It is not necessary to follow a special diet but it is important to include a variety of food items in the diet. For example, you can have protein rich food, starchy food, lots of fruits and vegetables, dairy items, unless you are lactose intolerant, even food items that are rich in simple sugar and fat; a wholesome diet will ensure that you are getting all the necessary nutrients. In case you are lactose intolerant, you can substitute your dairy intake with soya milk and other milk substitutes available in the market.
During the first trimester, many pregnant women feel nauseous and cannot keep food down. Avoiding eating will only increase the sense of discomfort. Instead, you should eat smaller portions at an interval of every two to three hours. Healthy snacking is advised as opposed to two or three heavy meals in a day. Working women should carry crackers and fruits with them and keep hunger pangs away. Drink adequate water to keep yourself hydrated.
Have at least six to eleven servings of pulses and food grains including bread, four servings of any dairy product and three servings of any protein-rich food daily. If you are not allergic to nuts, start your mornings with four to five soaked and de-skinned almonds. Food items like cottage cheese, milk, cheese, yoghurt, beans, chicken and whole wheat flour should be consumed in plenty. You can have snacks like khakra, poha, upma and other mildly flavoured snacks. Avoid food that might trigger allergic reactions or cause acidity or heartburn. Include plenty of fresh fruit juice in your diet and avoid alcoholic drinks.
A pregnant mother needs 1000-1300 milligrams of calcium every day. So include enough calcium-rich food to ensure you are not deprived of it. Iodine is also an important nutrient for the proper brain and nervous system development of the baby.
Vitamin C and Vitamin A are other two vital nutrients required by the body. Food items that are rich in Vitamin C are broccoli, papaya, cauliflower, strawberries, grapes, and tomatoes, and should be included in your diet. Food items rich in Vitamin A are carrots, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potato, squash and turnip. A pregnant mother needs 0.4 milligrams of folic acid which can be found in leafy vegetables, all kinds of beans, and chickpeas. Folic acid supplements are also prescribed by the doctor.
As a pregnant mother you need no extra calories in the first trimester, but in the second and third trimesters, you will need 300kcal and 450Kcal respectively, to meet the daily growing needs of your baby. This, however, does not mean that you have to overeat and put on excess weight.
For any health issue, avoid popping pills at your own discretion. It is a dangerous practice, especially during pregnancy. Refer to your gyneacologist for severe symptoms. You can however try home remedies that are simple and effective in treating common pregnancy woes.