase the intake of calcium to prevent the loss of calcium from her own bones.



    • A good intake of iron helps in the production of red blood cells that keeps anemia at bay.
    • Lean red meat,egg, green leafy vegetables, lentils,sesame seeds,rajma,almonds,figs,wheat germ,wheat bran and iron fortified whole grain cereals supply a lot of iron to the body.
    • Vegetables like drumsticks and beetroots are also rich in iron.


  • Citrus fruits like sweetlime,orange,lemon,amla helps in the iron absorption.Vitamin A:


  • Vitamins are providers of healthy skin, good eyesight and also aid in developing strong bones.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables, Carrots, sweet potatoes ,pumpkin, milk ,mangoes, papaya and egg are good sources of vitamin A


Vitamin C:
Citrus fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, fortified fruit juices carry vitamin c that is required for healthy gums, teeth and strong bones.
Vitamin B6:

  • Food rich with vitamin B6 like liver,fish,nuts,peanuts,wheat germ,wheat bran and whole grain cereals and bananas supply this type of vitamin for the body.


     Vitamin B12:

  • This vitamin helps in the formation of red blood cells and helps to keep the nervous system healthy.
  • Meat, fish, poultry and milk provide this vitamin.

 Folic acid:

  • Green leafy vegetables, dark yellow fruits and vegetables, peas, beans and nuts are all rich in folic acid that helps a lot in blood and protein production and effective enzyme production.

Folic acid helps prevent neural tube defects that occur during the early stages of pregnancy. Hence a good amount of folic acid is necessary for the body before pregnancy and during the early weeks of pregnancy.


A common complaint especially early in pregnancy. Try these suggestions and see what works for you:

  • Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day. Try to eat something every few hours because you may feel sick when you’re really hungry.
  • Avoid greasy or fried foods, as these take longer to digest.
  • If the smell of cooking makes you uneasy, ask someone else to cook while you are out of the house or try eating foods such as sandwiches, cereal, curd, nuts, biscuits and crackers or fruit. Don’t lie down right after you eat.
  • Keep a snack like crackers or dry cereal by your bed and eat a little if you wake up in the night or before you get up in the morning.
  • Be sure to drink juice, water, fruit smoothies, milk or soup if you can’t eat solid food.


Food To Be Avoided During Pregnancy

  • No amount of alcohol or smoking is advisable during pregnancy. The pregnant mother has to strictly keep away from them.
  • Excess of carbonated drinks and caffeine should be avoided.
  • Unpasteurized cheese and milk
  • Raw eggs and food containing raw eggs
  • Undercooked or raw meat, liver,fish and processed meat
  • Fish that has high mercury content in them like shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish are to be avoided
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