Diet in Pregnancy




It is that period of your life cycle when you must eat a “healthy balanced diet”


Direct implication of eating a bad diet during pregnancy :

q    Still born
q    Low birth weight baby
q    Premature baby
q    Baby with brain damage or less intelligence
q    Baby with poor immunity

Complications due to bad diet during pregnancy:

—   Anemia
—   Pregnancy induced hypertension
—   Toxic abruption of the placenta
—   Severe infection of lungs, kidneys and liver.
—   Miscarriage or abortion


Components of weight gain :

vAverage baby weight-3.4 kg
vExtra stored protein, fat and nutrients-3.18 kg
vBreast enlargement-0.9 kg
v Enlargement of uterus-0.9 kg
vAmniotic fluid surrounding- 0.9 kg
vExtra blood- 1.8 kg
v Extra body fluids-1.8 kg


Energy requirement during pregnancy

An additional 300 calories to the prepregnant requirement.
Sources of calories:
Carbohydrates – 4
55-60% of total calories.
Food sources :            
wheat, rice, oats, maize, bread, etc.



Protein Requirement

20 % increase(15 gm + normal requirement)


Food sources : –

Good quality / complete protein –
                 non vegetarian food.

 Incomplete protein-

              soya products etc.


Fats/oil requirement

   <30 % of calories


Fats Sources :

Unsaturated oil-

           sunflower oil
           safflower oil
           groundnut oil
           mustard oil
           palm oil
           olive oil
           sesame oil




Saturated oil-

          vanaspati ghee
          coconut oil.




All the vitamins, i.e. A,B,C,D,E,K to be taken in appropriate amount
• Folic acid: Food source- organ meats, dark green leafy vegetables, muscle meats, poultry, fish, eggs, whole grain cereals.





ü   Calcium- milk & products, pulses and legumes, egg, green leafy veg.,sea food
ü   Iron- liver, organ meat, meat, poultry,egg yolk,whole grains, legumes, green leafy vegetables, nuts and dry fruits, iodized salt, sea food
ü  Zinc- sea foods, organ meat, meat and poultry, wheat germ, yeast



30 – 40 g of fibre per day
 Dietary sources
 Whole grain and cereals like wheat, ragi,whole pulses, legumes, fenugreek, vegetables and fruits.


Healthy balanced diet

• Milk or milk products-about 3-4 glasses
• Pulses and legumes-60 g and atleast one serving in the form of sprouts
• Non-veg./paneer-50-100 g
• Cereals-150-200 g. Whole grains and unrefined
• Vegetables-2-3 servings of green leafy veg and seasonal vegetables, 2-3 servings of salad




3-4 fruits with atleast one citrus fruit.
  —  Sugar -5-6 tsp. (in moderation) 
—  Fat and oil- 5-6 tsp. (in moderation)


Pattern of eating

§  Take small and frequent meals
§  No skipping of meals
§  Go for healthy “in-between snacking”  early dinners
§  Avoid taking junk food


Concerns during pregnancy

Morning sickness
§  Follow a healthy eating pattern Avoid greasy or fried foods, as they take longer to digest.
§   Don’t lie down right after you eat
§  Before getting out of your bed, eat a snack like biscuit or rusk
§   Be sure to drink juices, if you cant eat solid food



Constipation-due to increasing pressure of the growing uterus, hormonal changes, iron and calcium supplements.

To avoid it or to deal with it :
• Have lots of salad
• Have plenty of green leafy vegetables
• Try having whole grains and pulses
• Have whole fruits rather than juices devoid of fibers
• Drink plenty of liquids
• Go for a regular walk


Complications of bad diet during pregnancy

• Anemia
• Pregnancy induced hypertension
• Gestational diabetes
• Pre-existing disease


Implications of smoking

§   Abortion
§   Preterm deliveries
§   Perinatal mortality
§   Low birth weight babies
How does smoking interfere10% reduction in oxygen carrying capacity.  Vascular constriction ,lower serum levels of vit. C, carotene, vit. B12 and zinc.


Alcohol Implication

fetal alcohol syndrome Must avoid drinking alcohol



Moderate caffeine- less than 300 mg/day. Caffeine content of some food and beverages:
          • Coffee-50-100 mg 
          • Brewed tea-20-110 mg
          • Cola-30- 56 mg
          • Chocolate-10- 50 mg
          • Pain relievers- 30 mg


ABC to follow

A= Avoid bad habits
B=Build good habits like exercising regularly and eating nutritious diet
C=Consistent medical checkups and nutritional guidance.
Follow the healthy way of living to prepare for your bundle of joy


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