I am not an expert who can write an article about this topic nor I have undergone this stage to share my experience. So this post is the result of my information hunt on the web. I have tried to put together information from various portals that I felt it was important. This is just a guideline. What you should and what you shouldn’t do depends on every individual. So always ask your Doctor’s opinion FIRST before you decide to follow something.

Tips that I got from my friends who are wonderful mothers now
1. Eat in small portion every 2-3 hrs. (Ideas: Cereals, Nuts, Fruits, Rotis, 1 cup of rice, lots of vegetables, greens, Soups, Fish etc.. ) especially to avoid heart burn.
2. Make your snacks healthy.
3. Drink lots of water and fresh juices.
4. Exercise regularly (Walking is good especially in the last 3 months of pregnancy)
5. Avoid junk food
6. Do not eat for two.
Woman gets very special attention during her pregnancy both from her family and friends. They start feeding her with different types of (healthy) food. Rather she is forced to eat more during this stage. Most of them have a wrong conception that she should eat for two. This makes her to gain excess pounds and later leads to many complications during pregnancy or post pregnancy and it becomes difficult to loose those extra fat she accumulated during the last 9 months.

What Experts say
  • Don’t ‘crash diet’, as this can have a negative impact on the baby.
  • Don’t ‘eat for two’, as this will lead to unnecessary weight gain. A healthy pregnancy only requires about an extra 300 calories (might differ for certain individuals) a day during the second and third trimester, which is equivalent to a glass of milk or a sandwich.
  • Concentrate on diet quality rather than quantity.
  • Accommodate cravings, but don’t let them replace more nutritious foods.
  • Nutrients for which there are increased requirements during pregnancy include folate, iron and iodine. Iron supplements are often advised, but don’t take them unless your doctor recommends them. Folate is important before and in the early weeks of pregnancy to avoid neural tube defects (like spina bifida) in the baby. All women of childbearing age should eat high folate foods or take a folate supplement (remember to talk to your doctor first).
  • The recommended intake of calcium does not specifically increase during pregnancy. It is, however, very important that pregnant women do meet calcium requirements during pregnancy.
  • No one knows the safe limit of alcohol consumption during pregnancy, so the best approach is not to drink at all.
  • Being physically active has many benefits. If you are active and fit and are experiencing a normal pregnancy, you can remain physically active during your pregnancy. Otherwise, consult your doctor for advice.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Do not smoke – both direct and passive smoking are associated with growth retardation, increased risk of spontaneous abortion, stillbirths, placental complications and low birth weight.
For Breastfeeding mothers
Breastfeeding mothers need a significant amount of extra energy to cope with the demands of breastfeeding. This extra energy should come in the form of nutrient-dense foods to assist in meeting the extra nutrient requirements that also occur when breastfeeding.Recommendations include:

  • Eat enough food – breastfeeding burns through extra kilojoules.
  • Eat foods that are nutrient dense – especially those foods that are rich in folate, iodine, zinc and calcium.
  • Eat and drink regularly – breastfeeding may increase the risk of dehydration and cause constipation.

What type of food you can eat during Pregnancy?
1. Cereals: Wheat, Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Rice etc.,
2. Pulses: Dals, Legumes
3. Dairy Products: Pasteurized milk, cheese, paneer, curds, etc. (Avoid milk with growth harmones)
4. Fruits: Most of them (In India, papaya and pineapple are not recommended)
5. Vegetables & Greens
6. Lean meat, Fish
7. Use less oil, butter, sugar and jaggery.
8. Drink lots of fluids like soups, juices, buttermilk, milk shakes etc.,
What type food you should not eat during pregnancy?
1. Any spicy food
2. Caffeine
3. Raw eggs, ensure that the egg is cooked properly.
4. Unpasteurized milk
5. Smoked fish.
6. Avoid Tilefish, Shark, Swordfish and King Mackerel. It has high mercury content.
7. Avoid fish from lakes and river (bluefish, striped bass, salmon, pike, trout and walleye)
8. Unwashed vegetables, fruits.
9. Soft cheese
10. Alcohol
11. Try to avoid frozen food.
12. Big no to Shellfish.
13. Herbal tea
14. Avoid hot dogs, deli meats and meat that is half cooked.
15. Avoid red meat
Recommended Links
1.  Working during pregnancy
This article tells you about
a. How to ease nausea and vomiting
b. How to avoid fatigue
c. How to keep stress under control

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