Pregnancy Diet: What to eat and What not to Eat in Maternity

While it's a great news for all Indian Women, that Lok Sabha (Indian Parliament) has just passed the Maternity Bill. The Maternity Benefit Amendment Bill, 2016, will pave way for a healthy & secure mother and a well-nourished child as the bill would entitle a women with Maternity leave up to 12 weeks for commissioning mothers & women who adopt a child below the age of 3 months.




Now, coming to learning the perfect diet for a woman who is on her course to motherhood is very important. What a woman eats and drinks during pregnancy is the baby's main source of nourishment. So, it is recommended that a pregnant woman should choose healthy foods and beverages to provide the important nutrients for baby needs towards proper growth and development.


What are the four important nutrients?

  1. Folic Acid, also known as folate when found in foods, is a Vitamin B that plays a vital role in preventing Brain and Spice related birth defects in the baby

  2. Calcium is a very important mineral which is helpful in building baby's bones and teeth. If a pregnant woman does not consume enough calcium, the nature is such that this mineral is then transferred to the baby from the mother's bone. Thus baby's requirement is fulfilled but the mother get prone to calcium deficiency related problems. Basis research, A Pregnant women age 19 and above, need at least 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day.

  3. Iron: Pregnant women ideally need around 27 milligrams of iron per day, which is almost double the amount needed by women who is not pregnant. This double the amount of intake is needed to supply good amount of oxigen to the baby. Lack of Iron during pregnancy can lead to anemia, a condition which results in fatigue and high risk of blood infections.

  4. Protein: More protein is needed during pregnancy, but most women don't have problems getting enough of these foods in their diets. Protein form the building blocks for the baby and help the baby is developing muscles.


What are the foods you should have during pregnancy?

  • Fruits: These are extremely useful and contribute to Mother's as well as baby's wellbeing. A pregnant women should consume between five and 10 "tennis ball"-size servings of fruits every day as these are low in calories and are filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Also Read, Fruits have great medicinal values, see how fruits contribute to your wellbeing.

  • Lean Proteins: Pregnant women should consume good protein sources at every meal to support the baby's growth and muscle development. Read, Top Food Sources which are high in protein and also taste very good.

  • Whole grains are one of the best source of energy in your diet. Moreover, they provide fiber, iron and B-vitamins. Pregnant women should focus on consuming foods like oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta or breads and brown rice.

  • Dairy: A Pregnant woman should aim for 3 to 4 servings of dairy foods in a day, which can include Milk, Cottage Cheese, Yogurts etc.


What foods to avoid?


Alcohol: Alcohol in the mother's blood can pass directly to the baby and has been researched responsible for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, which brings out conditions that can include physical problems, learning and behavioral difficulties in babies and children.


Fish with high levels of mercury: Seafood such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish are high in levels of methyl mercury and should be avoided during pregnancy.


Unpasteurized food: Pregnant women are at very high risk of falling ill due to two types of food poisoning: listeriosis, caused by the Listeriabacteria, and toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite.


Raw meat: A mother can easily pass a Toxoplasma infection to her baby, which can cause problems such as blindness and mental disability later in life.


To avoid toxoplasmosis, there are few recommendations to avoid the following foods during pregnancy:

  • Rare, raw or undercooked meats and poultry.

  • Raw fish, such as sushi, sashimi, ceviches and carpaccio.

  • Raw and undercooked shellfish, such as clams, mussels, oysters and scallops.

  • Some foods may increase a pregnant woman's risk for other types of food poisoning, including illness caused by salmonella and E. coli bacteria. Foodsafety.gov lists these foods to avoid during pregnancy, and why they pose a threat.

  • Raw or undercooked eggs, such as soft-cooked, runny or poached eggs.

  • Foods containing undercooked eggs, such as raw cookie dough or cake batter, tiramisu, chocolate mousse, homemade ice cream, homemade eggnog, Hollandaise sauce.

  • Raw or undercooked sprouts, such as alfalfa, clover.

  • Unpasteurized juice or cider



Are you expecting or planning a baby? Or, do you know someone around you? Then you must share these food tips. Share your feedback or questions in the comments section below.







About Dietician Ankita Gupta Sehgal

She is one of the best dietitian in Delhi NCR, with 12 years of expertise in Weight Loss, PCOD Correction, Sports Fitness, Thyroid Diet, Diabetic and Cholesterol Management Diets. Consult Dt. Ankita for the most personalised diet plans in person on online for best diet plans, starting at just Rs. 2500 per month. Book Now!

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