Articles on during pregnancy

Tips for a Safe Pregnancy and Post Pregnancy Care

Dr. Sonica Chugh, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
Carrying your baby in your womb is the most beautiful experience and a precious period that a mother can enjoy in her life time. Concern for your baby’s health, well being and one’s own health is key to have a safe and healthy pregnancy.Diet during Pregnancy:Good nutrition during pregnancy ensures your baby gets the right start. Small, frequent and healthy meals containing folate, iron, calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acid should be taken. Plenty of water in between the meals is good for you and your baby. You don’t need to eat for two, rather your calorie intake during first six months should be more or less the same (pre pregnancy state), while increase in only 200 calorie/day during the last three months is recommended.Working women can take nuts and fruit salads as mid meal snacks and homemade lunch instead of going out to the mall or restaurant for lunch. Road travel of any kind is safe, provided, you are careful of bumpy roads and unruly traffic. You have to be more careful if there is associated high blood pressure, diabetes or history of previous premature delivery.Exercise, Meditation and Yoga:Pregnancy is not a time to start a rigorous regime or to gain or lose weight. A normal walk of 20-30 minutes without getting exhausted will help. Deep breathing exercises in fresh air are recommended. Yoga should also be a part of your life as it relaxes and calms you and your baby throughout the pregnancy. This also relieves tension and also builds up stamina by increasing circulation which enhances immunity and health. Light kegels exercises (Pelvic floor exercises) prepare you for easy child birth and labour management. Post Pregnancy Care: First 40 days are meant for you to recuperate, gain strength and bond with your baby. Resting and eating well is important during this time. Although rest may not be easy for you and with the newborn baby as you have to feed every two hours and change diapers frequently. Your mum, mum-in-law or trained maids can be of help during this period.Breastfeed exclusively for six months. You need to have a good diet during pregnancy (calories intake would increase to 330 calories/day). Therefore immediate and fast weight reduction should not be targeted. Eating healthy food will only reduce weight sensibly.Opt for moderate intensity physical activity, walk for 25-30 minutes, do abs exercise, pelvic floor exercise and stretching without resuming high impact activity post delivery. If your delivery has been uncomplicated it will help your body regain its normal strength. Gentle body massage will also help you and your baby. Do not resume your normal working routine or a heavy gym schedule immediately after delivery.

Avoid Extra Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
When you're pregnant it is understood that you are eating for two but that does not really mean twice as much as you normally do. Its healthy to gain 10-15 kg during the course of pregnancy, but some people gain over 20-25 kgs. That's not healthy. All these extra kilos will show the most after pregnancy and will be extremely difficult to get rid of. So, we're here to tell you how you can avoid gaining extra weight during your pregnancy.Important thing to keep in mind is that exercise during pregnancy is no to lose weight. It is so that you prepare your body for the physical stress of baby weight, and birth, makes you feel & look better, and helps you regain shape faster again your pregnancy. Here are a few ways to stay fit during pregnancy. The key is doing everything in moderation:Eat right: Most women need 2500-3000 calories. Get 5 servings of fruits and vegetables. Avoid excessive sugary and fatty food- its only empty calories. So, even though pregnancy seems like a great excuse to chow down on two big double chocolate chip brownies after your meal, its only an excuse. You will pay for it in weight gain.Pre-Natal Yoga: Yoga poses are a great way to ease the discomforts of pregnancy and prepare the body for child birth. It also helps in healthy development of the fetus, reduces stress, helps calm the mind and increases awareness of the bodily changes. Practicing yoga has added benefits of helping you lose weight after delivery.Walking: As you go into pregnancy its important to reduce high impact exercise. Walking is the simplest and the easiest way to stay fit when you're pregnant. It also helps increase your endurance level resulting in easier labour pains, and is great way to rejuvenate and reduce stress. Note: Pregnancy or physical ailment is the only time we recommend walking as a great way to exercise and stay fit :)Cycling: Indoor cycling is a safe, low impact way to exercise. Check with your doctor and take the necessary precautions. At all times, keep your self hydrated with lots of water.Ensure that your exercise is not very strenuous, and don't over exert yourself. And as we mentioned earlier, do not try to lose weight during your pregnancy.

