Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase in
a woman's life. It brings about emotional and physiological changes as well as
poses extra demands on the body. Good
nutrition during pregnancy helps keep the mother and baby healthy.
In this phase the body needs extra
nutrition for the developing fetus, pregnant woman herself and the lactation
period to follow. These nutritional demands have to be met for a healthy child
and mother. The diet before and
during pregnancy should be rich in calories, proteins, vitamins and minerals
. This need varies in the
The diet during pregnancy should comprise of
fruit and vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals, low-fat dairy foods and
lean meats, chicken and fish (low in mercury), dried beans and lentils, and
nuts and seeds.
A pregnant woman should avoid certain foods like
unpasteurized milk, raw or uncooked meat, poultry, fish and eggs, alcohol and
It is always advisable to eat 5-6 small meals
each day, instead of 3 large ones. Avoid skipping meals as the baby needs
regular sustenance, and the expectant mother also needs to keep up her energy
levels. Having healthy snacks like salads, sandwiches, soups or fresh fruits
between meals is also a good idea.The
baby needs healthy foods packed with nutrients and not ‘empty calories’ such as
those found in soft drinks, candies and desserts.