Pregnant women are advised to be very careful about their diet. Certain foods are said to be a strict no for expectant mothers and nutritionists and health experts always advise pregnant women to omit these foods and drinks from their diets, lest their harm their babies in some way. This is why during pregnancy a healthy meal plan should ideally be in place to ensure health of the mother and the baby. A new study has pointed towards the harmful effects of consuming potato chips and vegetable oil during pregnancy. The study warns mothers about the side-effects of consuming too much of these two foods, saying that such a diet may increase risk of complications during pregnancy and may even hamper development of the baby. However, it's the reason behind this warning that's a shocker- omega 6 fatty acids.
Researchers have said excessive presence of omega 6 fats, particularly linoleic acid, in pregnancy diet may result in increased inflammation and in the mother's body and may even increase the risk of heart diseases. The results of the study were published in The Journal of Physiology and they said that consuming linoleic acid that equaled three times the safe consumption limit, was harmful for mothers during pregnancy term. The study was conducted on rats and it was observed that pregnant rodents who consumed diets rich in linoleic acid had high concentrations of inflammatory proteins in their livers.
Additionally, they also had high concentrations of a protein which could induce contractions in the uterus during pregnancy, as well as low levels of a hormone which is important for regulating growth and development of the baby. Human diets rich in linoleic acid, also tend to be rich in fats, sugar and salt, said the researchers. Study lead author Deanne Skelly, Professor at Griffith University in Australia said in an IANS report, "It is important for pregnant women to consider their diet, and our research is yet another example that potentially consuming too much of a certain type of nutrient can have a negative impact on the growing baby."
A well-balanced outlook to nutrition has far reaching benefits for a long and healthy life. Eating right is important for all of us throughout our lives, but ladies who are planning to become moms or are pregnant need to pay attention to their dietary needs a little bit more. The extras are needed for foetal growth, maternal tissue expansion during pregnancy and for milk secretion during lactation. Eating healthy helps the baby develop and grow healthy. Research has confirmed that the health of an individual is determined by the health of a mother even before conception and that eating patterns have a direct effect on the long term health of a child - from womb to grave. Getting it right during this phase in a woman's life is not all that tough. Nature provides us with enough and more foods loaded with nutrients and health benefits. The density of crucial nutrients may vary in different foods, but it's all easily available around us. So, all that you need to do during pregnancy is have a wide variety of fresh ingredients to ensure wholesome nutrition for the baby and yourself.
What To Eat When You Are Pregnant | Pregnancy Diet | Healthy Eating During Pregnancy
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy which is the most important nutritional requirement for our bodies to function at an optimal level. In addition to calories, healthy carb sources also provide vital nutrients like vitamins, minerals and healthy fibre.
Choose Healthy Carb Sources Over Empty Calories During Pregnancy
Unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains like wheat, barley, ragi, oats, bajra and corn are good options to choose from for your pregnancy diet. Legumes, milk, vegetables and whole fruits are also healthy sources of energy rich carbohydrates.
Proteins To Eat During Pregnancy
Proteins are the most important building block of every cell in our body. Pregnant and lactating mothers need a higher amount of protein for the ever increasing volume of blood component in the mother and for optimal development of the baby. NIN (National Institute of Nutrition) suggests an additional 0.5g protein for the first trimester, 6.9g for the second and 22.7g for the third trimester, respectively.
Sources of Protein: Animal proteins are a better quality because they contain all the 9 essential amino acids needed by our body. Lean unprocessed meat, chicken, fish and eggs are all sources of quality protein. In the vegetarian section milk, cheese, paneer and other milk products are the top-of-the-list choices. Legumes and lentils, especially when taken in combination with whole grains assures better quality protein and is enough to provide for healthy protein intake. Nuts and seeds are another source of healthy proteins.
Dairy Products During Pregnancy
Dairy products provide the most important Calcium for a mother-to-be. Calcium is a mineral that the growing foetus requires for proper formation of bones and teeth. Milk is also an essential nutrient for children.
Fruits and vegetables provide the body with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. They help alleviate constipation, a common problem during pregnancy, by adding roughage to the diet. This also helps in better digestive health which means better absorption of nutrients.
Recommended amounts are 5 serving of seasonal fresh fruits and veggies daily.
Fats & Sugars During Pregnancy
Fats and sugars are required to meet the daily calorific targets, though many pregnant women may end up consuming more than is required. The trick lies in selecting the right source and, of course, in the right quantity. Excessive intake of high fat and sugar foods adds up to empty calories which further leads to unhealthy weight gain. Too much of saturated fats may increase your risk of cardiac diseases too.
Sources of healthy fats are peanut oil, sunflower oil, rice bran oil, mustard oil, linseed oil and desi ghee in moderation.
Balancing each meal will help you eat your quota of all essential nutrients.
