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Pregnant. Suggestions about food and exercises?

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OBGYN, Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Practicing since : 1979
Answered : 79 Questions
Hi Doctor.. Good morning..

Can please suggect me about pregnent ladies food and Excercises?

I am in 5th month pregnancy with no medical concerns.
can you please suggest some exercise which I can follow now?

Posted Tue, 2 Oct 2012 in Pregnancy
Answered by Dr. Nirja Chawla 4 hours later

Thank you for writing in.

I am so happy that you are concerned about nutrition and exercises in pregnancy, which are so very important. Just by a healthy lifestyle, one can actually prevent disease occurrence.


At this moment, in your 5th month of pregnancy, you simply need to eat whatever you do as long as it is balanced, healthy, home cooked (preferable) with avoidance of too much of coffee, cokes and junk food. Avoid preserved and processed foods because of preservatives and high salt content e.g. tinned fruits/veggies, papad, pickles, cheese. Simple food with 5-7 helpings per day of fruits and veggies are excellent. Eat small, frequent meals every 2-3 hours. Do not allow your tummy to be completely full or completely empty. Moderation is the key.

Prior to 7 months of pregnancy, the baby puts on weight in a slow rising curve. After this, the baby weight increases in an exponential pattern - very rapidly and high. So now, you need to eat enough for the baby needs. Before 7 months, you do not need to 'eat for two'. Now onwards i suggest your daily intake should be - around 1 litre of milk/milk products + 4-6 chapaties/equivalent rice or any cereal + 5-7 helpings of fruits/veggies + 2-3 cups of dal (lentils) + 5 almonds in any form. Food should be cooked in minimum oil and mix and match different cooking oils.

If you are a non-veg then 100 gms of non-veg can replace 1 cup of dal in that meal.

Use different dals in one day or over the days. Mix and match the dal.

Of the fruits - about 1 citrus (orange family or 2 lemon as lemonade) + 1 other (banana/apple/papaya etc)

Of the vegetables - 1 potato + 2 tablespoons of XXXXXXX leafy vegetables (spinach, methi (fenugreek), mint or coriander leaves (dhania) made as Chutney also helps to break the monotony + 1 helping any other vegetable - ladyfinger/bitter gourd...anything.
In case you are still hungry, you could add a bowl of sprouts / 1-2 idlis midmorning or with evening tea.
This menu is good enough and very easy to distribute over the entire day.


A brisk walk for 30 to 45 minutes 3 -4 days a week +

Yoga for its beautiful stretches and strengthening asanas. I would recommend your local yoga instructor for this. If there is none, excellent Yoga for Pregnancy is available on net search. XXXXXXX silent breathing- in through nose and controlled breathing -out through mouth brings in lots of calmness of the nervous system, increases focus and mental balance. Practice this for about 10 minutes every day. It will also help you during labour and prevent unnecessary panic and thoughts, which prevent you from experiencing labour, which is an awesome process, provided we do not allow our conditioning that it is horrible to come in the way of you and your baby.

I wish you all the best. Do let me know if you have more concerns.

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