When it comes to pregnancy, there have been many misconceptions around nutrition for expectant mothers (and babies). From conception to the three trimesters and post-pregnancy, there are different reasons for you to take care of what you eat; and I had to learn the importance of the right pregnancy diet.
When I was expecting my first child, my gynaecologist was the one to give me advice on what food and nutritional practices I must follow. I have always tried sticking to healthy eating habits since, like many women, I too struggle with my fluctuating weight. Luckily for me, a healthy pregnancy diet meant all my meals consisted of 5 major food groups: proteins, carbs, healthy fats, and multivitamins.
The biggest challenge, however, was to ensure that I didn’t overdo it with the portion size. Following a normal pregnancy diet should make you gain around 10 – 12 kilos for the entire term but I managed to gain more than that for both my children. Gaining the weight was not a problem at all when you follow any type of pregnancy diet, but closer to the delivery things can get a bit complicated.
Eating for two is often a concept pushed by many families and I am guilty of indulging more than a few times when my cravings were insatiable. While depriving yourself is not a good idea, the notion of eating for you and the baby is a ridiculous one. All the nutrition from the food and prenatal vitamins from your pregnancy diet are already absorbed by your body for the growing fetus, that’s not an excuse to gorge on food to a point of feeling stuffed.
Trust me, the baby is not going to mind if you eat one dessert after dinner when you can’t decide between ice cream and gulab jamun.
When I was pregnant with my second child, I had an excess amount of amniotic fluid that surrounded the fetus in the womb. This is known as Polyhydramnios. While it is very beneficial for the baby to get more nutrients while he/she grows, it took a turn on my health. Due to the excess weight of the fluid and my baby, the womb would push against my diaphragm and I developed acute acidity. It came to a point where I couldn’t eat, drink or sleep at night. Mind you, my gynaecologist would not want to subscribe medication to reduce the chances of them being transferred to the baby.
This is where it became crucial to eat the right kind of food and portion size to be able to get the right amount of nutrition, birth the baby safely and avoid a possible C-Section.
I cannot stress on how important that aspect of a pregnancy diet is. I know of many women who have managed to lose weight quickly post-delivery due to societal pressure and that’s something that every pregnant woman experiences. The important thing for me was to have enough energy and nutrition to lactate and bond with my child. A pregnancy diet is all about finding the right balance of nutrition. Both my pregnancies were healthy and normal compared to many others who have complications.
The most important thing to remember is the advice your doctors give you, indulge your cravings in moderation and look forward to finally having your child in your arms. A pregnancy diet will help you along the way.
Note: This is a personal story. We recommend that you read up on your gynaecology and nutritional queries from our expert authors. To find articles written by our experts, click here.