Oral Health Complications During Pregnancy

Dr. B.N. Prasad, Dentist
Recent findings have reported that oral bacteria and their by-products can possibly pass the placental barrier keeping oral health at prime importance during pregnancy. An awareness related to oral health during pregnancy cannot be neglected or avoided in order to minimize the complications.This article focuses on few points related to the necessity of oral health during pregnancy. Pregnancy comes with many responsibilities making expecting mothers more concerned about their health. However, many pregnant women may not be aware of oral health and its effect on the developing child.  Negligence of oral health is quite common during pregnancy due to lack of alertness of oral hygiene and its effect on systemic health.Moreover, pregnancy discomforts like frequent bouts of nausea, increased physical demands, weight gain or certain dental problems like pregnancy gingivitis or inflammation of gums may be dangerous to developing fetus.  Risk of oral problems during pregnancy:-Few common oral problems associated with pregnancy are as follows. Pregnancy Gingivitis: Hormonal changes during pregnancy leads to pregnancy gingivitis. It is a condition of bleeding gums, redness. Moreover inflammation, swelling and tenderness are also observed. Ignorance of such problems may lead to serious gum disease.  Frequent cleaning can avoid such dental issues. Progesterone levels are elevated during pregnancy which stimulates the production of prostaglandins and leads to inflammation of blood vessels in gums.Tooth Decay:Diet during pregnancy is of high importance. It is designed to nourish both mother and unborn baby. Diet rich in carbohydrates actually increases the risk of tooth decay. The morning sickness increases acid secretion in the mouth which is harmful to enamel. Pregnancy tumors: Overgrowth of tissue on gums in pregnant women are called as pregnancy tumors. They are noncancerous and generally observed in the second trimester of the gestation period. It is nothing but swollen gums between teeth. The bleeding and reddening of gums observed in such conditions.  Periodontal disease and preterm birth:untreated gum disease or periodontal problems can development periodontitis characterized by inflammation and infection of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. This ultimately leads to loss of supporting material and finally the teeth themselves. A study result has revealed that there is a relation between preterm birth and presence of gum diseases in the pregnant women. The reason is not yet known. However, research study findings have evidence that oral bacteria or their byproducts can pass placental barrier. This initiate inflammatory response leading to preterm birth. Another correlation exists between the gum disease and the increased rate of pre-eclampsia, a condition of high blood pressure during pregnancy. The positive correlation suggests that gum disease may cause stress to the blood vessels of the mother, placenta and the fetus.The basic periodontal therapies like oral hygiene instructions, scaling, root planing and prophylaxis can substantially decrease the level of prostaglandin responsible for inflammatory response. The regular treatment and follow-up in pregnant women can maintain good oral health and minimize the risk of preterm birth. Dental treatment during pregnancy: The dental procedures mostly include the use of X-rays and use of anesthesia. In the case of pregnancy, these procedures can be used with precaution. Therefore, before sitting on dental chair patient should declare her pregnancy to the physician. Untreated dental infections can harm fetus as well as the mother. The emergency situations request use of dental radiographs which can’t wait. The radiation of dental x-ray is generally very low and precaution is always taken for lowest radiation exposure. A leaded apron including collar, shields can be used to prevent abdominal exposure to the x-ray radiation. Use of dental X-ray is not at all contraindicated in pregnancy when used with precaution. The use of local anesthesia is also not contraindicated in the pregnancy. A clinical trial result showed that there is no harm in the use of local anesthetics during pregnancy. It is not linked with increased risk for major medical problems like cerebral palsy, cleft lip and heart defect in newborns. The medication prescribed during dental treatment mainly includes local anesthetics, analgesics, and antibiotics. Most of them can be used with safety precautions. Each drug has its own pregnancy category which should be considered during its use. The antibiotic like tetracycline can permanently cause discoloration of developing teeth.  Prevention: Dentists can educate patients with following points to avoid problems associated with oral hygiene. The patient should declare the pregnancy to  the Dentist Follow routine oral checkup. Undergo all elective and emergency procedures. Follow good oral hygiene practice ask for a better toothpaste.In the case of morning sickness avoid sweets and snacks which increase the risk of tooth decay. Have healthy and balanced diet. Awareness of oral health during pregnancy is a must to avoid complications.

