Diet Chart for Pregnant Women - 0 to 8 Weeks

Parasakthi

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#2
Your new lifestyle

Many things will be going through your mind if you have just discovered that you are pregnant, but worrying about your pre-pregnancy lifestyle and diet need not be one of them.

Like New Year's Eve, the day you discover that you are pregnant is a good time to make new resolutions. There is plenty you can do now to improve your diet and to ensure that you can manage the rigours of pregnancy and give your baby the nutrients and energy he requires.

If you have serious concerns about your pre-pregnancy lifestyle, talk to your doctor. The important point to remember is that making healthy changes to your lifestyle now will benefit both you and your baby, and will help you cope after the birth.
 
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Parasakthi

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Food for you

Many pregnant women worry about their appearance during the months of pregnancy. At this stage in your pregnancy, your energy needs increase very little, so be guided by your appetite and don't be too tempted to eat more than you need.
You may be advised to eat for "two" by elders and well-meaning relatives - but the truth is that you only need an additional 200-300 calories each day. This is equivalent to about two slices of wholemeal toast and margarine/butter, or two chapattis or idlis, or a jacket potato with an ounce of cheese, one slice of cheese on toast, a serving of upma or poha, or just an extra glass of toned milk.

Taking regular exercise (yoga, swimming or walking is ideal) and leading an active lifestyle is great for women with healthy pregnancies, as it will help maintain muscle tone and keep your weight at a suitable level. Why not take a look at our yoga videos?

If you are at high risk because of previous miscarriages or other health conditions, you should be cautious about vigorous exercise, so talk to your doctor if you are uncertain.

Looking after your body also means giving up smoking and any recreational drugs, if you have not already done so. Smoking during pregnancy can lead to giving birth to a low birth-weight baby as well as damaging your baby's long-term health. It may also lead to complications such as an increased risk of miscarriage.
 
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Parasakthi

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Feeling tired?
If you find that you feel exhausted during the day:

  • Have your iron stores checked. Anaemia can be a common cause of tiredness, especially if you are vegetarian
  • Eat regular meals. Choose healthy options that will help combat tiredness
  • If you need a snack, choose complex carbohydrate foods, which provide energy over several hours, such as a mixed vegetable idli, upma, sprouts salad, fruit and vegetable bhel puri or a sandwich.
Biscuits, chocolates and sweet drinks will only give you a short burst of energy, and you will feel hungry again soon after eating them.
 

Parasakthi

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Folates and folic acid

Folates (folic acid is the synthetic version) are found naturally in many foods, but a good diet alone is not enough to reduce the risk of your baby developing spina bifida or other neural tube (which forms the spinal cord) defects. Your doctor may prescribe a 400 microgram (mcg) supplement of folic acid daily in the months before you are pregnant and during your first trimester (0 to 12 weeks).

You could also eat folate-rich foods, such as the following, during your entire pregnancy:

  • Green veggies: Asparagus, broccoli, peas, cabbage, bitter gourd (karela), bottle gourd (lauki), apple gourd (tinda), lady's finger, cauliflower brussels sprouts (chhoti gobhi) and capsicum
  • Green leafy veggies: Spinach (paalak), fenugreek leaves (methi), bathua, sarson, radish leaves (moolie), coriander (dhania), mint (pudina) and lettuce
  • Black-eyed beans (Lobhia), bengal gram, chickpeas
  • Beetroot
  • Muskmelon, oranges, sweetlime, kinnow and mausambi
  • Fortified breakfast cereal - whole wheat flakes, oats, cornflakes, wheat germ and wheat bran. Whole meal bread, whole-wheat flour and whole wheat pasta
  • Dry fruits and nuts including walnuts and almonds
  • More options in our folate enriched meal plan!
 

Parasakthi

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Snacks and drinks

Drink eight to ten large glasses of water a day in addition to any other fluids. If you feel tired, don't drink more caffeinated drinks to wake you up. They dehydrate you -- instead drink fresh fruit juice or a large glass of cool water or skimmed milk.

A refreshing alternative is a glass of mineral water with a twist of lime or lemon or tender coconut water. Include vegetable juices as they contain plenty of vitamins and minerals for you and your baby. You could also include herbal teas for variety, but make sure you get the go ahead from your doctor first.

If the weather is hot and humid, you will have to increase your water intake to avoid dehydration. There are plenty of options to choose from, such as milk shakes, lemonade (nimbu pani), aam panna, jal jeera, thandai, lassi and buttermilk. Check out our healthy and alcohol-free options.

Do not consume any juices or milk shakes from roadside vendors especially in the summer months. One can never be sure of the hygiene and freshness levels. It is best to prepare milk shakes and juices at home and consume it immediately to cut the risk of any spoilage or contamination.

If you want a snack, opt for a fruit instead of a fruit juice to include the goodness of the fruit fibre as well in your diet.

Also, pay special attention to cooking fats and oils. Ghee does not give you much in the way of vitamins, minerals or protein and there are other more balanced foods, such as green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits, and milk products.

Butter and coconut milk/oil are high in saturated fats and should not be used as cooking oils. Hard cooking fats and hydrogenated fats are both high in trans-fats; they are equally as bad as saturated fats. It is better to use plant oils, such as corn oil, soy oil, olive oil, canola oil, and refined mustard oil for cooking.

Be guided by your appetite, but remember that, at this stage in pregnancy, your energy needs increase very little, unless you are underweight.
 
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#9
Taking regular exercise (yoga, swimming or walking is ideal) and leading an active lifestyle is great for women with healthy pregnancies, as it will help maintain muscle tone and keep your weight at a suitable level....
 

jv_66

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Taking regular exercise (yoga, swimming or walking is ideal) and leading an active lifestyle is great for women with healthy pregnancies, as it will help maintain muscle tone and keep your weight at a suitable level....

Good tips Avery
 

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