“Pregnancy is one of the most joyous times in a woman’s life, but it’s also a period of transformation. Many physiological changes occur inside a woman’s body. In order to accommodate and encourage the growth of the baby, pregnant women must eat right, ensure that they consume certain key nutrients,” says Dr.C.Jayasree Reddy, MD, DGO, Senior Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Ankura Hospital for Women & Children.
Pregnancy is often associated with eating whatever one wants and having complete rest, which is untrue! It is important that specific nutritional requirements of both the mother and baby must be met. At this time, the fetus takes shape and forms inside the womb and the mother's body changes rapidly to accommodate the growing baby. This increases the overall caloric needs of a pregnant woman. Caloric intake should be increased by approximately 300 kcal/day i.e., an extra meal a day will be added and short frequent meals are advised. An overall weight gain of approximately 9-11 kgs is healthy and essential for the mother.
Along with an increase in caloric intake, attention must be paid to the quality of food! Here are five essential macro and micronutrients for mother & baby during pregnancy -
Dr. C.Jayasree Reddy adds, “Apart from these five key nutrients and especially to get these nutrients in the right quantities, an overall healthy diet with fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables is recommended for pregnant women. For high risk, complicated cases of pregnancy and for specific requirements, your gynaecologist will help you plan your pregnancy diet.”
The author is Senior Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Laparoscopic Surgeon, Infertility Specialist.