What a mother eats when she is carrying her child dictates the nutritional intake of the foetus and then continues through to the development of the infant. If the mother has medical issues, her medicines and her pregnancy diet plan need to be suitably augmented to ensure that no adverse impact is felt by the developing infant in the womb.
And it is because of this that the old adage is very true – “What a mother eats is who her child becomes.”
The first weeks of fetal development are critical, and this is a time when the pregnancy may not be known or confirmed. In a planned pregnancy the diet can be taken care of from the stage of planning itself. However, in other cases, a mother to be should choose a variety of healthy foods to provide nutrients for the growth and development of the child the minute she suspects she is pregnant.
So what nutrients should a mother focus on and where can she get them from? Here is a small peek. Please note that this pregnancy diet plan may need to be modified depending on the physical and medical needs of the expecting mother.
Power foods during pregnancy:
Folic acid: It is a B vitamin that is crucial in helping developing a healthy brain and spine in the baby and avoiding neural tube defects. Leafy green vegetables, fortified or enriched cereals, egg yolk, etc. are all excellent sources of Folic acid. Mothers – these are good for your own hair too!
Calcium: It is a mineral used to build bones of a baby. If the pregnant mother’s diet lacks calcium the mineral is drawn from the mother’s bones. The baby is protected but the mother suffers in the long run. Food sources: milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines or salmon with bones, some leafy greens (kale, pok choy),etc. are what you need to start eating ladies! You do not want bone related maladies later in life!
Iron: Pregnant women need double the amount of Iron. Iron is the main oxygen carrier in the blood which is also the way in which the baby gets its own oxygen supply. Iron deficiency during pregnancy or anemia, can cause fatigue and can increase the risk of infections. Food sources: meat, poultry, fish, dried beans and peas, etc. are all a regular part of Indian diet.
Protein: Protein helps in developing important organs in the baby, such as the brain and heart. These are formed in the womb and for that mothers need to ensure that their diet has adequate amounts of proteins. Food sources: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, etc. are all easy to access and include in the diet.
The pregnancy diet plan described in this article is high in nutrition and is sure to help keep you energetic through the day. However, you can seek advice from your gynecologist or lactation consultant, for better results.