Nutritional Facts and Myths During Pregnancy

Ms. Raminder Kaur Deshmukh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
So you are expecting? Enjoy the  wild rage of raging hormones, crazy cravings and body changes that are about to begin. As if you did not have enough you are also going to be bombarded with a ton of conflicting and unsolicited advice, much involves what you put in your mouth.MYTHS AND FACTS:1. MYTH: You should eat for twoFACT: It is true that nutrient needs increase but energy requirement only whereas by 150  calories for 1st trimester per day and 350 calories per day for second trimester and third trimester.2. MYTH: Eating kesar will give a fair complexion to the child.FACT: Genes play role in determining complexion of the baby. Eating kesar is not going to determine it.3. MYTH: High-fat diet will keep the baby healthy.FACT: No doubt fat is essential for the body but the problem is that sometimes one consumes fat in excess. So keep control over it.4. MYTH: You should not eat fish.FACT: There is nothing fishy about fish during pregnancy but yes it should have low levels of mercury like catfish, salmon. oysters, shrimps and crab well cooked can also be a source of proteins for the mom to be.5. MYTH: I am having supplements so there is no need to change dietary changes.FACT: During pregnancy the nutrient requirement of certain nutrients especially calcium, iron, folic acid increases. So it calls for dietary modification even if you are swallowing various supplements prescribed by your doctor. Increased intake of milk and milk products, green leafy vegetables, dals, nuts will ensure that your body is not deficient as well as form the basis of strong bones and a healthy weight of fetus.

Importance Oral Hygiene During Pregnancy

Dr. Gaurav Goel, Dentist
Many women are concerned about caring for their teeth during Pregnancy or have heard that pregnancy causes damage to teeth. An attempt here has been made to give some important information regarding maintenance of dental health during pregnancy.Before pregnancy:It is important to establish good oral hygiene so that when you become pregnant you will have minimum problems. Also, recent research has shown that pregnant women with gum problems are more prone to give birth to low birth weight pre-mature babies.Brush twice a day with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste to remove Plaque (sticky film of bacteria) which damages your gums and teeth.Visit your Dentist for a regular check up and cleaning.Get all your dental treatment done as during pregnancy dental treatment can be tiring and many dental procedures are often avoided.During pregnancy:Pregnancy involves lots of hormonal changes. Due to this gums become soft and spongy and tend to bleed easily if proper oral hygiene is not maintained.Maintain a good oral hygiene by means of brushing, flossing, mouthwashes etc;Frequent snacking: this is commonly seen during pregnancy. Frequent snacks and drinks especially sweet ones can lead to tooth decay. Switch over to snacks that are low in sugar, fat & salt and high in fiber content. Drinks such as water and milk are recommended. Rinse your mouth with water if you can’t brush after every snack.Importance of Calcium: Calcium is very important for your baby’s teeth. During fourth month of pregnancy your baby’s teeth and bones begin to calcify. The calcium and phosphorous needed for this comes from the food you eat and if necessary from your bones. These minerals are best obtained by eating more dairy foods. Milk and milk products are excellent sources of calcium. Choose those products that are low in fat and sugar. In case you don’t prefer these consult your doctor or dietician for other substitutes. He/she may also advise you calcium supplements.Dental procedures: Certain antibiotics like Tetracycline can cause damage to your baby’s developing teeth. So it’s very important that you inform your Dental Surgeon about your pregnancy. This also ensures that your doctor will then carry out all dental procedures with caution and necessary safety measures. Visit your dentist for a regular check up and cleaning.There is a common myth ‘One tooth is lost with every Pregnancy’. Pregnancy in itself does not cause dental decay. If good oral hygiene is maintained by you and the advice given here is followed there is no reason why you should have any dental problems during pregnancy.  

