Diet /Nutrition counselling for Pregnancy & Post-Pregnancy
Diet & Nutrition counselling during pregnancy
Maintaining good nutrition and a healthy diet during pregnancy, as well as before and after, is critical for the health of the mother and the unborn child.. Important steps to a healthy pregnancy include eating a balanced diet; gaining the right amount of weight; enjoying regular physical activity; taking a vitamin and mineral supplement if recommended by a physician; and avoiding alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances.
Nutrition education and counselling during pregnancy is extremely important for a fit, happy and healthy pregnancy and only a healthy mother can give birth to a healthy and happy baby.
A good diet and nutrition strategy helps achieve the following:
Promote a healthy diet by increasing the diversity and amount of food consumed
Promote adequate weight gain through sufficient and balanced intake of protein and energy
Foods Fit for Mom and Baby
Whole grains: Breads, cereals, pastas and brown rice.
Vegetables: A variety of colorful vegetables, fresh, frozen or canned with no added salt should be included. Raw sprouts should be avoided.
Lean protein: Choose lean protein from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and peas, peanut butter, soy products and nuts. Pregnant women should avoid eating shellfish, shark, swordfish and king mackerel.
Low-fat or fat-free dairy: This includes milk, cheese and yogurt. Unpasteurized milk and some soft cheeses that are made from unpasteurized milk also should be avoided.
Healthful fats: Foods such as avocados, nuts and seeds as well as vegetable oils including canola and olive oil are full of healthy fats and good during pregnancy
Avoid extra calories from added sugars and solid fats, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain. Cut down on foods such as regular soft drinks, sweets and fried snacks.
Key Nutrients for Healthy Pregnancy
Folate or Folic Acid: This important vitamin reduces the risk of birth defects that affect the spinal cord. All women of childbearing age and pregnant women should consume at least 400 micrograms of folic acid each day. Natural food sources of folate include legumes, green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. Folic acid can be obtained through fortified foods such as cereals, pastas and bread as well as supplements.
Iron: Maternal iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency during pregnancy. Pregnant women need at least 27 milligrams of iron each day. Foods with high and moderate amounts of iron include red meat, chicken and fish, fortified cereals, spinach, some leafy greens and beans. For vegetarians and women who do not eat a lot of meat, increase iron absorption by combining plant-based sources of iron with vitamin C-rich foods. For example, try spinach salad with mandarin oranges or an iron-fortified cereal with strawberries.
Calcium: During pregnancy, calcium is needed for the healthy development of a baby's teeth, bones, heart, nerves and muscles. When a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, it is taken from her bones for the baby. It is important to consume adequate amounts of calcium daily before, during and after pregnancy. Have at least three daily servings of calcium-rich foods such as low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt or cheese or calcium-fortified plant-based beverages, cereals and juices.
Diet / Nutritionist Consultant
Dt. Sarika Nair
Dt Sarika Nair is a diet and lifestyle consultant. She believes in holistic health and the power of food. She is here to help you make right choices on your plate during this most beautiful and important phase of your life, when you are not only responsible for your own health but also of the tiny unborn baby growing inside you.