Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or Disease (PCOS) is a very common condition, wherein there are multiple cysts in the ovaries. As a result, there are many changes which the body undergoes and it is not limited to the gynecologic system. A woman with PCOS may also find it difficult to conceive, and so, once she is pregnant, precautions are essential to ensure there are no complications.
Pcos predisposes women to diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular complications, lipid metabolism disorders, uterine cancer in long run. Some of them are listed below:
- Preeclampsia: When the blood pressure readings are high during pregnancy, it is known as preeclampsia. It brings with it a whole lot of complications including the need to cesarean section, premature birth, etc. So, it is best avoided, and diet can help to some extent.
- Diabetes: Gestational diabetes which manifests as higher sugar levels only during the pregnancy is very common in women with PCOS. The increased hormone levels in PCOS increase insulin resistance, thereby increasing sugar levels. This needs to be managed through a combination of diet, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
- Preterm labor: Women with PCOS are at a slightly higher risk of premature labor.
- Weight-related issues: PCOS leads to weight gain, and this could be a problem during pregnancy. It is essential to discuss with the doctor as to what would be a good weight range and stay within that range throughout pregnancy. Weight gain brings with it a host of complications and so best avoided.
With PCOS, during pregnancy, strict cautious diet planning can help in avoiding complications and allow for an easier pregnancy. Though they may not solve every problem associated with PCOS, dietary modifications can have a significant effect on the overall health and well-being. Listed below are some easy-to-make changes:
- Increase consumption of fibres like greens, nuts, pumpkin, berries, whole grains, almonds, etc. are included. This ensures that digestion is a prolonged and gradual spike in blood sugar levels.
- Increase protein-rich foods like soya, tofu, eggs, and chicken, which help in avoiding binging. They are light on the stomach and help in weight management.
- Foods which are generally anti-inflammatory including tomatoes, olive oil, spinach, fresh fruits, and omega-3 fatty acids help in controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
- Supplements to include omega-3 fatty acids, prenatal vitamins, vitamin D, and calcium if required ensure that the baby gets the required nutrients for optimal growth.
What to avoid:
Anything that can spike up calories and is of low nutritional value should be avoided.
- Avoid whites – pasta, rice, and bread
- Baked and processed foods
- Candies, chocolates, snacks
- Salty and spicy fried snacks
- Aerated drinks and soda
PCOS in pregnancy presents a combination risk, and dietary changes and weight management are essential for a safe pregnancy.