Categories
Female Health Food Food Habits Health Nutrition

Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy

What is pregnancy:

Pregnancy is the period during which a fetus develops inside a woman’s womb or uterus. Pregnancy usually lasts about 40 weeks, or a little over 9 months, from the last menstrual cycle through delivery. The three stages of pregnancy are referred to as trimesters by doctors.

First trimester (week 1 to week 12)

The first step toward pregnancy is conception, which occurs when a sperm penetrates an egg. Through the woman’s fallopian tube, the fertilized egg (called a zygote) goes to the uterus and implants itself in the uterine wall. A zygote is a group of cells that will develop into the fetus and placenta. The placenta connects the mother and the fetus, providing nourishment and oxygen to the latter.

Second trimester (week 13 to week 28)

  • You can normally find out your baby’s sex between the ages of 18 and 20, which is when ultrasounds are used to search for birth defects.
  • At 20 weeks, a woman may begin to feel movement.
  • The fetus has left imprints and fingerprints after 24 weeks, and it sleeps and wakes on a regular basis.

According to the US National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Neonatal Research Network, babies born at 28 weeks have a 92 percent chance of surviving, although those born at this time are more likely to have serious health issues such as respiratory and brain problems.

Third trimester (week 29 to week 40)

  • At 32 weeks, the bones are soft and nearly fully formed, and the eyes can open and close; preterm babies are those born before 37 weeks. Developmental delays, visual and hearing problems, and cerebral palsy are more common in these children. Babies born between 34 and 36 weeks of pregnancy are referred to as “late preterm.”
  • “Early term” refers to babies born in the 37th and 38th weeks of pregnancy, which were formerly considered term. These newborns are more likely to have health issues than those born at 39 weeks or later, which is currently considered full term.
  • Babies delivered at 39 or 40 weeks of pregnancy are considered full-term. Full-term infants have better health outcomes.

Nutrition during pregnancy:

The body goes through a lot of physical and chemical changes throughout pregnancy. To keep yourself and your growing child fueled, you’ll need to eat well from a variety of sources. Eating a well-balanced, healthy diet can make you feel good and provide you and your child with all you need. It’s critical that you obtain all of the vitamins and minerals you need because the food you eat is your baby’s primary source of nutrition.

Because you’re feeding a whole new person, your body’s nutritional needs increase throughout pregnancy. Although the old adage “eating for two” isn’t entirely accurate, you and your baby will undoubtedly need more vitamins and macronutrients.

Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals that are only required in trace amounts in the diet.

Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories, or energy. We’re talking carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. You’ll need to eat more of each type of nutrient during pregnancy.

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates meals help you feel satisfied without having too many calories and are a vital source of energy, several vitamins, and fiber. Bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, maize, millet, oats, yams, and cornmeal are some of the items on the list. Choose oven chips that are reduced in salt and fat if you’re having chips.

Over a third of your diet should consist of these foods. Choose wholegrain or higher-fiber alternatives like whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, or just leaving the skins on potatoes instead of refined starchy (white) foods.

Protein:

Protein is required for the growth of a baby’s tissues and organs, including the brain. During pregnancy, it also assists in the development of breast and uterine tissue. It even helps to boost your blood supply, allowing you to give your child more blood. Your protein needs increase with each trimester of pregnancy. Protein consumption during pregnancy should be much higher than current recommendations. You’ll need 70 to 100 grams of protein each day, depending on your weight and trimester.

Fats:

While it is true that some fats have negative health effects, others serve as a vital source of energy and aid in the body’s assimilation of specific nutrients. They can also supply essential fatty acids, which are necessary for the growth of your unborn child during pregnancy but which your body cannot produce.

Unsaturated fat called DHA is crucial for a baby’s brain and eye development. Aim for 200 mg of DHA per day for pregnant women. DHA is found in oily seafood like salmon and tuna.

Nutrient requirements during pregnancy:

Nutrient

Recommended        daily amount of intake

Sources:

Proteins

70 grams

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, legumes, and nuts.

