Diet in Pregnancy




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