Your Nutrition Checklist During Pregnancy

Ms. Harpreet Pasricha, Dietitian/Nutritionist
IF YOU'RE LIKE MANY pregnant women, you vowed to eat healthier the minute you found out you were expecting. You may even have started making a mental list of nutritional do's and don'ts: Eat more calcium-rich foods, get more protein, cut out the caffeine and junk foods.The Good thing: Developing healthy eating habits will set the stage for your baby to grow into a strong child and adult, as well as ultimately reduce his risk for certain diseases. There is no doubt that there are plenty of things to think about over the coming months. One thing to get started on straight away is to make good food choices that will help both you and your baby.Are you eating well? What exactly should you eat? What should you avoid and why? Here are some facts and tips for the different types of food to watch out for during this very special time-Firstly you need to eat more of certain foods. Some people see pregnancy as an opportunity to eat freely. After all, you are going to put on 10-12 kg at least that is the expected weight gain for a healthy pregnancy. However, pregnancy is a risk period for the development of obesity and it is always more difficult to lose weight than gain it. Getting the balance right and eating well now is important for the health of the baby as well as the mother.Eating regular meals and a wide variety of food is the definition of 'eating well'. It really is that simple. It also means making time for yourself and eating at least three meals each day.Snacking between meals will be very helpful for those who experience fatigue during the day. Fruit, yoghurt, crackers and buttermilk, is the type of snack that is recommended.A cup of coffee and a chocolate bar, however, is not recommended. It is energy you need as opposed to feeling awake. No more than two cups of coffee per day is recommended during pregnancy.Which foods should I eat more of?You should eat more of the following foods in the second half of your pregnancy:Calcium rich food: Your baby’s teeth will begin to develop as early as the sixth week of pregnancy and calcium is also needed for bone development. Milk, cottage cheese and yoghurt are the best sources of calcium. Some examples of calcium-rich foods are milk on cereal, a glass of milk, a cheese sandwich, all types of yoghurt, and milkshake. Calcium is also found in the soft bones in fish, in broccoli, cabbage and spinach.Iron rich foods: Iron is needed for the growth of your baby’s brain. As you go through pregnancy your baby will build up a store of iron which will last until they reach six months. 75% of women do not eat enough iron. The best dietary source is lean red meat and you should aim to eat it 3-4 times a week. Fortified breakfast cereals, beans, eggs, apricots, prunes, figs, spinach and broccoli also contain iron but you also need a good supply of vitamin C to make use of the iron.Vitamin C Rich Foods: Vitamin C rich foods include gooseberries, guavas, oranges, tangerines, grapefruits, lemons, limes, kiwi, blackcurrants, mangoes and nectarines. Any drink made from these fruits is also high is vitamin C. Potatoes are also a reasonably good source. The need for vitamin C increases by 33% during pregnancy. Choose two of the foods listed above to meet your daily Vitamin C requirements.Oily Fish: Mackerel, herring, salmon, sardines and kippers contain oil which is essential for the development of your baby’s brain and eyes. Aim to eat oily fish 2-3 times a week.Drink plenty of liquids: Drink at least eight glasses of water daily to help prevent dehydration. Without enough water, many of our regular body functions can't take place, including cell respiration, digestion and absorption of nutrients.Foods to be avoidedPeanuts: These are a possible allergen.Unwashed fruit and vegetables Take extra care when eating out and only choose cooked fruit and vegetables.Liver: It may contain too much vitamin A.Raw eggs: Ensure the yolk and white are solid when having a boiled or fried egg and avoid homemade mayonnaise.Undercooked meat: Even cooked until pink is not cooked enough.Unpasteurized milk and milk products such as cheese and yoghurt.Alcohol: The balance of evidence suggests that drinking alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy, alcohol while pregnant; even small amounts have been linked to serious birth defects.DON'T fill up on empty calories. Candy, cake, cookies and ice cream definitely don't count as double-duty, nutrient-rich foods. It's OK to have them during pregnancy but in moderation. Limit these foods to thrice a week, you won’t feel deprived and you also won't overeat.DO remember that you're not really eating for two while you are pregnant.What about folic acid?Folate is a folic acid supplement available from your pharmacy. It contains 400 micrograms of folic acid and should ideally be taken three months prior to conception and up until the twelfth week of pregnancy. It aids the vital development of your baby’s spine and brain, thereby preventing the conditions spina bifida and anencephaly (jointly known as Neural Tube Defects or NTD).Some foods are fortified with folic acid and will help to increase the high intake required during pregnancy. These include bread, breakfast cereal and milk supplemented with folic acid.To avoid constipationA lot of pregnant women suffers from the problem of constipation. To avoid constipation:Choose high fibre foods such as whole wheat or wholegrain breakfast cereal, wholegrain bread, pasta and rice.Fruit and vegetables are also an excellent source of fibre. Aim to eat four or more pieces a day. In practical terms, this means eating at least one portion of fruit or vegetables at each meal and then one more in between meals.Eight to 10 glasses of water each day is also vital to help avoid constipation

