Preparing yourself for being pregnant is important as your body is being geared up for giving birth to a new life. Your body preparation is critical as the new life will be solely dependent on you for its nutrition. Plainly stating the healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be. Lifestyle, stress, diet, exercise, weight, contraception, supplements, regular check ups etc play a key role.
It’s essential to prepare your body two to three months prior to being pregnant. Here’s a glimpse of how to follow a healthy diet regime before and even during pregnancy:
- Consume food containing folic acid to minimize the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida. Eat highly fortified breakfast cereal and whole grains.
- Include milk and dairy products in diet; they are rich source of calcium, proteins and vitamin B-12.
- Eat fruits (banana, black grapes, ripe mango etc.), dry fruits (dates, cashew nuts, apricots), green leafy and non green vegetables. Keep balance and variety in diet so you get proper nutrition.
- Eat preparations from rice and wheat which give energy.
- Reduce intake of white sugar.
- Beans provide protein, fiber, iron, folate, calcium, and zinc, include them in your diet.
- Salmon is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which is essential for baby’s brain and eyes, protein and B vitamins.
- Drink plenty of (clean, boiled/filtered) water and fresh fruit juices, while travelling carry your own water or buy bottled water.
- Replace Ghee, butter, coconut milk and saturated fats with vegetable oils containing unsaturated fat.
- Sea fish and sea/iodised salt are good sources of iodine which helps in baby’s development, but you cannot eat all fish. Know why.
- Controlled intake of Vitamin A is important as its overdose may cause damage to embryo.
- Chances of a miscarriage/abortion arise with the intake of brinjal, papaya, celery, onion, ginger, pepper, asfoetida, mustard, bajara, carom seeds and suran/yam. Reduce their intake considerably. Read about fruits to avoid.
- Stay away from peas and heavy to digest cereals, potatoes if suffering from constipation, gas, bloating.
- Bakery and bread items, dhokla, handva, pancake, khaman, steamed rice cake, curd, tomato, tamarind, kadhi increase swelling and acidity. Minimize their intake
- Avoid fasting, eating left over, frozen & deep-frozen and fast food. A big “NO” to alcohol, tobacco and associates; excess of tea, coffee & ice-creams.
- Focus on supplemental nutrients while maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet.
- Get a list of healthy foods and meal planning tips from doctor to eat well during a pregnancy.
Remember, the baby is dependent on you for proper nutrition. Eating a healthy and balanced diet will ensure the child is healthy.