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Pregnancy :
Pregnancy is a beautiful phase of every women's life; with little precaution this journey can be memorable. Hellodox wishes happy nine months with expert advice on yoga, exercise, meal plans, natural care and home care. Get the best pregnancy care tips and charts on HelloDox.
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Pregnancy Diet: Should You Really Eat For Two?

Dr. HelloDox Care #
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The ability to create life and give birth is one of the greatest miracles of nature. Pregnancy can be tough, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It is uncomfortable and comes with a long list of dos and don’ts. However, it is also one of the most amazing experiences a woman can go through.

A common piece of advice expecting moms get in India is that they should ‘eat for two’. This along with plenty of advice about topping their food with ghee (so that the baby ‘slips out!!’), eating gond ke laddoo and many such traditions confuse the new-age woman. Given that there is a lot of wisdom hidden in age-old traditions and old-wives tales. However, with so much information available on your fingertips, it is a good idea to read more and gather expert advice.

I have always been very conscious of my dietary habits. After years of eating healthy, I was worried about letting go and making ill-informed dietary choices when I got pregnant. However, it was also very important to me that I got all essential nutrition for my own as well as my baby’s health. A baby’s only source of nutrition in the womb is from the mother, thus it is imperative to eat healthy and ensure that a recommended diet plan is followed.
The importance of eating healthy during pregnancy

Ideal Diet Plan for Pregnancy

How much should you eat?

‘Eat for two’ – this is probably one of the most damaging inputs you can get. No, you do not need to eat for two, for the better part of your pregnancy. The other ‘person’ you’re eating for, is a tiny foetus, the size of a peanut in the first trimester.

• An average woman leading a sedentary life requires around 1900 calories per day.
• In the first trimester of pregnancy, you do not require any additional calories. Instead, you should make a conscious effort to shift your dietary habits such that your entire calorific intake ensures you get all essential nutrients required in this critical phase.
• In the second term, you need 300-350 additional calories per day.
• The third term requires your intake to be 500 calories over your normal diet.

What should you eat?

It is critical that these additional calories do not come in the form of junk food or unhealthy and non-nutritious foods. Many people think of pregnancy as a free pass to indulge themselves and load up on all sinful and calorie-laden foods. That large bar of chocolate or burger is not really helping you send nutrition to your baby. It is only helping you gain weight and inches, not the foetus. Make healthy food choices, eat fruits, vegetables, dairy products, etc.

Dark chocolate

Important nutritional requirements

There are four things that are very important and must be included in your diet:

• Folic Acid – Folate or folic acid is essential for preventing brain defects in the baby and it also helps support the placenta. Recommended allowances are Folate 500µg/day. Best sources include Amaranth leaves, ambat chukka, mint and spinach dals like Bengal gram, black gram, green gram and red gram.

• Calcium – The baby’s bones and teeth formation requires calcium. If your diet lacks calcium, the body will automatically take this mineral from your own bones for the baby. Thus, one must ensure that a calcium-rich diet is followed. Calcium is essential for maintaining the health of mother’s bones and to ensure proper bone and teeth development of the baby. Recommended dietary intake for calcium is 1200mg/day. Milk and milk products are the best source of bio available calcium. Some other foods rich in calcium are ragi, Bengal gram, whole dals like horse gram, rajma, and soya bean. Green leafy vegetables, nuts, oil seeds and fish are some other sources of calcium.

• Iron – Studies have stated that as high as 59% of Indian women are anaemic. During pregnancy, it is important to keep an eye on your HB count and ensure that you get enough iron through your diet. Both mother and child need iron to meet the needs of red blood cell formation. The recommended allowance for iron intake is 35mg /day. Green leafy vegetables are the best sources of Iron. Something as simple as a mint and coriander chutney can help meet your needs. The richest sources are amaranth, Bengal gram leaves, radish leaves and cauliflower greens. Vitamin C helps iron absorption in the body.

Spinach, a good source of iron

• Protein - A ‘builder nutrient’, it is essential for the baby’s organ development. Proteins are essential for maintaining the integrity of the mother’s body and for the baby’s growth and development. An additional 6.9 gm in the second and 22.7 gm in the third trimester is advised. Good quality protein sources include eggs, fish and low fat meats, however vegetarians can achieve their protein targets by a combination of cereals and millets with dals, paneer, cheese, besan, nuts and milk.