In the third trimester small frequent meals may be a better option.
Snacking healthy is another way of achieving your nutritional goals. Instead of just reaching out for ready-to-eat snacks choose the traditional homemade ones like ladoo, panjiri, mathis made fresh in small batches. These are still high-fat and sugar-foods so limit the quantities. Other snacks you can choose are roasted nuts, popcorn, bhelpuri, grilled paneer tikka, bhuna chana, dhokla, multigrain bread sandwiches.
Eat healthy, eat tasty and enjoy the most happy part of your life.
Pregnancy brings in many physiological and psychological changes in a woman. And you need to be very careful about things to do and not to do. You need to be prepared for certain unforeseen circumstances, but the trick is to know how to keep yourself free from some unwanted worries.
If you are pregnant and are eager to know about things to include and avoid during the nine months, MomJunction brings a guide for you.
Things To Avoid During Pregnancy:
There are many things you can’t do while pregnant, for your baby’s safety and good health.
1. Do not eat raw meats, unpasteurized dairy, raw foods, fried foods, etc. They may contain harmful microbes that can adversely affect yours and your baby’s health. Such foods also contribute to excessive weight gain.
2. Do not paint the nursery as the chemicals and solvents in the paints can be toxic and harmful. If you want to paint the nursery, then you can use natural or organic colors.
3. Do not go overboard on caffeine. It can increase blood pressure, heart rate, and you have to frequent to the loo. Also, caffeine passes through the placenta and increases the possibility of the baby developing diabetes.
4. Do not take medications without consulting your health practitioner. Certain medications may have specific dosage and should not be taken over-the-counter.
5. Do not wear stilettos and prefer heels that are three-inch or less, such as wedges, platforms, and kitten heels. Heels may make you uncomfortable as the body’s center of gravity changes. Also, you would feel better in flip-flops due to the swollen ankles.
6. Do not change the kitten litter as the feces can carry a rare parasitic disease, toxoplasmosis. Even if you do, wear gloves while changing and wash your hands after that.
7. Do not breathe secondhand smoke. It is linked to many complications including cancers, premature delivery, miscarriage, low birth weight babies, sudden infant death syndrome, and learning or behavioral issues as the baby grows.
8. Do not take alcohol including wine, liquor, and beer. It can quickly pass through the placenta and umbilical cord and affect the baby’s developing brain and organs. Alcohol also leads to premature birth, brain damage, miscarriage, and stillbirth.
9. Do not sit or stand for extended periods in the same position. It can hurt the ankles and veins. Take frequent breaks and move around to keep your legs elevated if you have been on your feet for some time.
10. Do not get carried away by contradictory information given in books, magazines, and online media. Trust your instincts and when in doubt, talk to your practitioner.
11. Do not take illegal drugs. Drugs are associated with increased chances of low birth weight babies, impaired neurobehavioral development in babies, birth defects, and withdrawal effects.
12. Do not eat hot dogs, cold-cuts, or other processed meats and soft cheeses as they possibly carry harmful bacteria listeria that make you and your baby vulnerable to many diseases.
13. Do not get in contact with reptiles such as lizards, turtles, iguanas, and snakes. Their feces pass salmonella virus into your system and can be dangerous.
14. Ensure there are no ticks as their bites can cause Lyme disease. The effects include permanent tooth discoloration in pregnant women and deformation of bones in the fetus.
15. Avoid vitamin A supplements unless advised by your healthcare practitioner. Having excessive vitamin A can lead to birth defects in the baby (2).
16. Stay away from video display terminals (VDTs), radios, high voltage power lines, telegraph transmissions, and various other common appliances and communication equipment. These emit harmful, non-ionizing radiations that may lead to abortions, birth defects, and genetic damages in babies .
17. Exposure to X-rays, especially abdominal X-rays, increase the risk of birth defects and cancers such as leukemia in babies later in life.
18. Do not stay near microwaves. They emit harmful electromagnetic radiation that could harm the fetus and lead to miscarriages.
19. Do not use an electric blanket. They emit low-level electromagnetic fields, which can be dangerous for the growing fetus.
20. Do not use a waterbed as the heaters used in them emit the same electric fields as electric blankets.
21. Do not drink tap water in early pregnancy stages as they are prone to contaminants and associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. You should have treated water.
22. Avoid stress especially at work. It can affect your immune system and increase the chance of infections leading to preterm labor and miscarriage.
23. Do not expose yourself to pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. They can have a variety of effects on your fetus, including miscarriage and preterm birth.
24. Avoid fumes from household cleaning products, paints, thinners, etc. They contain solvents, which on inhalation increase the risk of miscarriage and birth defects.
25. Ensure that your body temperature is not above 101oF as it can be potentially dangerous for your developing fetus. The body temperature rises during flu, strenuous exercises, and fever .
