Saturday, June 29, 2013

Garbh Sanskar:Eating Right During Pregnancy

Beware of fruit juice:

Fresh-squeezed juice in restaurants, juice bars, or farm stands may not be pasteurized to protect against harmful bacteria. Some markets also sell raw, unpasteurized juice in the refrigerated case – look for the required warning label.  Pregnant women should opt for juice that is pasteurized. Juice in boxes and bottles on your supermarket shelf is also safe.

Unwashed Fruits/Veggies

Now is the time to load up on fruits and veggies! Just be sure to rinse them thoroughly under running water. A parasite called toxoplasma can live on unwashed fruits and veggies. It causes an illness called toxoplasmosis, which can be very dangerous to your baby. Don’t use soap to wash produce. Instead, scrub the surface with a small vegetable brush. Cut away any bruised areas, because these may harbor bacteria. To avoid the listeria bacteria, scrub and dry cantaloupe before slicing it.


Raw Sprouts

Don't eat any raw sprouts. Bacteria can get into the seeds before the sprouts begin to grow, and these germs are nearly impossible to wash away. At home, cook sprouts thoroughly to destroy any bacteria.

Unpasteurized Milk

Have you ever dreamed of visiting a farm and tasting milk fresh from a cow? Wait a while. Freshly collected milk has not yet been through the pasteurization process that protects it from listeria. That can be dangerous for you and your baby. Buy milk, cheese, or dairy products from a local farm only if the label says “pasteurized.”

The Caffeine

Good evidence now shows that a moderate amount of caffeine is safe during pregnancy. Researchers recommends women who are pregnant or trying should limit caffeine to 200 mg per day.  But remember, caffeine is also found in soda, tea, chocolate, and many energy drinks.caffeine can constrict blood vessels, increase heart rate and cause your body to lose water,

A balanced diet, plenty of calcium and iron, and fluids are still essential for moms-to-be and the healthy growth of their babies. Pregnant women who eat right and gain the recommended weight have fewer pregnancy complications, easier deliveries and lose the extra kgs faster. Malnourished babies are at greater risk for health problems and developmental difficulties, and large babies are harder to deliver.

For women who are already used to eating a balanced diet with plenty of breads and grain, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, the change won't be dramatic. Fats should remain at about 30% or less of total calories, although fat restriction shouldn't be a major concern during pregnancy. Vegetarians should be able to get the nutrients they need from careful food choices.


Eating right during pregnancy may require a little more conscientious planning. "It takes effort,". "For instance, you need 1,000 milligrams of calcium, and you can't get enough of that in your prenatal vitamin or supplement, but if you have cereal, milk and a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice for breakfast, right there you're up to about 600 milligrams." 

Snacks can be helpful in squeezing in all the required foods, not to mention beneficial in curbing morning sickness. "If you nibble throughout the day you're more likely to get all the nutrients you need, rather than trying to cram it all into each meal." Yogurt or cheese will boost calcium intake, for instance; an orange will provide extra vitamin C and folic acid.

It may be difficult to get everything you need from your diet, especially essential nutrients such as folic acid and iron, so most providers recommend a prenatal vitamin. Your iron needs to double to 30 milligrams to accommodate increased blood volume during pregnancy; a lack of iron can cause anaemia. Women should already be taking a prenatal vitamin with 400 micrograms, or 0.4 milligrams, of folate three months before conception to help prevent neural-tube defects. Your doctor may recommend supplements if necessary.

Pregnant women also should avoid raw or undercooked meal, poultry, eggs  as well as unpasteurized juice and milk, and soft cheeses. These foods may contain bacteria that could be hazardous to you and your baby. Try limiting junk food, too, because it fills you with empty calories; you're better off getting in those healthy foods first.

You should also be drinking more glasses of fluid a day, mostly water if possible, since dehydration can bring on premature labor. Fluids also will help reduce muscle cramps, swelling and urinary tract infections. "I tell patients to drink, drink, drink. Their urine should be so pale they can't see it in the toilet,". If drinking with food exacerbates morning sickness, try filling your quota between meals rather than with them.

Since certain foods or eating habits can actually help ward off some of the aches and pains of pregnancy. To quell morning sickness, heartburn and indigestion, eat small, frequent meals with bland starches, such as rice, bread or pasta, and avoid greasy or spicy foods. Herbal teas, like ginger root and lemon herb, can soothe your stomach, as can antacids, which also are a source of calcium.


