Nutrition During Pregnancy: What To Eat, What Not To Eat

As the fetus’s primary source of nourishment is what the mother consumes, mothers need to maintain a balanced diet with ample amounts of nutrients. The correct amount of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals, and more will ensure the healthy development of the fetus. Some women’s diets may have to be altered due to their ethical and religious beliefs, but that should not stop them from finding a substitute for that food product. Consulting a doctor for the same is highly recommended. Besides these tips, it is recommended that you consult gynecologists in Jaipur for a better and personalized consultation.


Key Pregnancy Nutrients


Consuming fats not only help prevent preterm birth and low birth weight but also help the placenta and other tissues grow. The fat choices for a pregnant woman should be Omega3 Fats or as commonly called, Healthy Fats. Such foods include fish like salmon and tuna, nuts and seeds like walnuts and chia seeds, plant oils like flaxseed oils and soybean oils, and fortified foods like eggs and yoghurts.


Undoubtedly, all animal-sourced foods like meat, eggs, and fish contain high amounts of protein. However, substitutes for vegetarian and vegan people are available too. Pulses, beans, nuts, and seeds work as a great substitute. Soy products and tofu are beneficial as well. A type of protein Quinoa called complete protein is one of the few gluten-free alternatives. This plant-based food product contains all nine amounts of vital amino acids.


Carbohydrates are a source of energy. However, these carbs should be consumed through whole wheat products during pregnancy. Some of the whole wheat-based foods include whole wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, and more.


This nutrient is essential for the fetus’s bone development. If the calcium intake is not sufficient, minerals from the mother’s bones are taken to fulfill the requirement. Dairy products are a good source of calcium. They are also loaded with Vitamin D, another nutrient required for bone development. Some of the calcium-packed foods include milk, cheese, and yoghurt. For vegetarian and vegan mothers, the list includes plant-based milk like soymilk or almond milk, soybeans, okra, broccoli, kale, beans, tofu, and more.


Getting constipated during pregnancy is likely to happen. However, to avoid that, a pregnant woman should resort to the intake of fiber. Fruits and vegetables such as apples, broccoli, raspberries, peas, and pears can be consumed. Whole grains and pulses like brown rice, chickpeas, and black beans are beneficial for reducing the risk of hemorrhoids. You can visit Cocoon Hospital, the best maternity hospital in Jaipur, and consult gynecologist for more options.


During pregnancy, a pregnant woman requires double the amount of iron in their body. Iron is responsible for the production of haemoglobin. The lack of iron can lead to anaemia leading to fatigue and a higher risk of preterm delivery, underweight baby, and more severe issues. Iron-rich foods include dried fruits, fishes like salmon and tuna, cooked oysters, egg yolks, dried beans, green vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, collards, spinach, dandelion leaves and kale. Non-animal-sourced foods are not easily absorbed by the body. Absorption rates can be increased by mixing in some meat-based foods.


Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy


Alcohol consumed by the mother can reach the baby through the umbilical cord. There is no fixed amount of alcohol that is not likely to harm the fetus; thus, mothers should avoid any amounts of alcohol during their pregnancy. Research has shown that fetus’s alcohol consumption can lead to behavioural and learning difficulties in the future.


Fishes such as shark, king mackerel, orange roughy, tilefish, swordfish, and marlin are high in methyl mercury. Methyl mercury, if reaches the fetus through the placenta, can cause damage to the fetus’s brain, kidneys, and nervous system.

Undercooked Meat

Eating raw or partially cooked meat can lead to food poisoning in a pregnant woman. Foods such as runny eggs, cake batter, mousse, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, and egg nog, etc. are a few examples of undercooked foods.

Unpasteurized Food

Foods that are not heated to a high temperature to kill the harmful bacteria are called unpasteurized. This can lead to a type of food poisoning in a pregnant woman, called listeriosis. It is caused by listeria bacteria which increases the risk of miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and illness or death in newborns.