A well balanced diet is more important for pregnant women, because it serve the needs of both the mother and baby in the womb. A nutritious diet should have enough proteins, fats, carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. A pregnant woman requires around 300 k cal energy per day. Pregnancy is measured in trimesters; in first trimester the baby growth will be very less as a result there is no significant weight gain. Where as in second and third trimester growth is fast and weight gain by 5 kg at each trimester. If they ignore diet leads birth weight defects of the baby.
- Folic acid Supplements 400mg per day, helps to prevent neural tube defects in the new born; rich source of folic acid include orange juice, cereals, spinach, bread and legumes are also good sources of folic acid.
- Iron Supplements helps to increase amount of blood and sources include potatoes, dates, broccoli, leafy green vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals.
- Calcium Supplements helps for the development of bones and teeth of baby, sources include milk, cheese and green vegetables.
- Protein Supplements helps for growth of new cells and replacement of old cells, sources include meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, milk, eggs and nuts.
- Water carries the nutrients to the baby and prevents constipation, hemorrhoids, excessive swelling, and urinary tract infections.
- Vegetables including carrots, broccoli, cabbage, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes and red sweet pepper; they provide vitamins A and C , minerals and fiber which helps to relieve constipation during pregnancy.
- Fruits including melon, mangoes, bananas, apricots, oranges and apples provide vitamin C helps to build a strong placenta.
- Nuts, cereals including oats, beans, peas and pulses etc provide fiber helps to avoid piles.
- Dairy products including milk, cheese, yogurt and meat, poultry provide protein.