Importance of a Healthy Diet
Why is so much stress laid on a healthy diet (Dr. Rita Shah)
As you are the only source of nutrition
for your unborn baby, your eating habits will affect your baby's health
and well-being. In order to cope with the increased demands, your body
needs a sufficient amount of nutrition. Poor eating habits can adversely
affect your pregnancy and result in conditions like anaemia, pre-eclampsia,
mood swings, fatigue, leg cramps, constipation, etc. It had been
learnt that deficiency of some minerals like zinc is sometimes responsible
for initiating premature labor.
How will my diet affect the baby
As long as there is no family history
of medical diseases, eating the right kinds of foods will ensure that you
have a healthy baby. A study conducted by the Harvard School of Public
Health has shown how baby's health at birth is directly related to the
mother's diet during pregnancy. Of the women who were on an excellent
diet, 95% of them had healthy babies. Whereas, of the women thriving on
junk food only 8% of them had healthy babies, and 65% had premature, malnourished,
functionally immature or stillborn babies.
What are the implications of a poor diet
Every bite counts. Whatever an expectant mother eats or does not eat affects her child. Lack of folic acid in the first trimester increases the risk of spinal tube defects and lip and palate deformities. Lack of protein and calories in the last trimester could affect the development of the brain. To really grow well, your baby requires a well-balanced diet that includes vitamins, minerals, proteins and substantial calories for its all-round development.