Expert Speak: Dr.Rupali Datta, Chief Clinical Nutritionist at Fortis-Escorts

An ideal weight gain for a mother-to-be is about 10-12 kg. A healthy birth weight for a baby is 3kgs. To achieve this, you do not need to eat for two but additional requirements of the body have to be met.

Starting with total calories, the first trimester does not require any additional intake so the RDA of 1900Kcal is adequate (for a sedentary woman). From the second trimester, an additional 350Kcal are recommended. To achieve this goal, intake of nutrient dense foods like whole grains, millets should be promoted. Oils are a concentrated source of energy, additional oil calories can be included from natural sources like nuts and seeds. Traditional gond ladoo, besan and dal pinnis could also help. But they must be taken in moderation so that they provide the additional calories and proteins yet prevent excessive and unnecessary weight gain.

Ladoo

If all this sounds like a mammoth task, relax. The way you can achieve these goals is by eating a variety of foods, using seasonal variations to guide you along. Eating a balanced meal is the best way to receive nutrients. Supplements, as the word means, are a supplement to your food. These should be taken only under medical care.

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Nutrition During Pregnancy: Debunking 5 Common Myths

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
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One of the first changes a woman makes when she learns about her pregnancy is almost always diet related. Expecting mothers are surrounded by many relatives and friends who all offer so many different perspectives on what a pregnant woman should and should not eat that it can be very confusing for the mother-to-be. While our loved ones mean well, mothers-to-be should not follow any advice blindly when it comes to their diet.There are several myths and misconceptions about the kind of food expecting moms should consume and avoid. Here are five common pregnancy diet related myths that are usually spread through word of mouth and often have no scientific rationale:

Myth #1: A Pregnant Mother Should be Eating for Two

It is very common for family members, friends and colleagues to tell a new mother-to-be that she now needs to eat for two because of which pregnant women tend to vastly increase their appetites. This misconception is one of the leading causes of excess weight gain during pregnancy, combined with an inactive or sedentary lifestyle.

As per the recommended requirements, pregnant women only need 300 extra calories a day, which is equivalent to a banana milkshake, a dry fruit milkshake or a two-slice multigrain vegetable paneer sandwich a day. This is definitely not the same as eating for two. The quality of food choices is more important than the quantity of food consumed during pregnancy.

Myth #2: Pregnant Women Should Avoid Fish

Most mothers-to-be avoid consumption of fish due to concerns about toxin build-up, excess heat, skin reactions, etc. However, fish is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 and other important nutrients, which are vital for brain and eye development of the foetus. Pregnant women should avoid fish with a high mercury content such as shark, tuna and mackerel. However, sardines [mathi], anchovies [nethili/natholi], salmon and river fish like rohu and catla can be consumed in moderate amounts to meet dietary needs. If you are a fish lover, consult your nutritionist to see how the right amount of fish can be incorporated into your diet.

Myth #3: Saffron Will Make the Baby's Complexion Fairer

This is one of the most common beliefs and quite an expensive one at that! There are a lot of families that believe that if a pregnant woman has saffron with milk, her baby will have a fair complexion. The truth is that no food can influence the baby's complexion, as the skin colour is entirely determined by the genes of the parents.

Myth #4: Papaya and Pineapple Can Cause Abortions or Miscarriages

These two fruits are completely forbidden in a pregnant woman's diet due to the belief that they can cause abortions and miscarriages. The assumed scientific basis of this myth is that both these fruits in their raw form contain certain enzymes, which if consumed in large quantities, can cause uterine contractions.

However, consumption of well-ripened papaya or pineapple does not cause any adverse reaction, if taken in moderate amounts in a well-balanced diet. However, many gynaecologists refrain from freely recommending it for two reasons - first, moderation is a widely misunderstood term and second, most fruits nowadays are artificially ripened, which can alter the amount of enzymes in the fruits and what is left behind is often unclear.

When pregnant, always check with your nutritionist before consuming papaya or pineapples.

Myth #5: Pregnant Women Can Catch a Flu with Cold and Sour Food Items

Mothers-to-be are often told to avoid citrus fruits, juices, limes, lemons, curd, buttermilk, etc. due to an age-old belief that these foods will cause them to develop cold and cough that will affect the baby too.

But the fact is these foods are loaded with nutritional benefits for the mother and the growing baby. For instance, the entire range of citrus fruits provides Vitamin-C, a very important vitamin for iron-absorption in the mother and skin development of the growing baby.

