Motherhood? ?is? ?a? ?life-changing ?experience.? ?Pregnancy? ?is? ?undeniably? ?the? ?most? ?wonderful journey? ?whether?, ?you? ?are? ?a? ?first-time? ?mom-to-be? ?or? ?are? ?pregnant? ?with? ?your? ?second? ?or? ?third? ?child.? But pregnancy? ?and? ?lactation? ?are? ?physiologically? ?and? ?nutritionally? ?highly? ?demanding? ?phases.? ?
“During? ?pregnancy? ??nutrient? ?requirements? ?are? ?high? ?for? ??increased? ?maternal? ?and? ?foetal? ?metabolism,? ?for? ?growth? ?of? ?foetus? ?and? ?placenta,? amniotic? ?fluid? ?volume,? ?and? ?adaptations? ?to? ?maternal? ?tissues? ?(uterus,? ?breast,? ?blood? ?volume).? ??For? ?optimal? ?weight? ?gain (10-12kg)? ?and? ?a? ?healthy? ?infant? ?(about? ?3kg)? ?additional? ?calories? ?and? ?nutrients? ?are? required.? ?If? ?nutrient? ?requirements? ?are? ?not? ?met?, ?it? ?can? ?lead? ?to? ?maternal? ?malnutrition? ?which? ?can? ?eventually? ?lead? ?to? ?pregnancy? ?and? ?delivery? ?complications? ?and? ?low? ?birth? ? weight? ?infants? ?(<2.5kg),” said Dr Meghana Pasi, nutrition expert, Arogya World My Thali program.
She added that during? ?lactation?, ??the? ?nutrient? ?demands? ?are? ?higher? ?than? ?pregnancy? ?– as? ?in? ?the? ?first? ?4-6? ?months? , the? ?infant’s? ?weight? ?doubles? ?their? ?birth? ?weight? ?and? ?the? ?milk? ?secreted? ?in? ?the? ?first? ?four months? ?accounts? ?for? ?the? ?energy? ?equivalent? ?to? ?the? ?total? ?energy? ?cost? ?of? ?pregnancy.? ?Hence,? ?the? ?mother? ?should? ?be? ?well? ?fed? ?during? ?this? ?phase.? ? ?
Follow? ?the? ?key? ?components? ?of? ?a? ?healthy? ?lifestyle? ?during? ?pregnancy? ?and? ?lactation:? ?
? A? ?balanced? ?diet? ?
? Appropriate? ?and? ?timely? ?vitamin? ?and? ?mineral? ?supplementation? ?
? Regular? ?exercise? ?
Based? ?on? ?the? ?Estimated? ?Average? ?Requirements? ?given? ?by? ?the? ?ICMR-NIN? ?(2020),? ?below? ?table? ?gives? ?the? ?comparison? ?of? ?the? ?nutrient? requirements? ?of? ?adult? ?women? ?vs.? ?pregnant? ?and? ?lactating? ?mothers
“By adopting a healthy eating habit, you can meet the increased nutrient demands. Increase the quantity (portion) of different foods as recommended to meet your nutrient requirements (poshan). Eat 5-6 meals: breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, evening snack, dinner, bedtime. Balance your Thali at each meal. The comparison of portion sizes is explained easily in this table,” she told indianexpress.com.
Below are the most essential nutrients to be included in your diets everyday:
Green leafy vegetables, legumes/beans, dry fruits, nuts/seeds, egg yolk are rich in iron. Include these foods in your meals every day. The bioavailability of iron from vegetarian foods is poor whereas it is good from animal foods. Vitamin C helps in increasing iron absorption. Hence, include fruits like amla, guava, oranges, lemon in your meals. Avoid having tea/coffee before, during, or soon after a meal as they inhibit iron absorption.
Foods rich in folate are green leafy vegetables, legumes, beans, citrus fruits and nuts.
Good sources of calcium are milk, curd /buttermilk, paneer, low-mercury fish and seafood, green leafy vegetables.
Good sources are fatty fish eg. salmon, fortified milk, eggs, mushrooms.
Good sources are lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, soybean, dals/legumes, peas/beans, milk and milk products.
Some more nutrition tips:
Care besides adopting a healthy balanced diet:
Eating home-cooked balanced thali will not only keep you and your baby healthy, but it will also keep you away from other chronic diseases.
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