26. Ensure good personal hygiene to stay away from contracting diseases such as herpes as it could lead to severe health complications in babies during delivery. In rare cases, it can also cause a miscarriage during the first trimester .
With so many ‘don’ts’ you might be thinking if there is anything that you can do during pregnancy. The answer is yes.
Being pregnant is amazing. During the 40 weeks of the pregnancy calendar your body experiences incredible change. Read on to find out what to expect during the three stages of pregnancy (trimesters), plus, learn some good tips to keep you and your baby healthy.
1. First Trimester (weeks 1-12)
There’s a lot going on inside your body right now. Every bit of you is beginning to discover what it means to be pregnant. This can include:
- Extreme tiredness
- Morning sickness
- Tender or swollen breasts
- Food cravings
- Mood swings
- Weight gain
2. Second Trimester (weeks 13-28)
You may find this trimester easier than the first. As morning sickness and tiredness fade, your bump will begin to show more. Before long, you’ll feel your baby move. You’ll also experience:
- Aches in your back, tummy and groin
- Stretch marks
- Numb or tingling hands
- Slight swelling of the ankles, fingers and face
3. Third Trimester (weeks 29-40)
You’ll now have a football ball sized bump. You’ll feel discomfort as your baby presses against your organs. As well as the need to go to the toilet more often, you also notice:
- Shortness of breath
- More pronounced swelling of the ankles, fingers and face (If this becomes extreme, contact your health care professional immediately)
- Tender breasts, which may leak a watery pre-milk fluid (colostrum)
- Trouble sleeping
##Top tips to prevent illness during pregnancy
Don’t ignore your body’s changes – a little person is growing inside you. Use these pregnancy tips to make some changes too:
- Go to bed earlier and get more sleep (while you can!).
- Eat a healthy nutritious diet.
- Avoid unpasteurised dairy products, mouldy cheeses, cold meats and soft boiled eggs which can carry bacteria. Consult your doctor for a full list of foods to avoid.
- Take folic acid supplements until your 12th week of pregnancy to help prevent your baby being born with harmful conditions such as spina bifida.
- Avoid cat faeces as it can contain an organism that causes toxoplasmosis (an infection that, in severe cases, can cause serious eye and brain damage to the baby).
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces around the home Dettol Hygiene Liquid or
- Dettol Antiseptic Liquid which kill 99.9% of germs
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- In case water is not readily available, use Dettol Wipes to disinfect your hands
Wherever you are on the pregnancy calender, enjoy it – the time will fly.
Hypertension during pregnancy can be a problem for both baby and the mother. Thus it is of utmost importance that during pregnancy a good health should be maintained along with controlled blood pressure and cholesterol levels. With an increase in multiple births and women of older age the risk of hypertension during pregnancy has increased. But if proper care is taken it can be avoided.
Types of Pregnancy Hypertension:
There are three prominent forms of hypertension that can be seen during pregnancy. The pregnant ladies should be aware of the same. These are:
- Preeclampsia - This is the most common and serious hypertension during pregnancy. This hypertension can only be controlled by delivering the fetus which usually involves complications like death of the mother or child. This occurs 20 weeks after pregnancy.
- Gestational Hypertension - This form is only prevalent during pregnancy and is not a problem for the mother or baby after delivery. This usually occurs in the last leg of the pregnancy
- Chronic Hypertension - This form forms either prior to the pregnancy or before 20 weeks of the pregnancy.
Management of Pregnancy Hypertension:
Hypertension during pregnancy can be handled by the following:
- In case of severe hypertension, blood pressure medication should be continued during pregnancy
- If you are on ACE inhibitor-type medication, then the medication is changed to one that is even safe for the baby
- Your doctor might like to monitor you daily and can advise hospitalization for a few days
- If medication is missed, it might lead to uncontrolled life-threatening hypertension. Thus the medication should not be missed at any time
- In case of mild hypertension and absence of other diseases like diabetes and kidney disorders, the doctor might stop the medication or reduce the dose. Also, being off medicine does not cause any problem in mild hypertension.
- Irrespective of the hypertension being mild or severe, the prenatal appointments should not be missed, so that the doctor can monitor you and the baby. If any problems, like rise in blood pressure, poor fetal growth, and signs of preeclampsia can be spotted and steps can be taken for the same.
- In case there is some form of hypertension present the prenatal visits and lab tests will be more
- Apart from the usual second trimester ultrasound, there will be periodic ultrasounds in the third trimester to monitor the baby's growth and the amniotic fluid.
- Also regular fetal tests and Doppler ultrasounds will be done to track the baby's growth.
- Lifestyle changes should be made. Salt intake should be limited, fresh food instead of processed food should be consumed.
- If blood pressure is high then doctor might ask you to avoid exercise especially if you never did before pregnancy.