Pregnancy is a normal physiological journey through motherhood. In the absence of any complications, apart from some screening tests and monitoring of the general health of mother and baby, little else needs to be done in managing this condition. Majority of pregnancies are uncomplicated, and have a happy ending with the delivery of a healthy baby.

It is nevertheless important to optimise a mother’s health during pregnancy, as this has a direct bearing on the baby’s health and wellbeing. This can be achieved by some simple measures, and watching what you eat is one of them. Keeping yourself hydrated with a good fluid intake, at least two litres a day, eating abundant dark green leafy vegetables, fruits, fish, red meat and milk, would help your pregnancy. Folic acid supplementation in the first twelve weeks of pregnancy helps to prevent abnormalities of brain and spinal cord.

It is also important to know what foods to avoid in pregnancy.

High doses of vitamin A can be harmful for the baby. Therefore vitamin A supplementation, and consuming liver and liver products in pregnancy should be avoided.

Infections transmitted through food can be avoided by avoiding consumption of unpasteurised milk, soft cheese, pate, uncooked or undercooked ready meals. Raw, half-boiled, and partially cooked eggs, mayonnaise; raw or partially cooked meat and poultry should also be avoided.

Prescribed and over the counter medications should only be used if benefits outweigh risks, as the safety profile of many such medicines in pregnancy, is yet to be established.

Therefore watching what you choose to eat can have a significant impact on your pregnancy and its outcome. As Asian women, we are also susceptible to developing diabetes in pregnancy, therefore avoiding excess of high calorie food such as chocolates, chips, fizzy drinks, may also be helpful.

So here’s wishing you a Happy Women’s Day, and a safe and happy journey through pregnancy and motherhood.