If you are either under- or overweight, make sure you've discussed with your doctor  an appropriate weight range to target. Women who start out underweight will probably have to gain more than the average mom-to-be, and those who weigh too much may be advised to gain less, in addition to being monitored for associated problems, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Remember: You can get your figure back; it just might take a year to lose all the weight and to regain muscle tone. Within six weeks, you'll probably lose 8 to 10kg (from the baby, placenta, extra blood volume and fluids), although if you breast-feed, those last kgs may linger until you've weaned your baby. Milk production requires about 800 calories a day, with only about 300 available from stored fat. That's 500 extra calories derived from your diet -- 200 more than you needed while pregnant.

"Nutrition during pregnancy is really a matter of balance,". "If you would usually have a sandwich for lunch, then you may want to add a glass of milk or cup of yogurt. Who knows -- the eating habits you develop might be a welcome change. "During pregnancy you should eat better than you ever have.

Intake of Vitamin A must be controlled because it may cause damage to embryo.

Eating a variety of foods can help you get all the nutrients you need. Your body needs protein, carbohydrate, and fats for energy. Good sources of nutrients are:

  • Unsaturated fats like olive oil, nuts.
  • Carbohydrate from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes (peas, beans, and lentils), and low-fat milk products.
  • Lean protein such as all types of  poultry without skin, low-fat milk products, and legumes

It's also important to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. These not only give you necessary nutrients but also help you get fiber. Planning your meals can help you add healthy foods to your diet.

Cabbage, Cauli-flower & all green vegetables should be used alternately. You must keep balance, rather than eating same vegetable all the time.


Reduce brinjal, suran, papaya, onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, pepper, mustard, bajara, jaggery from your diet. You must remember that those who have previous history of abortion better they must avoid these.

Rice, Murmure, pulao, Bhakari, Khichri, Chapati, Paratha, Gujarati thepla are the items made from wheat and rice, so they are quite beneficial.

Items such as sandwich, bakery bread, bun, dhokla, pizza, handva, pancake, khaman,  curd, tomato, tamarind, kadhi usually increase the swellings and acidity. So, try to avoid such item but if such problems do not exist, you can take in small quantity.Do not eat left over, frozen & deep-frozen food.

You will need twice as much iron in your second and third trimesters as you did before pregnancy. This extra iron supports the extra blood in your system and helps with the growth of the placenta and the fetus. Your iron requirements are slight during the first trimester of pregnancy, and taking iron supplements in the first trimester may aggravate morning sickness.Iron supplements can cause an upset stomach and constipation. Taking your iron at bedtime may decrease the chance of stomach upset. Your body absorbs iron best in small amounts when you eat it with vitamin C, so you may want to take your iron throughout the day.

"Small amounts of healthy foods throughout the day provide a steadier flow of nutrients and energy to the developing fetus," . "Snacking may reduce the effects of morning sickness and heartburn, too."

  • Eat on a regular basis to keep blood glucose levels steady. 
  • Stick to a balanced eating plan with adequate calories for your pregnancy, and consider dividing your daily calorie allowance into six small, healthy meals. 
  • Make sure meals supply protein, carbohydrates, and some fat to keep you satisfied. Always start the day off right with a healthy breakfast, such as, whole-grain toast, and a glass of orange juice.
  • Try a short nap, a 10-minute walk, reading, watching a movie, or anything else that will help you relax, as long as it's safe.

Multivitamins do more than supply the necessary folic acid for growing babies, according to study.

Researchers there found that women in early pregnancy who took a multivitamin or prenatal vitamin regularly reduced their risk of preeclampsia by 45%. Preeclampsia, which causes elevated blood pressure and protein in the urine, is a leading cause of premature delivery and fetal death.

"If you find yourself having trouble taking prenatal vitamins or you're having unwanted side effects, talk to your doctor about other, safe options.

Take care of your unborn baby.

The sole purpose of these blogs is to provide information about the tradition of ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, prevention or cure of any disease. If you have any serious, acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained doctor/health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the medical advice of a trained Ayurvedic expert, call us or e mail.

Dr Unnati Chavda
(Promoting pregnancy wellness)

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