Pregnancy is as natural as the word evolution, infact it is evolution in a manner of speaking. There are a few thumb rules that one should follow and let the rest be about your gut feeling (literally). The things that most mothers-to-be wonder about, are quite basic, yet there is no dearth of family, friends and relatives dishing out advice (mostly unsolicited), especially on the topic of eating and exercising.
Here are some fundamental things to consider in your pregnancy:
How much to eat?
- Pregnant women are told to eat for two, themselves and the baby. As a result, one tends to over eat. It's best to eat healthy food and increase your weight and calories as you go along in a controlled manner. Food cravings are a common in a pregnancy. These occur due to hormonal changes. The best thing is to give in to them but eat what you want in small quantities, so as to not gain too much weight all at once.
- Women who are conscious of their diet before they conceive tend to throw caution to the wind and indulge in binge eating. It should be on the opposite in fact. One needs to eat right and healthy foods, as what you eat is what the fetus is deriving its nutrition from. Women with the history of weight gain are also susceptible to gestational diabetes.
- There is also the tendency to eat a lot of high fat food in some women but the truth is that this can lead to the umbilical chord being predisposed to fatty deposits, which then decreases the blood supply to the baby. The end result is a small and under- nourished baby. A better way to have fats is eating nuts without roasting such as almonds, peanuts, walnuts pine nuts etc... All of these are rich in minerals and high on vitamin E and help in fetal growth.
- If you feel like you need sugar or crave for it, then it's best to have fruit as fructose (sugar found in fruits) is much better for you then any other form of sugar. You could also have raisins or dried apricots.
- The most talked about vitamins in pregnancy are B-complex, vitamin E and folic acid. And the minerals are iron and calcium. While most doctors will provide supplements, it's important to have these from natural resources like vegetables etc. Vegetables like all dark green leafy ones are rich in iron. Beetroot, eggs, almonds etc provide calcium and vitamin E.
- Although one can continue to exercise during pregnancy, no strain should be put on the stomach. Walking is the best way to stay healthy and fit and infact it's crucial for the circulation. Any other form of exercise that one wishes to do should only be done with the approval of your gynecologist and under supervision.
It's important to have a happy pregnancy and to relax yourself! Enjoy the pampering and be ready to change your life...
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