DO’s and DON’T’s for pregnant moms

pregnant

“Am I getting too fat?” This is always a concern among pregnant mothers.  Appropriate weight gain during pregnancy is important to prevent the birth of a low birth weight (LBW) baby or baby with excessive birth weight (macrosomia). The table below gives a guide on how much weight you should gain throughout the pregnancy. =)

 

Recommended weight gain

Pre-pregnancy weight Recommended weight gain (kg)
Underweight (BMI < 18.5) 12.7 – 18.2
Normal weight (BMI 18.5 to 24.9) 11.4 – 15.9
Overweight (BMI 25 to 29.9) 6.8-11.4
Obese (BMI > 30) 6.8

Source: Institute of Medicine. Weight Gain during Pregnancy. National Academy Press 1999.

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There are also some physiological changes during pregnancy. Do you know that there is a decreased concentration of vitamins and minerals in blood during pregnancy? This is due to the expansion of blood volume. Hence, pregnancy nutrition is essential for a healthy baby. A wide variety of nutritious food is the key to meet both mommy and baby’s nutritional requirements. The chart below is a guide on what pregnant mothers should and shouldn’t eat and do during their pregnancy period of time.

DOs and DON’Ts in Pregnancy

  • DOs
No.   Reason
1 Take more calories than usual. Your body need extra 300-400 calories daily during 2nd and 3rd trimester. Your body need supply extra nutrients for you baby too!
2 Take 1-2 more servings of protein foods. You need protein to build up the body and muscle tissue of baby.
3 Take more iron-rich foods, eg. whole grains, green leafy vege, lean meat. Your blood volume will increase during pregnancy. Hence iron is important to prevent anaemia.
4 Folate-rich foods, eg. green leafy vege, legumes, whole grains are beneficial. Folate plays a key role in prevent birth abnormalities like spina bifida
5 Take more vitamin C foods, eg. guava, lemon, orange, kiwi, tomato. Vitamin C helps in wound healing, tooth & bone development, promote iron absorption.
6 Get more calcium into the diet, eg. milk, cheese, tofu, legumes, leafy greens. Helps build strong bones and teeth for baby. If you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet, the calcium needed by your baby will be drawn from your own bones.
7 Get active. Eg. swimming, walking. But before you start a new exercise program, it is better to consult with your health care professionals.  Exercise helps in relieving backaches, constipation and may prevent gestational diabetes.  It can elevate your mood and improve posture as well. Moreover, it helps to keep you fit during and after pregnancy!
  • DONTs
No.   Reason
1 Don’t eat raw meats Reduce the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, eg. Salmonella, Toxoplasma gondii.
2 Limit leftover foods Hormonal changes in the body will lower your immune system which can make it harder to fight off illness and infection.
3 Avoid alcohol Alcohol can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth or your baby could be born with foetal alcohol syndrome.
4 Eliminate caffeinated beverages, eg. coffee, tea, chocolate, cola and some other soft drinks Excessive intake may increase the risk of miscarriage and premature birth.
5 Quit smoking Smoking increases the risk of premature birth, low birth weight, respiratory problems and SIDS
6 Avoid drug use Drug used may reach babies, hence, any drug prescription should be approved by doctor/ pharmacist.

 

 

References

  1. Pregnancy Nutrition. American Pregnancy Association. Jan 2014. Available from: [URL]: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/pregnancy-nutrition/
  1. Food Safety during Pregnancy. NSW Government. Australia. Available from: [URL] http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/_Documents/consumer_pdf/pregnancy-brochure.pdf