Curd and buttermilk provide probiotics, which keep the mother's gut healthy and also helps in digestion along with providing gut immunity. Both Vitamin-C and probiotics are two core immunity-boosting nutrients which are required in a pregnant mother's diet, so inclusion of these foods is important.

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What To Eat When You Are Pregnant? | Eating For A Healthy Pregnancy

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
Consult

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.

Do Pregnant Women Need To Eat For Two?

Do you need to eat for two? Not really. Of course, the nutrient requirements of a pregnant woman do go up; calories to minerals and vitamins are all needed in larger amounts but there is a method to this and does not mean that you need to overeat. Pay attention to eating balanced meals that provide your body with all the essential nutrients in the amounts needed.

How Much Weight Gain is Healthy During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy demands an extra 150Kcal/day in the first trimester and 350Kcals/day in the 2nd and 3rd trimester according to FAO/WHO. For an average Indian woman with a pre-pregnancy weight of 55Kg, ICMR expert group 2010 suggest the following additional calories for a 10 Kg and 12Kg weight gain respectively.

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 & Vegetables During Pregnancy

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.

Foods To Eat During Pregnancy | Nutritious Foods For Pregnant Women

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How Eating Disorders Affect Pregnancy?

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
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There are three main types of eating disorders. These are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating. Anorexia nervosa is an exaggerated fear of gaining weight all the way to the point when the patient becomes abnormally thin. Bulimia nervosa is eating too much and then vomiting it out on a regular basis. Binge eating is when an individual eats an excessive amount of food in one go. All three types of eating disorders have adverse effects on pregnancy.

Here is how eating disorders affect pregnancies:

1. Unplanned pregnancies: Women with eating disorders are much more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy. This is true both for women who had eating disorders in the past as well as women who have eating disorders at the moment. In a study by University College London and King's College London consisting of 11000 women showed, only 28% of women reported that they had an unplanned pregnancy without suffering from any eating disorder as compared to the 41% who did have an eating disorder at some point in their life. The reason for this is that women tend to think that they do not need contraceptives due to an irregular menstrual cycle, which is one of the consequences of eating disorders during pregnancy.


2. Happiness about their pregnancy: The same survey of 11000 women conducted by University College London and King's College London reported that 71% of women were happy about their pregnancies. However, the number would have been a lot higher if there were fewer women with eating disorders. It has been said that 10% of women were unhappy to discover they were pregnant, if they had an eating disorder in the past as compared to 4% who never had an eating disorder.

3. Consider pregnancy a 'personal sacrifice': It has also been said that women who have had or have eating disorders during or before their pregnancy tend to consider pregnancy as a 'personal sacrifice' much more often than women who have no history or eating disorders.

Even though mostly, eating disorders affect pregnant women mentally rather than physically, it is crucial that women try to fix this problem before their pregnancy so they actually can enjoy having a baby.

Published  

Eating Disorders - Understanding Its Impact On Pregnancy!

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
Consult

There are three main types of eating disorders, these are bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa and binge eating. Anorexia nervosa is an exaggerated fear of gaining weight all the way to the point when the patient becomes abnormally thin. Bulimia nervosa is eating too much and then vomiting it out on a regular basis. Binge eating is when an individual eats an excessive amount of food in one go. All three types of eating disorders have adverse effects on pregnancy.

Here is how eating disorders affect pregnancies:

1. Unplanned pregnancies: Women with eating disorders are much more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy. This is true both for women who had eating disorders in the past as well as women who have eating disorders at the moment. In a study by University College London and King's College London consisting of 11000 women showed, only 28% of women reported that they had an unplanned pregnancy without suffering from any eating disorder as compared to the 41% who did have an eating disorder at some point in their life. The reason for this is that women tend to think that they do not need contraceptives due to an irregular menstrual cycle, which is one of the consequences of eating disorders during pregnancy.


2. Happiness about their pregnancy: The same survey of 11000 women conducted by University College London and King's College London reported that 71% of women were happy about their pregnancies. However, the number would have been a lot higher if there were fewer women with eating disorders. It has been said that 10% of women were unhappy to discover they were pregnant, if they had an eating disorder in the past as compared to 4% who never had an eating disorder.

3. Consider pregnancy a 'personal sacrifice': It has also been said that women who have had or have eating disorders during or before their pregnancy tend to consider pregnancy as a 'personal sacrifice' much more often than women who have no history or eating disorders.

Even though mostly, eating disorders affect pregnant women mentally rather than physically, it is crucial that women try to fix this problem before their pregnancy so they actually can enjoy having a baby.

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