Nutritional Need In Pregnancy - Part II

After a break I am back with a post on the Pregnancy series.This post happens to be my 800th post and I am so thrilled to have come this far in my hobby!

The first part of this series can be found here.So moving on to the other nutrients required during pregnancy , we shall see the minerals and vitamins that are essential during this time.

1. Calcium :

Calcium is required by the mother to help the bones to support her body weight and also the weight of the fetus.The Calcium need increases more than two fold during pregnancy.This increase in the calcium need is essential for the bones and teeth development of the baby and also to build the body resources for calcium in the mother during lactation[ breast feeding] .

When the mothers diet in deficient in Calcium, the fetus draws its supply from the maternal bones. This also happens when the diet is inadequate in Calcium when the mother is breast feeding her baby.When there is not sufficient Calcium in the mothers bones, it leads to a condition called osteoporosis , where the bone becomes thin and there is increased risk of fractures.

Food sources of Calcium :

2. Iron :

As with all the nutrients the Iron requirement also increases during pregnancy.Sufficient store of Iron is required right from the beginning of the pregnancy.The requirement doubles during pregnancy and this is a mineral which the baby depends completely on the maternal supply.

Inadequate supply of Iron from the diet / inadequate store in the mother's body takes its toll on the mothers health.It is likely to cause tiredness and giddiness , lack of iron increases the strain in the maternal heart and there are chances of excessive bleeding during delivery in anemic women.Though anemia in pregnancy is common it should never be left untreated.

The fetus requires iron for the following reasons:

When the hemoglobin content of the mother is low, supplements are usually prescribed in addition to following a diet rich in Iron.It should also be noted that supplements are not to be taken by self without consulting a gynecologist as there increased intake is also not good for health.

Food sources of Iron :

Liver is  not only an excellent source of Iron but  also of Vitamin A. Excessive Vitamin A is harmful for the fetus and hence it is better to avoid it during pregnancy.

There are ways to increase the iron that is being absorbed into the body.

 To be continued....

Disclaimer : This post is written to be a guideline and is not a medical advice. For further doubts and clarification consult your Dietitian / Gynecologist.

Earlier in this series on pregnancy:

Series Introduction
Pregnancy - Signs and Symptoms
Changes in the body during pregnancy - Part 1 , Part 2 , Part 3
Gestational diabetes - Part 1 and Part 2
Diet in pregnancy
Nutritional need in Pregnancy - Part I

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