A) What is optimum weight gain in pregnancy?
The average weight gain in pregnancy is around 11 kg. The majority of it is gained in the second half of pregnancy. The optimum weight gain also depends upon how much you weigh before conception.
B) What are the things to remember or be cautious about in pregnancy?
- Wash hands properly before preparing or eating food
- Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly in running water before consuming
- Do not consume raw/ partially cooked food. Consume only boiled or pasteurized milk
- You should drink around 3 litres of water in a day. This prevents constipation and urinary infection.
- Take small and frequent meals (every 2-3 hours). It aids digestion and reduces acidity
- Avoid eating outside food during pregnancy
- NO SMOKING (neither active nor passive)
- Alcohol is best avoided
- Limit the intake of coffee/tea ( not more than 1-2 cups in a day)
- If you have a pet at home wash your hands every time after coming in contact with them
C) What should my diet consist of?
There is a requirement of an extra 300 KCal/day and extra 1 g/kg body weight of protein in pregnancy. More important than counting calories, it is important that you are taking a balanced diet (60% carbohydrate, 15-20% fat and 10-15% proteins)
- Take plenty of fruits and vegetables. They are a rich source of minerals and vitamins. Good to take around 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Take calcium-rich foods like 2-3 glasses of milk, makhana, cheese, broccoli etc. You will mostly be prescribed calcium supplements by your doctor as well. The requirement in pregnancy is around 1000 mg/day.
- Include a good source of protein every day. Good sources are cheese (paneer), dals, soya bean, sprouts, egg white, chicken, etc.
- It’s always better to split your meals into small portions and eat frequently.
- Remember: If you are taking the required extra calories and proteins, and your baby is growing well, then don’t worry about your own weight gain too much.
D) What if I have diabetes?
If you have diabetes or any other medical condition that needs special diet planning, it is best to meet a dietitian and follow a specific diet plan.
E) Can I eat papaya and dry fruits?
Yes, you can eat papaya and also dry fruits. These if taken in moderate amount will not harm you or the baby.