Categories: Gynaecology

Dos and Don’ts for Healthy Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the milestones not only for a mother but for the entire family. With pregnancy comes great responsibility for the family. Good care during and after pregnancy is crucial for both mothers as well as the child. The best way to make sure that the child gets a head start on a healthy life is by taking good care of the mother.

Here we will discuss some dos and don’ts during pregnancy for helping the unborn to grow in a nurturing and healthy environment.

  1. Eat healthy foods.

A healthy diet is very vital for pregnant women. The baby in the womb needs nutrients to grow strong and healthy.

Some healthy eating habits during pregnancy are:

a. Do not eat for two

The mother may feel more hungry than usual, but that does not mean she needs to eat for two. She should avoid snacking on foods high in fat and sugar.

b. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals. They are also rich in fiber that helps digestion. The mother should have at least five portions of different fruits and vegetables every day.

c. Diet rich in carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are a source of energy. They help you to feel full without consuming too many calories. The carbohydrate-rich diet should make a 3rd of the food a pregnant woman is taking. Instead of having refined (white) carbohydrates, give more preference to wholegrain or higher-fiber options.

Some rich sources of carbohydrates are:

  • Potatoes
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Rice
  • Maize
  • Millet
  • Oats

d. Diet rich in protein

The mother should have protein-rich foods every day, such as:

  • fish
  • poultry
  • pulses
  • beans
  • eggs
  • meat (but avoid liver)
  • nuts

e. Dairy food in pregnancy

Dairy foods contain calcium and other essential nutrients that the mother and the baby in the womb need.

Always try to have low-fat varieties such as semi-skimmed and low-fat & low-sugar yogurt. You can also use unsweetened, calcium-fortified dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yogurts.

f. Cut down foods high in fat and sugar.

Food high in fat and sugar has high calories, which can cause weight gain. Try to cut down the consumption of foods such as

  • Butter
  • Cake
  • Crisps
  • Fizzy Drinks
  • Cream
  • Oils
  • Chocolate
  • Pastries
  • Biscuits
  • Ice Cream
  • Puddings

g. Avoid certain foods

 Consumption of some foods can harm the baby in the womb.

  • Raw meat
  • Liver
  • Raw eggs
  • Soft cheeses
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Some fish that are maybe high in mercury
  1. Prenatal vitamins

Prenatal vitamins give pregnant women an adequate amount of the key nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. They cover any nutritional gaps in the diet of the pregnant woman.

Prenatal vitamins have:

  • Folic acid
  • Vitamin d
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin c
  • Thiamine
  • Riboflavin
  • Niacin
  • Vitamin b12
  • Vitamin e
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Iodine
  1. Stay hydrated

During pregnancy, the body needs more water than other times. A pregnant woman should have more than 8 cups of water every day. Some of the key benefits of water during pregnancy are:

  • Aids in the digestion
  • Helps in the development of amniotic fluid around the baby in the womb
  • Helps in the circulation of nutrients
  • Aids in the removal of waste from the body
  1. Regular prenatal care check-ups

For a healthy pregnancy, regular prenatal care check-ups are important.

During check-ups, the doctor monitors the baby’s and mother’s health and accordingly provides nutrition and activity guidelines.

Moms without regular prenatal care have higher chances to have a baby with low birth weight or other complications.

  1. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol during pregnancy increases the risk of having a baby with F.A.S.D. (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder). F.A.S.D can cause physical, behavioral, and learning problems.

A baby with F.A.S.D may have the following signs and symptoms:

  • Poor reasoning and judgment skills
  • Low body weight
  • Speech and language delay
  • Intellectual disability or low IQ
  • Vision or hearing problem
  • Poor memory
  • Difficulty with attention
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Poor coordination
  • Learning disabilities
  • Problems with the heart, kidneys, or bones
  • Abnormal facial features
  1. Avoid smoking

Smoking is injurious to every one. A pregnant woman is no exception. Smoking during pregnancy increases the risk of:

  • Sudden infant death syndrome (S.I.D.S.)
  • Premature birth
  • Miscarriage
  • Prenatal or postnatal complications in the baby
  1. Stay active

Exercise is crucial for a healthy pregnancy.

Daily exercises make it easier for a pregnant woman to adapt to changing shape and weight gain. It also helps in coping with labor pain.

  1. Get ample sleep

During pregnancy, the body needs to produce more blood, and the heart needs to work extra to circulate that blood to the baby in the womb. For all these extra efforts the body needs rest.

The sleep of 7 to 9 hours is important for both, the mother and the baby in her womb.

  1. Relax

Reducing stress improves birth outcomes. Anxiety and depression during pregnancy may lead to complications like preterm birth and low birth weight.

Pregnancy welcomes a new routine into the life of not only moms but of all the family members. A few easy steps towards can make this journey memorable for everyone.

Dr. Sapna Raina, Senior Consultant – Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Narayana Multispeciality Clinic, Electronic City – Niladri Road, Bangalore

Narayana Health

Recent Posts

Why do we need the Booster Shot of Covid vaccine?

As we know, the government has approved the use of booster or precaution dose against…

2 days ago

Cervical Cancer

Cancer is a  group of diseases in which body cells start to grow abnormally and…

6 days ago

Helping your child with vaccine fear & anxiety

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the whole world in great danger we have never witnessed…

1 week ago

Planning to opt for IVF? Start exercising to boost immunity

With the latest advancement in medical science, many solutions are available for treating infertility. IVF…

1 week ago

Revised guidelines for home isolation

Recently the world has witnessed a surge in the new COVID cases; India is no…

2 weeks ago

Liver Health

The liver is the second largest organ in our body after skin. It is the…

2 weeks ago