Manage your Diet During Pregnancy’Ž

Dr. Suwarna Vyas offers First-Time Mom’s Pregnancy Guide for a stress and complication free pregnancy period


Pregnancy is one of the most important events in the life of every married couple, especially a woman. It is often said that a woman feels complete after she becomes a mother. There are several changes that pregnancy brings to her life.

Apart from social aspect, physical and psychological part of being pregnant is something that requires special attention. Nutritionally, this is a highly demanding period for her as pregnant women require extra nutritive food and the logic is simple; there is another life taking shape inside her. Hence, eating right food during this period is essential.

So, here are few tips that I want to give to all the would-be mothers out there.

  1. Your daily diet should contain an addition of 350 calories. In the first three months a pregnant woman should consume 0.5 gms protein, in next 3 months i.e. up to 6 months she should consume 6.9 gms of additional protein & in last 3 months of pregnancy the diet should contain 22.7gms of protein.
  2. Add a balanced combination of cereals, pulses & nuts to add adequate protein.
  3. Milk, fish, meats & eggs are some of the rich sources of protein. However, pregnant women gain maximum amount of energy from rice, wheat & millets.
  4. Choose food rich in fiber like whole grain cereals, pulses and vegetables, to avoid constipation.
  5. Add proper quantity of seasonal fruits & vegetables in daily diet.
  6. Take iron, calcium & folic acid (500 mg /0.5mg folic acid supplementation is advised preconceptionally and throughout pregnancy for women with history of congenital anomalies) regularly after getting into the 3rd month of pregnancy.
  7. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, beetroot, cabbage and fruits like banana, oranges, sweet potato, legumes like dried beans, soya products, almond, nuts, and starches like whole grains, bread, wheat flour and liver are good sources of folic acid.
  8. Eat iron rich foods like green leafy vegetables (Beetroot, tomato, carrot), dry fruits (figs, raisins dried apricots, etc), soya bean, brown rice, potatoes, peas, strawberries, chicken liver etc.
  9. Eat fruits like amla, guava, oranges and lemon; it helps in the absorption of iron.
  10. Make your diet milk & milk products rich and eat paneer, yoghurt, curd, buttermilk, cheese.
  11. Nuts like almonds and walnuts and food products like fish and oranges are best source of calcium. One must consume this.
  12. Drink plenty of fluids including 8-12 glasses of water per day.
  13. Cut down on your salt intake to prevent pregnancy-induced hypertension. Excess intake of beverages containing caffeine like coffee and tea adversely affect fetal growth and hence, should be avoided.
  14. Enough physical exercise with adequate rest for 2-3 hrs during the day and 7-8 hrs during the night is advisable.
  15. Avoid consuming unhygienic roadside food or anything that has been kept outside for a long time. These are responsible for food borne diseases.
  16. And most importantly, stop any consumption of tobacco and alcohol in any form.
  17. Meet and mingle with happy people. Meditate, listen to good music and read love stories.

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