Laying a Good Dietary Foundation during Pregnancy

The growth of a tiny baby inside a motherís womb is like the foundation of a building. The diet of the mother during the 9 months of pregnancy directly affects the foundation of a new human life. So young mothers to be, please take great care and proper advice to make sure your diet is healthy and nutritious for your baby.

As new cells, tissues and bones are being formed all the time the most important nutrients that must be supplied and that are required in excess are protein, vitamins (specially B vitamins) and minerals (specially calcium and iron).

Milk or curds is one of the most important foods to be consumed, as it is a rich source of protein, vitamin A, B, D, E and calcium. At least 3 glasses must be consumed as milk or curd per day. Other foods rich in protein, vitamins and minerals are dhals and pulses. Egg and non-veg are also high in protein content. These days many young women do not consume milk at all. This can result in the babies having bowlegs and knocked knees and poor teeth as they grow up.

Plenty of fruits and vegetables of all verities must be taken to provide vitamins and minerals. Green leafy vegetables (palak, keerai, etc) are especially useful as they are a good source of calcium and vitamins A,B and C.

Many pregnant women are faced with the problem of nausea and vomiting. Coping with this can be so difficult that they completely neglect their diet and just eat anything in order to get through the day. This condition usually starts in the second or third month and continues till the fifth or sixth month. This is a very important period in the growth and the development of the baby so handling your diet correctly is very important.

The most important rule to follow is to prevent the stomach from being empty. The emptiness causes acids, digestive juices and gas to build up and then when you eat after a long gap there is a big burp and everything comes out. Try to find some food item, any food item you can tolerate and keep nibbling on it whenever possible.

Usually dry toast, bread, buns, biscuits and bread sticks are well tolerated. (Try to nibble one of these even before you get out of bed to prevent vomiting while brushing your teeth). Toast, idlis or porridge along with milk or egg is a good choice for breakfast. Make sure you bite a banana or a biscuit between breakfast and lunch. At lunch avoid rich, oily, fried and spicy preparations. Rice kanji, curd rice or kichidi without ghee may be tried. Boiled and soft vegetables and thin dhal should be added. Afternoon, tea and toast or little milk and biscuits, if buttermilk is preferred, go ahead and have that. At 6 p.m have some fruit or fruit juice. Jelly and plain custard also may be eaten. Dinner may be soft cooked rice or roti with thin dhal and vegetables or curd rice. Veg or chicken soup with toast may also be taken. If possible eat some fruit or biscuit or a glass of milk just before going to bed.

All strong smells like that when cutting onions or garlic, preparation of non-veg, boiling rice and some perfumes may set off vomiting attacks. Please sip as much water as possible throughout the day and eat any fruits that you can tolerate. The vomiting can cause dehydration and loss of vitamins and minerals.

Though you feel like lying down all the time, whenever possible walk about the house as this improves circulation, digestion and will also improve your appetite. Finally ensure good circulation of air in the rooms to keep you fresh.

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