Hypertension in Pregnancy

Dr. Pallavi Vasal, Gynecologist/Obstetrician
                                                                      Hypertension is defined as high blood pressure (B.P). A person has high blood pressure when the systolic pressure (the top number in BP reading) is greater than 140mmHg and the diastolic pressure (the bottom number) is greater than 90mm Hg.Hypertension can lead to many health problems. During pregnancy severe and uncontrolled hypertension can cause complications to both mother and baby.Causes of high blood pressure in pregnancy -1. Chronic hypertension - is high blood pressure that is present before the lady is pregnant or that occurs in first 20 weeks of pregnancy.2. Gestational hypertension – is high blood pressure that occurs during the second half of pregnancy that is after 20 weeks of pregnancy.3. Pre-eclampsia - is high blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy associated with proteinuria (an abnormal amount of protein in the urine) . Pre-eclampsia is a serious BP disorder which can affect all the organs of a lady.The woman can present with complaints of severe headache, swelling over face and hands, changes in vision, vomiting, pain in upper abdomen or decrease urine output.The RISK of developing pre-eclampsia are more in women who -Are pregnant for the first timeHave had pre-eclampsia in previous pregnancy or have family history of pre-eclampsia.Are 40 years or olderHave multiple pregnancy (more than 1 baby in utero)Have history of chronic hypertension, kidney disease or both.Are obese IVF conceptionHave medical conditions such as diabetes, thrombophilias or lupus.RISKS  of high BP for baby -Growth restrictionPreterm deliveryPlacental abruption that is premature detachment of placenta (afterbirth) from the wall of uterusCaesarean deliveryIntra uterine deathHence it is very important for the lady who is planning to conceive or is pregnant to keep her BP within normal limits.PRECAUTIONS TO BE TAKEN FOR HIGH BP DURING PREGNANCY - Before Pregnancy-Keep the blood pressure under control. Reduce salt intake and do physical exercise. Loose weight if overweight .Lady needs to discuss with her doctor that she wants to become pregnant so that the doctor may change the medication to one which are safe in pregnancy or change the dose of medication if she is trying to conceive. 2) During Pregnancy-Take care of your diet that is a diet which is low in salts (avoid processed foods, pickles, pappad etc) and eat food rich in vitamin C, D and antioxidants.Lifestyle modifications that is exercise regularly .Walk and practice yoga if possible and keep weight gain under control.Avoid alcohol and tobaccoGo for antenatal check ups with your obstetrician and make sure that BP and urine are examined in each checkup. If the lady is feeling unwell any time during pregnancy , consult the doctor immediately.Being proactive and taking care of herself, going for regular prenatal and antenatal check ups, the lady with hypertension can deliver a healthy baby.

Pregnancy Diet: Things You Need to Know!

