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Know the importance of nutrition in pregnancy | 24 Mantra

Importance of Nutrition During Pregnancy

Importance-of-Nutrition-During-Pregnancy

Importance of Nutrition During Pregnancy

Health and Nutrition
24.06.2019

Maternal nutrition is of utmost importance during pregnancy for a healthy and happy outcome. In developing countries, maternal undernutrition or malnutrition is the major cause for the adverse outcome of pregnancy.

The best time to start thinking about healthy nutritional habits is before you get pregnant. It is essential to begin thinking about a healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet when you start thinking of starting a family. That way you are sure that you are giving a healthy nutritional environment to your baby right from the time of conception.

Position statement of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic

Women of child bearing age should adopt a lifestyle optimizing health and reducing risk of birth defects, suboptimal foetal development, and chronic health problems in both mother and child. Components leading to healthy pregnancy outcome include

Healthy pre-pregnancy weight

Appropriate weight gain and physical activity during pregnancy

Consumption of a wide variety of foods

Appropriate vitamin and mineral supplementation

Avoidance of alcohol and other harmful substances and safe food handling.

Good eating habits have a tremendous positive impact on the growth of your baby during pregnancy.

But certain eating habits may put both the mother and the baby at risk.

  1. Chronic dieting
  2. Irregular eating habits such as skipping meals and fasting
  3. Consuming limited variety of foods
  4. Other risk factors include maternal underweight or over weight, smoking, alcohol consumption, using recreational drugs etc.

Important nutrients and their role in pregnancy.

Protein

Protein provides the building blocks for your baby’s growth

Carbohydrate

It is the main source of energy and exhibits protein sparing action. That is, it allows the protein to be used for important functions such as promoting growth and not for generating energy.

Fat

Fat is essential for providing energy especially long-term energy for growth. It also serves the purpose of sparing protein. Fat is also necessary for the development of baby’s brain.

Fluids

In the form of water, juices, etc they help increase fluid volume prevents dry skin and constipation. Fluids are also needed for amniotic fluid.

Vitamin A

It is essential to promote healthy skin, vision and bone growth

Vitamin C

Helps in forming healthy gums, teeth and bone for your baby. Improves iron absorption therefore helps in preventing anaemia. It also helps in maintaining tissues.

Folic acid

During early stages of pregnancy, it is crucial since it may help in preventing baby from getting neural tube defects. Folic acid is also important in the formation of blood cells and haemoglobin, helps prevent anemia.

Calcium

Dietary calcium in required amount helps in the formation of strong bones and teeth.

Iron

Iron is involved in the development of red blood cells which transport oxygen to all parts of the body including the baby. Iron prevents anaemia and fatigue.

Deficiencies in consumption and delivery of nutrients such as protein, vitamins and polyunsaturated fatty acids can lead to adverse fetal development during pregnancy.  Start a healthy diet now if you are in the child bearing age group so that you can give your baby a healthy start in life.

The objective of prenatal nutrition is to support an ideal uterine environment for ideal foetal development and at the same time support maternal health. The ideal prenatal diet should see to it that overconsumption for the mother should be avoided and prevent undernutrition for the baby. A healthy lifestyle should comprise of balanced healthy diet, regular physical activity and avoidance of harmful practices

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