Nutritious Food For Expectant Mothers 优孕优生的饮食

By C M Dr. Allen K.M. Pang (Doctor of Chinese Medicine)
Medical Advisor of Xiamen Ren De Hospital
Regional Representative of Nanjing TCM University
President of SEL & KL Association of China Graduated Chinese Physicians
Guest Lecturer of Hong Kong Wah Ha TCM College
Director Jiangxi TCM University Malaysia Tutoring Centre
Vice Chairman (Overseas) of Xiamen TCM & Medicine Promoting Association

Tel: 016-660 3603/ 012-332 0445

It is important that a pregnant woman should eat a well-balanced diet that can benefit the foetus to have a wondrous growth. Unborn babies who are malnourished will suffer inadequate brain growth and poor development. Also it is neither wise for her to indulge in heavy alcoholic drinking or take certain drugs without the doctor’s advice as these could have damaging action on the growing baby. In today’s modern world, the nutritional needs of a pregnant woman have been considered in detail. There are many pre-natal diet plans, all with a scientific approach.

1. Early Pregnancy (beginning of pregnancy to 12 weeks)
During pregnancy, a woman may suffer from several discomforts like feeling nauseous, vomitting, cravings for certain foods, dislike oily foods, heartburn, fatigue setting-in. By the end of 12 we0eks, the major foetal organs and external genitials are formed. The average pregnant woman does not need excessive calories but should be more concern on nutrition. As the placenta is formed during the first three months, the mother should eat a diet with more protein and less oil. It is wise to relieve heartburn by eating small meals more frequently at intervals throughout the day rather than large infrequent meals. The food intake should be more on lean meat, fish, eggs, noodles, milk, soybean milk, fresh leafy vegetables, fresh fruits whichever she fancies. But she should steer clear off oily foods, deep-fried items or have spicy meals. Indigestion or constipation can occur as they are both the result of the effect of the hormone known as progesterone which relaxes the muscle fibres. An intake of vitamin B1, B6 can assist in working up an appetite or loosening discomforts but it is best to discuss the matter with your doctor.

2. Middle Stage Of Pregnancy (13 weeks to 27 weeks)
The foetus develops very quickly from this stage and its sex can be distinguished. The internal organs are becoming more mature as the brain, bones and teeth are developed. The mother must consume more phosphorus, calcium, iodine, zinc and vitamins. Protein is much needed for the uterus, placenta and the breasts as colostrum starts to buildup in preparation for feeding. It is quite obvious the mother puts on weight during her pregnancy term. She needs to increase her calorie intake and rice is a good choice. To improve vitality, she should focus on eating more fish, meat, eggs, dairy products, beans, fibrous food, vitamins, leafy vegetables and fruits as these may help to prevent the onset of hypertension or diabetes. Salt intake must be controlled. It is advisable not to take in excess of 15 grams of salt daily but towards the end of the pregnancy, the limit comes to only 10 grams daily. Cod liver oil is good as it builds body defences but do not take anything in excess form.

3. Advanced Stage Of Pregnancy (28 weeks to 40 weeks)
The foetus is soon coming to full term and the mother’s weight gain increases rapidly. The foetus takes oxygen and nutrients from the mother through the placenta cells. That is why the mother should eat food that will restore energy level. Apart from the foods listed above, she can add to her diet, the eating of offals, pig’s blood curd, seafood, bones simmered soup, radish. The new mother can experience some anaemic condition during the last two month of her pregnancy. Folic acid in the mother’s blood tends to fall but she can increase it through the intake of liver, kidneys, red dates, dried longans, dried apricots, dried peaches or por choy(Chinese spinach) for folic acid and iron buildup. She should receive adequate sunlight to buildup some vitamin D as it is an effective source for growth. Fluid intake should be increased to move her bowels frequently and prevents being constipated after childbirth. Foods like lettuce, mustard greens, apples, bananas, grapes, persimmons, brinjals are good as they help to keep the bowels from becoming sluggish.

A word of advice to all new mothers, do not consume green tea as it restricts the growth of new blood vessels in the pregnant woman. This is not good as the placenta needs to receive a large volume of blood from which nutrients are extracted as required by the baby. The increase in the volume of the mother’s blood and the rapid circulation through her blood vessels can be restricted when she drinks a lot of green tea during her pregnancy term.




2. 妊娠中期,即怀孕后13至27周,胎儿各系统器官组织迅速发育,体重、身长增长快,需要大量的蛋白质构成自己的肌肉和筋骨,尤其是长骨骼和大脑需要补充大量的磷、钙和一定量的碘、锌及各种维生素;母亲也需要蛋白质供给子宫、胎盘及乳房的发育。母体此时还因胎儿体重的增加体力消耗亦增大,基础代谢比平常人要增加10~20%,对各种营养物质的需求量也相对增多。





要特别一提的是,准妈妈不可喝绿茶。 绿茶在日常生活中是一种有益于身体健康的饮料。但对准妈妈而言,却是碰不得的。 因为绿茶含有会阻止新血管增生的成分。对准妈妈来说,此时正是身体进行新血管增生作用来孕育小宝宝的时候,如果在怀孕时喝绿茶,对胎儿的生长发育会产生不良影响。


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