Mayur Deshpande
  Personal trainer in Mumbai
Nutrition Preganancy

Nutrition Link


Pregnancy is the state of being pregnant; the period from conception to birth when a woman carries a developing fetus in her uterus.

1. Physiological changes during pregnancy
2. Nutrition requirements in pregnancy
3. Guidelines and tips during pregnancy
4. Three Sample diet plans
5. Foods to avoid during pregnancy

1. Physiological changes during pregnancy

Digestion system -

During pregnancy, one observes at most pregnant women (2/3 of pregnancies) to the first quarter of the nauseas and vomiting. The constipation which is the effect relaxing of progesterone hormone. Gastric production of hydrochloric acid is variable and sometimes exaggerated, especially during the first trimester. More commonly, gastric acidity is reduced. Gastric production of mucus may be increased. Transit time of food throughout the gastrointestinal tract may be so much slower that more water than normal is reabsorbed, leading to constipation. Gallbladder function is also altered during pregnancy because of the hypotonia of the smooth muscle wall. Emptying time is slowed and often incomplete.

Oral Cavity -

Salivation may seem to increase due to swallowing difficulty associated with nausea, and, if the pH of the oral cavity decreases, tooth decay may occur. Cardiovascular / heart system - One of the main important cardiovascular modifications is the increase of the blood volume (nearly the 1/3), that is going to drag a relative hemodilution. Skeletal / joints system - The smooth muscle of the renal pelvis and ureter become relaxed and dilated, kidneys increase in length and ureters become longer, more curved and with an increase in residual urine volume. Bladder smooth muscle also relaxes, increasing capacity and risk of UTI. Approximately 5% of pregnant women have bacteriuria, often asymptomatic, and there is a greater risk of developing pyelonephritis in pregnancy.

Endocrine / Hormones system -

* FSH/LH fall to low levels, ACTH and melanocyte-stimulating hormone increase and Prolactin increases. T4 and T3 increase over first half of pregnancy but there is a normal to slightly decreased amount of free hormone due to increased TBG-binding. Cortisol levels increase in pregnancy, which favors lipogenesis and fat storage. Peripheral insulin resistance may also develop over the course of pregnancy and gestational diabetes is thought to reflect a pronounced insulin resistance of this sort.

Blood circulation -

Dilutional anaemia is caused by the rise in plasma volume. Elevated erythropoietin levels increase the total red cell mass by the end of the second trimester but haemoglobin concentrations never reach pre-pregnancy levels.A normal pregnancy creates a demand for about 1000 mg of additional iron. This equates to 60 mg elemental iron or 300 mg ferrous sulphate per day.

Metabolic rate -

The basal metabolic rate increases slowly over the course of pregnancy, by 15-20%. In women with normal BMIs, energy requirement does not increase significantly during the first trimester, increases by about 350 Kcal/day in the second trimester and 500 Kcal/day in the third. Active energy expenditure tends to fall over pregnancy. Normal weight gain is approximately 12.5 kg (usually at a rate of 0.5 kg per week for the last 20 weeks).
2. Nutrition requirements in pregnancy

Regulation and attention to the diet should begin before pregnancy. You should also have no Vitamin or mineral deficiencies prior to pregnancy.
3. Guidelines and tips during pregnancy

• Include cereals and legumes, Nuts, dried fruits, Spinach and other leafy vegetables, Milk and dairy products, Fruits and fruit juices.
• Ask your doctor about iron, calcium, Vitamin B + D + Zinc supplements.
• Try to incorporate Soya into your regular diet. Soya is a rich source of iron and also has a high protein value. Soya is available in a lot of forms - soya milk, nutri-nuggets, tofu, soya rawa, soya flour, etc.
• Eat sprouted dal raw. On cooking they tend to lose some of their nutritive value. You can have them in salads or can add them to raita (beaten curd).
• Stay Active. Its advisable to exercise 2-3 times a week but for not more than 45 mins. with heart rate not exceeding more than 140-160b/min.

4. Three Sample diet plans


Sample diet plan - I

Breakfast -
1/2 cup (125 ml) cottage cheese /paneer
1/2 cup (125 ml) berries (fresh or frozen)
1 cup (250 ml) whole-grain cereal(oats/corn/wheat flakes) with skim or 1% milk
Mid Morning -
1 bowl sprouts or roasted soybeans(50 gms)
Lunch -
One whole chicken salad sandwich (made with low-fat mayo, and red bell peppers, on whole wheat bread) six carrot sticks 1 cup low-fat yogurt.
Snacks -
1 cup low-fat chocolate milk and 3 oatmeal cookies.
Evening -
1 glass fresh veg./fruit juice
Dinner -
4 oz lean turkey burger with tomatoes and lettuce on a whole wheat bun or 4 oz turkey breast skinless and add 2 slices of Italian bread (with 2 tsp peanut butter) to your meal.
Bedtime -
1 cup skim milk



Sample diet plan - II

Breakfast -
2 slices of whole wheat bread with margarine or 1 cup of cereal
1 egg
8 oz. of low fat milk or calcium fortified orange juice
Mid Morning -
1/2 cup nuts or seeds
1 fresh fruit (apple)
Lunch -
1 cup of rice or noodles
3 oz. chicken or dal or sprouts
1 cup of vegetables (ex: broccoli)
1 fresh fruit (orange)
Snacks -
1/2 cup cereal
8 oz. of low fat milk
Dinner -
1 cup rice
1 1/2 cup salad (spinach and romaine lettuce, onions, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms)
1 cup Dal soup
Bedtime -
1 cup low-fat milk



Sample diet plan - III

Breakfast -
Spinach Besan Parathas
Mid Morning -
Lemon Water (Nimboo Pani)
Lunch -
Channa Curry
Stuffed Tindas
Mint Raita
Rice / Chapattis
Evening -
Banana Shake in Milk
Dinner -
Pea Paneer Curry
Mixed Vegetable (dry)
Bedtime -
1 Fruit Custard


Note -
Since most women crave different foods and may not be able to stomach others when they are pregnant, these meal plans are simply a guide. However, they should help to give you some ideas for eating healthy and getting the nutrients you need.
5. Foods to avoid during pregnancy
• Limit Seafood. It is best not to eat a great deal of seafood when pregnant. You should avoid fish products with high mercury levels as they can pose a risk to your child.
• Avoid Highly Processed Food. Try not to eat highly processed foods while pregnant. They are not healthy for the baby. Do not eat hotdogs, deli meats and cheeses and other foods that will have many chemicals added for processing. Eat as many healthful and natural food products as possible.
• Reduce Stress. Although it is not possible for anyone to remove stress completely from their day to day living, you should try to reduce your stress levels while pregnant. Think of some ways that you can feel less stressed. Ask friends and family for help as needed.
• Canned and processed food can cause food poisoning.
• Junk food with lots of calories and too few nutrients.
• Cut down on salt as this can cause water retention and high BP complications especially in the last trimester.
• Excess Caffeine has been shown to be potentially dangerous to a developing fetus.
Untitled Document