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Eating For a Healthy Baby

Dr. Poonam V. Khiraya

The state of baby's health at birth is tied to it's mother's diet during pregnancy. Lack of calories and protein in the last trimester (7-9 months) can interfere with the brain development of the foetus. Inadequate food intake and wrong kind of food can retard foetal growth.


The eating habits of pregnant women can have an adverse or a positive effect on the course of pregnancy. Complications such as anaemia and eclampsia (related to high blood pressure, fits and urine infections) are more common among poorly nourished women. With good diet discomforts like fatigue, morning sickness, constipation, leg cramps, etc. can be minimised or avoided altogether.

The state of baby's health at birth is tied to it's mother's diet during pregnancy. Lack of calories and protein in the last trimester (7-9 months) can interfere with the brain development of the foetus. Inadequate food intake and wrong kind of food can retard foetal growth. Lack of folic acid just before conception and in early pregnancy can increase the risk of spinal defects and possibly cause lip and palate deformities. Deficiency of zinc has been linked to an increased risk of premature labour. With all these known and established facts and findings it will be foolish on our part to undermine and underestimate the role of good diet during pregnancy and this should be reason enough for pregnant women to undertake the worthy challenge.

Every Bite Counts
You have got only nine months to give your baby the best possible start in life. Eat the foods which are best for your baby.

All Calories are Not Treated Equal
For example, the 150 calories in chocolate is not equal to 150 calories in a whole grain chapati/rice. Nor are the 100 calories in potato chips equals to any other vegetable and fruits. So choose your calories with care, selecting quality and quantity.

Sweet Nothings
Nothing but trouble. No calorie is as empty and wasted as a calorie of sugar. In addition researchers are finding that sugar may not only be void of nutritional value but harmful also. Limit refined sugars during pregnancy to special occasions. Substitute with fruit and fruit juice concentrates which contain more vitamins and trace minerals.



Calories
A pregnant woman is eating for two. But it's important to remember that one of the two is a tiny developing foetus whose calorie needs are significantly lower than yours, i.e. a mere 300 kcal a day.

Protein
Protein is composed of substances called amino acids which are building blocks of human cells. They are particularly important building the cells of new baby. Research has shown that inadequate protein intake in expectant mother can result in babise being smaller than normal.Therefore, the pregnant woman should aim to have at least 60-75 gm. of protein everyday.

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