Calcium

1200 milligrams

Dairy products, leafy green vegetables, orange juice, and almonds

Iron

30 milligrams

Meat, fish, poultry, cereals, whole grain breads, legumes, leafy green vegetables, dried peaches, apricots and raisins.

Folacin (Folic Acid)

600 micrograms

Leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, orange juice, asparagus.

Pyridoxine (B6)

1.9 milligrams

Wheat germ, meat, whole grains, cauliflower, bananas, avocados, peanuts, sunflower seeds, soybeans, and corn.

Zinc

15 milligrams

The same foods that contain iron, in addition to oysters, wheat germ and brown rice.

  • Vitamin (A): Pregnant women need 770 micrograms of vitamin (A) per day.
  • Vitamin (C): The recommended daily amount of vitamin C during pregnancy increases to 85 milligrams
  • Vitamin (D): All individuals under the age of 70, including pregnant women and breastfeeding women, need 600 IUs per day

Fluid intake during pregnancy:

In addition to the fluids in juices and soups, you can get enough fluids by consuming several glasses of water each day. Discuss limiting your use of artificial sweeteners and caffeine with your healthcare provider.

Foods to eat:

  • Proteins: Lean meat (chicken, fish, lentils, etc.) is advised as a daily source of protein.
  • Carbohydrates are a type of carbohydrate that may be found in a variety of foods (such as bread, cereals, potatoes, rice, and pasta).
  • Obtaining fat from plant sources (such as olive oil) is preferred over saturated fats obtained from animal sources (like butter).
  • Dairy products that have been pasteurized: (such as Yogurt, milk, and cheese).
  • Vitamins and minerals are essential for good health.
  • There’s a lot of fiber in this.

Foods to avoid:

  • alcohol
  • excessive caffeine
  • raw meats and seafood
  • high-mercury fish
  • uncooked processed meats
  • unpasteurized dairy

Dietary supplements:

Good dietary supplements:

  • Iron: To prevent iron deficiency anemia in the mother and to aid in the transmission of more blood to the fetus so that it receives the most oxygen possible.
  • Folic acid is used to prevent the development of spina bifida in the fetus.

Harmful dietary supplements:

  • Vitamin A supplementation, whether in food or tablet form, should be avoided during pregnancy since it can harm the fetus.
  • Dietary supplements are insufficient to replace a nutritious diet.

How to overcome cravings and food aversions during pregnancy?

When you’re pregnant, you can develop an aversion to certain foods, which means you won’t like the smell or taste of them. Food cravings for one or more foods may also arise.

Pregnancy cravings

A hunger for a donut, Chinese food, or an unexpected culinary combo like pickles and ice cream can strike. It’s unclear why pregnant women have dietary aversions or urge. Hormones, on the other hand, are thought to play a part. It’s fine to indulge your cravings now and then, especially if they’re for foods that are part of a healthy diet. However, you should try to limit your intake of junk food and processed foods.

Pregnancy aversions

Food aversions, on the other hand, may only be a problem if they involve meals that are necessary for a baby’s development.

Pica

Pica is a disorder in which you have a desire for unhealthy meals. Pregnant women with pica may want to eat clay, cigarette ashes, or starch, among other strange foods. Pica during pregnancy could be a sign of a vitamin or mineral shortage.

Dn.Sadia Fatima is Director and Co-Founder of SDNO. She is a great nutrition entrepreneur and leader. Her actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. She can be reached at @nutracare21_.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended as sound medical advice for your particular illness; rather, it is meant to increase awareness of common health issues. Before implementing any recommendations made in this article or choosing a treatment plan based on its contents, you should always speak with a qualified healthcare professional.

