Pregnancy to Parenthood consulted reputed nutritionist Priyamvadha Chandramouli to bust some pregnancy nutrition myths. She highly suggests eating a wholesome and inclusive diet for proper pregnancy nutrition.
Congratulations, you’re pregnant! You have unlocked life long suggestions from your family and even complete strangers on how to go about it – the dos and the don’ts. Things can often get perplexing for pregnant women when it comes to nutrition & food. The truth is that there isn’t a single specific fruit/vegetable/ingredient that alone can vouch for the better health of the child and the mother. We live in a time where there is an abundance of information, but it also includes myths and sometimes even harmful advice. This makes it harder to make an informed decision about what to and what not to include in your pregnancy diet plan.
To help you navigate these confusing and challenging waters, I have tried to debunk some of the most common pregnancy nutrition myths.
Myth 1: ‘Eat for two’, when you’re pregnant!
This old saying isn’t true for all women. Research has shown us that a balanced diet of around 2000 calories is enough for the first two trimesters, requiring an extra 200 calories only in the last trimester. Increasing the nutrient intake in the first six months may only lead to gaining weight, which might be harmful. Eating twice as healthy should be one’s motto, instead.
Myth 2: Consumption of ghee during childbearing phase eases delivery & in the postpartum period, quickens the healing of the uterus
Many believe that adding Ghee to one’s diet especially in the 9th month will help in a normal delivery. There are no known effects other than gaining weight. As with everything else, moderation is key, excessive ghee consumption to induce labour can be harmful for the child. Instead, it is recommended to eat smaller portions, frequently and to include more vegetables and fruits.
Myth 3: No Tea or Coffee
Studies have shown us that consuming too much caffeine can result in miscarriages, stillbirths, and lower birth weights. But how much caffeine is too much? It is advised to take no more than 300mg per day. One should not forget to include the caffeine found in carbonated drinks and chocolates. One can consider decaffeinated versions of tea or coffee to gratify cravings.
Myth 4: Full-cream milk is more nutritious
Many are advised to consume full cream milk rather than skimmed or low- fat milk, believing it to be more nutritious. But they both have the same amount of nutrients, with low-fat milk containing less saturated fat. This makes it a low- calorie and healthy option to opt for expecting and breastfeeding mothers.
We understand that the constant pressure to choose healthy foods may be toll taking, after all, who doesn’t like eating yummy foods! So no matter what, you need to keep in mind that you’re doing a great job. Hence, we should aim for a wholesome and inclusive diet.
Healthy eating during pregnancy is not just about avoiding foods based on old myths —it’s about choosing wisely. It’s true that during pregnancy, some foods can cause harm to a developing fetus. In the next parenting blog post, we will discuss more pregnancy nutrition myths and a few tips on which all food to avoid during pregnancy.