Pregnancy brings with it a range of emotional upheavals, physical discomforts and food cravings like never before. While the first two seem to be common between you and your friends, the last seems to be unique in terms of the exact food that you crave for.
While you have just been wondering about the new taste buds you seem to have acquired you receive a host of advice and warnings about the kind of food you can eat, from all your well wishers. At times, their advice might seem contradictory and confusing.
Let us try to help you to clear some of the things and also help you with the dos and don’ts.
- Raw Papaya: Raw papaya contains chymopapain which induces abortion or early labour. That is the reason you are asked to avoid it. However, ripe papaya is completely safe and a good source of Vitamin A.
- Spicy Food: You might have heard that hot and spicy food causes abortion. However this kind of food, eaten in moderation, causes no harm. However pregnancy does induce heart burn for other reasons and this kind of food may aggravate the situation.
- Ice creams/Junk Food: If you crave these during pregnancy, it is because you crave comfort! Junk food and ice creams have sugar. Additional sugar causes the body to create serotonin which makes you feels good.
- Pickles: You do not crave pickles, what you crave is salt. You need additional minerals in your body during pregnancy.
- Eating for Two: What you need is an additional 350 calories per day to begin with and more as the weeks progress. This is determined by the doctor after calculating your BMI and nutrition requirement. What you need to have is a balanced meal, loaded with nutrients that fulfil body requirements at this time .Do not eat for two. Excessive weight is not good for you or the baby.
- Fish: Fish is a good source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids. What you need to avoid are fish that are high in mercury content.
- Coffee: Caffeine in small quantity does not affect your baby. Restrict it to three cups a day. A large amount of caffeine may result in a baby of low birth weight.
- Milk: Please do not gulp down many glasses of milk. This is a common misconception and totally unnecessary.
- Nausea: Nausea can be handled with a slice of toast or ginger juice.
- Cravings: Cravings mean that the meals that you have, are not balanced. You need to have a balanced meal. When all the taste buds are satisfied, the cravings will decline.
Indulge in the type of food that you enjoy but in moderation. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, pulses are all needed to keep your diet healthy and satisfied. The overindulgence in one and ignoring another can result in the creation of deficiencies for you and your baby. When in doubt consult your doctor.