Dr. M.L.Kothari, Pediatrician
Foods to eatDuring pregnancy, the goal is to be eating nutritious foods most of the time, Krieger told Live Science. To maximize prenatal nutrition, she advises emphasizing the following five food groups: fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and dairy products. When counseling pregnant women, Krieger recommends they fill half their plates with fruits and vegetables, a quarter of it with whole grains and a quarter of it with a source of lean protein, and to also have a dairy product at every meal. Fruits and vegetables: Pregnant women should focus on fruits and vegetables, particularly during the second and third trimesters, Krieger said. Get between five and 10 "tennis ball"-size servings of produce every day, she said. These colorful foods are low in calories and filled with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Lean protein: Pregnant women should include good protein sources at every meal to support the baby's growth, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, tofu, cheese, milk and nuts, Krieger said. Whole grains are an important source of energy in the diet, and they also provide fiber, iron and B-vitamins. At least half of a pregnant woman's carbohydrate choices each day should come from whole grains, such as oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta or breads and brown rice, Krieger said. Dairy: Aim for 3 to 4 servings of dairy foods a day, Krieger suggested, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, which provide good dietary sources of calcium, protein and vitamin D. In addition to a healthy diet, pregnant women also need a daily prenatal vitamin to obtain some of the nutrients that are hard to get from foods alone, such as folic acid and iron, according to ACOG. For women who take chewable prenatal vitamins, Krieger advised checking the product labels because chewables might not have sufficient iron levels in them.Foods to avoidAlcohol: Avoid alcohol during pregnancy, Krieger advised. Alcohol in the mother's blood can pass directly to the baby through the umbilical cord. Heavy use of alcohol during pregnancy has been linked with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, a group of conditions that can include physical problems, as well as learning and behavioral difficulties in babies and children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Fish with high levels of mercury: Seafood such as swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish are high in levels of methyl mercury, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and should be avoided. Methyl mercury is a toxic chemical that can pass through the placenta and can be harmful to an unborn baby's developing brain, kidneys and nervous system. Unpasteurized food: According to the USDA, pregnant women are at high risk of getting sick from two different types of food poisoning: listeriosis, caused by the Listeriabacteria, and toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite.The CDC reports that Listeria infection may cause miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and illness or death in newborns. To avoid listeriosis, the USDA recommends forgoing the following foods during pregnancy: Unpasteurized (raw) milk and foods made from it, such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, queso blanco and queso fresco. Pasteurization involves heating a product to a high temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Hot dogs, luncheon meats and cold cuts unless heated before eating to kill any bacteria. Store-bought deli salads, such as ham salad, chicken salad, tuna salad and seafood salad. Unpasteurized refrigerated meat spreads or pates.Raw meat: A mother can pass a Toxoplasma infection on to her baby, which can cause problems such as blindness and mental disability later in life, reports the CDC. To avoid toxoplasmosis, the USDA recommends avoiding 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.Pregnancy diet misconceptions:Morning sickness: When a mother-to-be is experiencing morning sickness, the biggest mistake she can make is thinking that if she doesn't eat, she'll feel better, Krieger said. The exact causes of morning sickness are not known, but it may be caused by hormonal changes or lower blood sugar, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can bring on waves of nausea and vomiting in some women, especially during the first three months of pregnancy. And "it's definitely not happening only in the morning," Krieger said. "It's any time of day." It's better to eat small amounts of foods that don't have an odor, since smells can also upset the stomach, she suggested.Food cravingsIt is common for women to develop a sudden urge or a strong dislike for a food during pregnancy. Some common cravings are for sweets, salty foods, red meat or fluids, Krieger said. Often, a craving is a body's way of saying it needs a specific nutrient, such as more protein or additional liquids to quench a thirst, rather than a particular food, she said. Eating for twoWhen people say that a pregnant woman is "eating for two," it doesn't mean she needs to consume twice as much food or double her calories." A woman is not eating for two during her first trimester," Krieger said. During the first three months, Krieger tells women that their calorie needs are basically the same as they were before pregnancy, because weight gain is recommended to be between 1 and 4 pounds in this early stage of pregnancy. Krieger typically advises pregnant women to add 200 calories to their usual dietary intake during the second trimester, and to add 300 calories during their third trimester when the baby is growing quickly. Weight gain during pregnancy, "Weight gain during pregnancy often has an ebb and a flow over the nine months," Krieger said. It's hard to measure where pregnancy weight is going, she said, adding that a scale does not reveal whether the pounds are going to a woman's body fat, baby weight or fluid gains. When it comes to pregnancy weight gain, Krieger advises mothers-to-be to look at the big picture: During regular prenatal checkups, focus on that the baby is growing normally rather than worrying about the number on a scale. The total number of calories needed per day during pregnancy depends on a woman's height, her weight before becoming pregnant, and how active she is on a daily basis. In general, underweight women need more calories during pregnancy; overweight and obese women need fewer of them. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) guidelines for total weight gain during a full-term pregnancy recommend that: Underweight women, who have a Body Mass Index (BMI) below 18.5, should gain 28 to 40 lbs. (12.7 to 18 kilograms). Normal weight women, who have a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9, should gain 25 to 35 lbs. (11.3 to 15.8 kg). Overweight women, who have a BMI of 25.0 to 29.9, should gain 15 to 25 lbs. (6.8 to 11.3 kg).Obese women, who have a BMI of 30.0 and above, should gain 11 to 20 lbs. (5 to 9 kg). Rate of weight gain: The IOM guidelines suggest that pregnant women gain between 1 and 4.5 lbs. (0.45 to 2 kg) total during their first trimester of pregnancy. The guidelines recommend that underweight and normal-weight women gain, on an average, about 1 pound every week during their second and third trimesters of pregnancy, and that overweight and obese women gain about half a pound every week in their second and third trimesters of pregnancy. Twins: The IOM guidelines for pregnancy weight gain when a woman is having twins are as follows:Normal weight: 37 to 54 lbs. (16.7 to 24.5 kg). Overweight: 31 to 50 lbs. (14 to 22.6 kg). Obese: 25 to 42 lbs. (11.3 to 19 kg). This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant to offer medical advice.

Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
What’s that on the telly? It’s an angel sent from GodGrowing in my belly…!!Like a sweet pea in a pod(Malissa  Hatcher)Even though everyone will advise you to eat for two, the average woman does not need any extra calories during the first six months of pregnancy. Your body actually becomes more efficient at extracting the required energy and nutrients from your diet when you're expecting a baby. Even in the last few months, you only need about 200 extra calories per day.Many vegetarian pregnant women worry about the effect their diet may have on their developing baby during pregnancy. However, with careful meal planning, there may be no need for concern."Vegetarian pregnancy diet can provide the mother and baby with all the proper nutrients they need," says Rachele Dependahl, RD, a dietitian at Cedars-Sinai Medical Group in Beverly Hills, Calif.These nine months may be the most challenging months of your life. With your body undergoing a number of changes, you need to be extra careful about yourself as well as your surroundings. And watching your vegetarian pregnancy diet should be on top of your top list.The Pros of  Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet -There are many positive aspects to maintaining a vegetarian diet during pregnancy. For instance, vegetarian sources of protein are easier on the kidneys. And being a vegetarian can help keep tooth decay — a common problem during pregnancy — at bay. In addition, vegetarian eating, in general, lowers the risk of the following conditions:- Obesity- Hypertension- Constipation- Heart disease- Type 2 diabetes- Cancer- GallstonesAnother plus to being a vegetarian, says Martha K. Grodrian, RD, a nutrition therapist at Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, is that "most vegetarian women eat fewer junk foods and a more nutritious diet."The Cons Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet -A vegetarian diet during pregnancy can be a healthy option, though it requires a little more effort."It may take more work and effective meal planning to follow a vegetarian diet that is healthy during pregnancy," says Grodrian. In general, the more foods a vegetarian omits from the diet, the more difficult it is to meet nutrient needs." However, dietary supplements may be able to fill the void.A lacto-ovo vegetarian (one who also eats dairy and eggs) can get all the nutrients she needs for a healthy pregnancy through diet and a multivitamin/mineral supplements. A vegan, on the other hand, who avoids all animal products, will need to take supplements of vitamin B12 and iron and might want to take calcium, zinc, and vitamin D, too.Vegetarian Pregnancy Diet - Nutritional GuidelinesNutritional guidelines for pregnant vegetarians are the same as for non-vegetarian women who are expecting. "All pregnant women need additional iron, calcium, folate, essential fatty acids such as DHA (which can be obtained in a vegetarian form), zinc, protein, and 200 to 300 calories more than pre-pregnancy," says Grodrian.Specifically, vegetarian pregnancy diet should include  the following:- Six to eleven  servings per day of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta (choosing whole grain when possible)- Four to five servings per day of vegetables. Four or more servings of fruits- Eight servings of milk and milk alternatives (one cup of cooked kidney beans as a milk alternative, for instance).- Three to four servings of beans and bean alternatives.- Two servings of omega-3 fats for DHA (found in flax-seed oil, walnuts, tofu, and omega-3 fortified eggs, among other places).- Fats, sweets, and junk food should be eaten sparinglyPregnant women should be careful to avoid the following foods:- Unpasteurized soft cheeses (such as brie, Camembert, and feta) and unpasteurized milk, because they carry the risk of listeriosis (a food-borne illness caused by bacteria).- Raw vegetable sprouts and fresh unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juices, which can contain bacteria like E. coli and salmonella.