Just found out that you’re pregnant? You’ll hear plenty of advice from well-meaning neighbours and friends, not to mention overzealous family members, who will suggest all sorts of remedies and things you should meticulously avoid and things you should religiously do. Feeling confused? Don’t be. We get experts to advise on some of the most important things to keep in mind when you’re pregnant — diet, dental care and keeping fit.
Prenatal oral care
According consultant obstetrician, Dr Saurabh Dani there is evidence of a link between gum disease and premature, underweight births. “Gingivitis is the most common problem occurring during pregnancy and happens because gums react to the plaque build-up more aggressively than when not pregnant. Be sure to let your dentist know you’re pregnant. In the first three months of pregnancy, x-rays, dental anaesthetics, pain medications and antibiotics should be avoided, unless absolutely necessary. A root canal can be performed during pregnancy and the best time to perform such a procedure is mid trimester,” says Dr Dani. Keep dental problems away by brushing and flossing regularly, eating a balanced diet and visiting your dentist regularly. Substitute sweets with more wholesome foods like cheese, fresh fruits or vegetables.
According to obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Mukesh Gupta, feeling tired and gaining weight are normal during pregnancy but exercise provides relief. “Being active and exercising 30 minutes daily reduces backache, constipation, bloating, swelling, prevents or treats gestational diabetes, increases your energy, improves mood and posture, promotes muscle tone, strength and endurance, and helps you sleep better. Regular activity also improves ability to cope with labour pain and makes it easier for you to get back in shape after giving birth. However, don’t exercise to lose weight while you are pregnant,” says Dr Gupta. Here are some exercises you can do while you are pregnant
Before beginning your exercise program, talk to your doctor to ensure you don’t have any obstetric or health condition. Ask about specific exercises or sports that interest you. Most forms of exercise are safe. However, some involve positions and movements that may be uncomfortable, tiring or harmful. For instance, after the first trimester, avoid exercises that require you to lie flat on you back. Standing still for long periods is also not encouraged. Exercise during pregnancy is most practical during the first 24 weeks. If it has been some time since you’ve exercised, start slowly. Exercises like walking, swimming cycling and aerobics are a good way to keep fit.
The concept that a pregnant woman should eat for two is long out-dated. Gynaecologist Dr Suman Bijlani says what a pregnant woman really needs is a wellbalanced diet with a few extra ingredients to meet the unborn baby’s needs. “You need to consume about 300 extra calories per day, which translates into one extra meal. But eating too much makes you prone to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and gives you a very large baby. Focus on adding extra proteins, iron and calcium to your existing diet,” says Dr Bijlani.
Proteins: Include dals, pulses, sprouts, eggs, meats, fish, milk and milk products.
Carbohydrates: Provides energy and fibre. Avoid refined sugar and flour — they cause sugar levels to fluctuate. Stick to whole wheat (brown bread and flour), whole fruits and salads.
Fats: Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and other essential fatty acids are important for the development of the fetal brain. These are essential for ideal development of intelligence, learning and vision. Add flax seeds, walnuts, beans, tofu, olive and soyabean oil to your diet. Non-vegetarians can benefit from fish intake or cod liver oil capsules.
Iron: Green leafy vegetables, beans and pulses, pomegranate, cherries, berries, litchi, pineapple, raisins, dates, figs and animal foods contain a good amount of iron. Vitamin C is essential for the absorption of iron — squeeze a lemon in your meal.
Calcium: You need more calcium to help your baby’s developing bones, teeth and essential bodily functions. Adequate calcium also prevents backaches and prepares you for breastfeeding. Consume milk and milk products in various forms, nuts, seeds, beans, green leafy vegetables and seafood.
Source : idiva