Sharing is caring
Categories
Disease Female Health Health Nutrition

An Unconventional Guide to PCOS

PCOS stands for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. PCOS is a hormonal disorder that affects women during their reproductive years (ages 15 to 44). PCOS is a condition that affects a woman’s ovaries, which are reproductive organs that generate estrogen and progesterone, which regulate the menstrual cycle. Normally, the male hormones termed androgens are also produced in modest amounts by the ovaries. The ovaries produce eggs that are fertilized by sperm from a man. In short, the polycystic ovarian syndrome is characterized by:

  • cysts in the ovaries
  • high levels of male hormones
  • irregular or skipped periods

Many tiny, fluid-filled sacs form inside the ovaries as a result of PCOS. The term “polycystic” refers to a person who has a lot of cysts. Each of these sacs is a follicle, which contains an immature egg. Ovulation is never triggered because the eggs are never developed enough. Ovulation deficiency affects estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and LH level. The levels of progesterone are lower than typical, while the levels of androgen are higher than usual. Extra male hormones cause the menstrual cycle to be disrupted, resulting in fewer cycles for women with PCOS.

Causes of PCOS

  • Excess insulin is a problem. Insulin is a hormone generated by the pancreas that helps cells to consume sugar, which is your body’s main source of energy. Your blood sugar levels may rise and your body may create more insulin if your cells grow resistant to the effects of insulin. Excess insulin may boost testosterone production, making ovulation problematic.
  • Low-grade inflammation. Inflammation at a low level. The synthesis of chemicals by white blood cells to fight infection is referred to as this phrase. Women with PCOS have a form of low-grade inflammation that causes their polycystic ovaries to create androgens, which can cause heart and blood vessel problems, according to research.
  • Excess androgen. Hirsutism and acne are caused by unusually high quantities of androgen produced by the ovaries.

Common symptoms of PCOS

  • Irregular periods. The uterine lining is not shed every month due to a lack of ovulation. PCOS causes some women to have fewer than eight periods per year, or none at all.
  • Heavy bleeding. Because the uterine lining develops over a longer length of time, your periods may be heavier than usual.
  • Hair growth. Hair grows on the face and body of more than 70% of women with this disorder, including the back, belly, and chest. Hirsutism is the term for excessive hair growth.
  • Acne. Male hormones can induce breakouts on the face, chest, and upper back by making the skin oilier than usual.
  • Weight gain. Up to 80 percent of women with PCOS are overweight or have obesity.
  • Male pattern baldness. Hair on the scalp gets thinner and may fall out.
  • Darkening of the skin. In bodily creases such as the neck, groin, and under the breasts, dark patches of skin can appear.
  • Hormone changes can trigger headaches in some women

Complications of PCOS

  • Infertility
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
  • Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression, anxiety and eating disorders
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer)

Dietary and lifestyle tips to treat PCOS

  • Infertility
  • Gestational diabetes or pregnancy-induced high blood pressure
  • Miscarriage or premature birth
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis — a severe liver inflammation caused by fat accumulation in the liver
  • Metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels that significantly increase your risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression, anxiety and eating disorders
  • Abnormal uterine bleeding
  • Cancer of the uterine lining (endometrial cancer)

Dietary and lifestyle tips to treat PCOS

PCOS treatment usually begins with a change in lifestyle, such as weight loss, nutrition, and exercise.

Losing just 5 to 10% of your body weight can help regulate your menstrual cycle and alleviate the symptoms of PCOS. Weight loss can also:

  • improve cholesterol levels
  • lower insulin
  • reduce heart disease and diabetes risks

Any diet that aids in weight loss can aid in the treatment of your disease. Some diets, on the other hand, may have advantages over others.

  • Low carbohydrate diets are helpful for both weight loss and reducing insulin levels, according to studies comparing PCOS diets.
  • A low glycemic index (low GI) diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains regulates the menstrual cycle better than a traditional weight-loss diet.
  • Women with PCOS can reduce weight by doing 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least three times a week, according to a few studies. Exercise-induced weight loss enhances ovulation and insulin levels.
  • When exercise is combined with a balanced diet, it is even more helpful. Diet with exercise aids weight loss more effectively than either intervention alone.

