Weight Management During Pregnancy

Being pregnant is one of the best feelings a woman could experience during her married life. And it is natural for women to gain weight during pregnancy. Some are even already overweight when they get pregnant. But in both cases, women should not try to lose weight or use weight loss /restrictive diets during pregnancy. It is an acceptable fact to gain weight within permissible limits during pregnancy.


In order to remain strong and active, the mom-to-be should focus on healthy and right type of foods in appropriate quantities. Being pregnant does not literally mean eating for two! Only a small increase (+350 Kcal) in food intake is required from the 4th month of pregnancy. So you need not eat a lot or eat whatever you want! It’s the quality of the diet that’s more important than the quantity eaten. Gaining too much weight will lead to complications during delivery.


The baby in the womb should receive all the vital nutrients for healthy development. So, it is better to follow the diet chart given by your doctor or nutritionists. This will let you and your developing baby get the required nutrients without gaining too much weight.


Foods necessary during pregnancy without adding too much calories:

  • Food enriched with high fibre such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains etc. These vitamin rich and low calorie food fill you up for a longer period of time.
  • Fibre-rich foods make a good snack an d can be taken at regular intervals reducing your cravings for high-calorie food.
  • Having plenty of berries, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes and spinach will add lots of nutritive value without adding calories.
  • You can opt for snacks made from whole grain or legumes/beans – either boiled, roasted or sprouts.
  • Have skimmed milk which will help to reduce your calories as four to five servings of milk is extremely necessary.
  • Skinless chicken breast, fish and egg whites are low calorie non-vegetarian food items.
  • Water is an ultimate diet beverage which helps to keep you hydrated without adding calorie to your daily intake. You can make it enjoyable by adding a slice of lime, fresh basil or a cinnamon stick.


Avoiding the following will let you stay fit and healthy:

  • Avoid artificial sweeteners in your food or drink and try to have foods with natural sweeteners.
  • As most drinks are high in calories, read the ingredients list before consumption. This way you will avoid high calorie drinks.
  • Try to avoid deep-fried vegetables and gravies as they have high-calorific value.
  • Avoid junk foods, cakes, cookies, chips, ice-creams, soft drinks etc. It is better not to bring home such products during pregnancy.


Pregnant women can follow these tips to remain active without getting too fat:

  • Make meals at home using low-fat cooking ways
  • Boiled, sautéed, baked and grilled foods are healthier options
  • Do moderate exercises as recommended by your doctor
  • You can do yoga during your pregnancy
  • You can start a simple walking regime
  • Leisurely swimming as per your doctor’s advice

Enjoy this wonderful phase of your life in a healthy manner!


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Managing food allergies and intolerances in babies

Food allergies and intolerances in babies have become quite common and almost 1 in 12 babies suffer from them. So, it is very essential for mothers to take proper care of their babies regarding food. Your baby can have food allergies if you have a family history of food allergy, hay fever, asthma or eczema.


What is food allergy?

Food allergies in babies occur when their immune system has an adverse reaction to harmless proteins in food and produces antibodies. The immune system responds to the food as toxic. It occurs immediately or after some time of having food.


Symptoms of food allergy:

  • Redness on skin and dermatitis
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy eyes and mouth
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps
  • Swollen face and eyelids
  • Swollen tongue and lips
  • Frequent crying and distress
  • Persistent cough, difficulty in swallowing, wheezing, shortness of breath and hoarse voice is called anaphylaxis, a severe and life-threatening food allergy

The most common foods that causes allergy in babies are:

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Peanut

What is food intolerance?

Food intolerance in babies is caused by some substance present in the food they eat. It is not caused by the immune system responding to the food. Often, food intolerance occurs after two days of having the intolerance prone substance in food.

Symptoms of food intolerance:

  • Skin redness and dermatitis
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

The most common form of food intolerance that occurs in babies are:

  • Milk or lactose intolerance
  • Some react to strawberries
  • Tomato can also cause food intolerance


Food allergies and intolerances in babies can be controlled in the following ways:

  • Avoid the food: It is very important to avoid the food that causes allergies and intolerance in your baby. So, you should be aware of these foods. Carefully read the food labels and see if words like ‘whey’, ‘casein’ etc. are there. Presence of such words means, having the product can lead to allergies.
  • Have an emergency plan: Parents should speak to their doctor to give them an emergency plan which will help them to recognise allergies and intolerances and if medical attention is needed or no

Diagnosing food allergies or intolerances

If you find that your baby is having a food allergy or intolerance and not getting better, you should always consult your doctor. If the allergies and intolerances are not mild, they will be cured by taking the prescribed medicines. Some tests may need to be done, as well. As mothers breastfeed their babies, they should not eat the foods that causes allergies and intolerances during the pregnancy and breasting period.

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The Goodness of Milk During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, milk and milk related items provide various types of nutrients to the pregnant woman and her developing baby. According to clinical research, it is found that milk consumption during pregnancy shows better results. Moreover, it benefits newborn babies during the early stages of their lives. So, it is recommended to have at least three glasses of milk daily directly or indirectly.



Benefits of milk during pregnancy:

As milk is one of the dietary sources of nutrients, intake of milk during pregnancy is very important. The following nutrients which are very essential for the proper growth of the foetus and also for the mother can be derived by consumption of milk.

  • Calcium

Milk is a vital source of calcium for human beings. During pregnancy, if the intake of calcium rich foods like milk is not adequate, then the foetus will not meet the demanding needs of calcium for healthier bones and teeth. So, it is very necessary for the mom-to-be to have the required quantity of calcium in the form of milk to keep her bones and and that of her developing baby strong. Drinking milk regularly will make both their bodies strong and flexible and also help in strengthening nails.



  • Vitamin D

Milk is one of the few dietary sources of Vitamin D, which helps to prevent low birth weight, neonatal rickets and other associated problems.

  • Protein

An excellent source of protein, milk, if taken adequately, provides the protein needs of pregnant women. A cup of low fat milk daily provides 8.22 gm of proteins. Protein plays an important role during pregnancy as it serves a number of important functions like proper blood supply, build-up of the uterus, remodelling breasts and tissues of the baby. Inadequate consumption of protein can lead to low birth weight babies and other heart related problems during pregnancy.

Which type of milk is good for pregnant women?

According to research, it is found that babies born to mothers who drank sufficient milk during pregnancy are more likely to be tall as teenagers.

  • Low fat milk: It is not necessary to drink whole milk during pregnancy as the presence of unsaturated fats in whole milk is unhealthy for expecting mothers. So, it is better to consume low fat or non-fat milk. You can add skimmed milk to your diet in order to decrease the level of saturated fat.
  • Pasteurised milk: Drinking raw or unpasteurised milk or having anything made from raw milk is not safe for pregnant women. It increases the risk of various diseases for both the mother and the baby as it can carry microbes. So, it is very essential to have pasteurised milk. Generally, during pasteurisation microbes get destroyed when the milk is heated at a high temperature.

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