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Prenatal Care - Know What To Include In Your Diet!

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Manju Barik 89% (119ratings)
DNB (Obstetrics and Gynecology), MBBS
Gynaecologist, Ghaziabad  •  39years experience
Prenatal Care - Know What To Include In Your Diet!

There is an ongoing intense debate on what to eat, how to eat and when to eat during pregnancy. While quality eating is becoming crucial by the day for everyone, it becomes vital for a pregnant woman. It is a widely known and well-established fact that what a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy is the primary source of nourishment for the baby. So, the experts suggest that a would-be mother should choose a wide array of healthy foods and beverages in order to provide the required nutrients that the baby needs for optimal growth and development.

Foods to eat during pregnancy:
To improve prenatal nutrition, you should eat more fruits, lean protein, vegetables, whole grains and of course, dairy products. You must fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, 1/4th of it with lean protein and the remaining 1/4th with whole grains. It is also vital to include dairy products in each meal.

During pregnancy, you should eat more protein, which can be found in dairy products, particularly Greek yogurt. Also, increase your intake of soybean, peanuts, chickpeas, beans, and peas in your daily diet as they are excellent plant-based source of iron, folate, protein, and fiber. Sweet potatoes should always find a place in your diet since they contain copious amounts of beta-carotene, which is converted to Vitamin A in the body. Salmon contains Omega 3-fatty acids such as DHA and EPA, which are required for the development of the baby’s brain and the eyes.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy:


To enhance the good effects of these helpful foods, you should also curb down those that can prove to be detrimental to your health. Some of these include:


  1. Alcohol: Alcohol can directly pass to the baby through the umbilical cord, and heavy consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is linked with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders which may cause physical issues along with learning and behavioral problems in the unborn child.
  2. Fishes with high mercury level: Fishes with high levels of methylmercury can prove to be detrimental to the baby. It is a toxic substance which may pass through the placenta and may prove to be harmful to the unborn baby's brain, nervous and renal system.
  3. Raw meat: A mother may pass the Toxoplasma infection to her baby, which may lead to blindness and mental disability in later life of the child by consuming raw meat. So, it is essential to avoid sushi, uncooked poultry, raw cookie dough, homemade ice cream, tiramisu and raw and undercooked sprouts.

Note that even though pregnancy diet is referred to as eating for two, it doesn't mean that you will have to consume twice as much food as you used to consume. You are not eating for two until your second trimester, and the best thing you can do is to add 300 calories more along with the general dietary intake. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

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