Process of Seed Cycling:

Seed cycling, often known as a seed rotation diet, is a natural remedy for balancing women’s hormones. It is thought to be particularly useful in the treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome(PCOS) and irregular menstruation cycles.

It is actually used to remedy infertility and symptoms like hot flashes, fatigue, etc. However, there is no scientific proof or approval to back this up.

Women must consume 2 tablespoons of seeds such as pumpkin, flax, chia, sunflower, and sesame seeds when using the seeds cycling method. These seeds have hormone-regulatory qualities and can aid in the body’s maintenance of oestrogen and progesterone levels.

Raw and freshly ground seeds are ideal. You may also include them into other foods, such as oatmeal, milkshakes or cornflakes.

Foods to Eat and Avoid:

Food to Eat:Food to avoid:

High-fiber fruits and vegetables (apples, plums, broccoli, cauliflower)

Leafy greens

Root veggies

Red berries and grapes

Beans, legumes, lentils

Whole-grain or multigrain bread, crackers, pasta, tortillas

Brown rice, quinoa

Oats, rye, barley

Flax, chia, and sunflower seeds

Cottage cheese

Lean chicken or turkey (without the skin)

Fatty fish (salmon, tuna)

Veggie burgers

Eggs, egg whites, egg substitutes

Low-fat and Greek yogurt

Non-dairy milk alternatives (almond, rice)

Avocado

Hummus

Coconut and coconut oil

Nuts and nut butters

Olive oil, flax seed oil

Fresh herbs and spices (turmeric, cinnamon, ginger)

Dark chocolate (in moderation)

Green tea

Bread, baked goods, crackers, pasta, and cereals made from refined white flour

Starchy vegetables (white potatoes, corn, peas)

White rice

Red meat

Full-fat dairy

Processed meat (lunch meat, hot dogs, sausage, bacon)

Fried food, fast food

Potato chips, microwave popcorn, salted pretzels

Dried fruit

Packaged snack foods

Frozen meals and snacks

Artificial sweeteners

Granola, cereal bars

Margarine, shortening, lard

Instant noodles, packaged pasta/soup mix

Bouillon cubes, broth, stock

Commercial salad dressing, marinades, seasonings

Milk/chocolate, candy

Ice cream, pudding, custard

Pastries, cake, cookies, pies

Soda

Sugary fruit juice

Energy drinks

Gluten and wheat

Soy products (tofu, soy milk)

Medical treatment

Birth control pills and other drugs can help treat PCOS symptoms like hair growth and acne by regulating the menstrual period and regulating the menstrual cycle.

Birth control

Taking progestin daily can:

  • restore a normal hormone balance
  • regulate ovulation
  • relieve symptoms like excess hair growth
  • protect against endometrial cancer. These hormones come in a pill, patch, or vaginal ring.

Metformin

Metformin (Glucophage, Fortamet) is a type 2 diabetes medication. It also aids in the treatment of PCOS by lowering insulin levels. Metformin, when combined with dietary and activity adjustments, promotes weight reduction, reduces blood sugar, and restores a normal menstrual cycle better than diet and exercise alone, according to one study.

Clomiphene

Clomiphene (Clomid) is a fertility drug that can help women with PCOS get pregnant. It’s important to note that, as you’re discussing family planning, to keep in mind that clomiphene increases the chances for twins and other multiple births.

Surgery

If alternative therapies fail to increase fertility, surgery may be a possibility. Ovarian drilling is a technique that uses a laser or a thin heated needle to create microscopic holes in the ovary to restore regular ovulation.

Dn.Sadia Fatima is Director and Co-Founder of SDNO. She is a great nutrition entrepreneur and leader. Her actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. She can be reached at @nutracare21_.

Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended as sound medical advice for your particular illness; rather, it is meant to increase awareness of common health issues. Before implementing any recommendations made in this article or choosing a treatment plan based on its contents, you should always speak with a qualified healthcare professional.

Sharing is caring