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Guide to a yum mum

Enhance your health and well-being during pregnancy, the way stars do.

health and fitness Updated: Jan 22, 2011 19:43 IST
Zofeen Maqsood

This spring, the stork will visit quite a few lovely ladies in Hollywood. The to-be-mommies are not sitting at home and knitting for their babies. Rather, they are making public appearances and showing off their baby bumps in style. The list includes ex-spice girl Victoria Beckham, who is expecting her fourth baby, singer Mariah Carey, who performed on stage with a big baby bump and a visibly pregnant Natalie Portman on the red carpet in Los Angeles. Also stars, such as Alicia Silverstone, Selma Blair, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Connelly too, are expecting babies this summer. So if you are expecting a baby and want to look healthy, here are a few lifestyle and health modification tips that you need to accommodate in your routine.

A healthy life
It is imperative to maintain healthy weight and good nutritional status before conceiving and during pregnancy to ensure a healthy baby. Dr Shobha Sehgal of VLCC Healthcare says, “Incorporate malted foods in your diet. These foods are easily digestible due to high amylase content (carbohydrate digestive enzyme) and are rich in vitamins and minerals.”

Keeping fit
If you are determined to remain active throughout your pregnancy, take to exercise. Health expert Althea Shah of Gold Gym says, “Exercise can increase a pregnant mother’s sense of control and boost the energy level. It may even lower your risk of complications, such as preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. Babies born of mothers who exercise during pregnancy are healthy."

Lifestyle modifications
Stress management: The right food can provide your body a powerful defence mechanism to beat pregnancy-related stress. Foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin B group, magnesium, calcium and zinc help in counteracting stress.

Quit smoking: Smoking can damage the health of your unborn baby. Risks linked to smoking are low birth weight baby, miscarriage and a higher risk of foetal abnormalities. Even passive smoking is harmful to the baby. Stop smoking at least three months before conceiving.

Alcohol-check: Restrict your alcohol intake as it can damage the sperm and egg prior to conceiving. The main risks to the unborn baby are mental and physical retardation, damage to the brain and the nervous system or still birth.

Curtail caffeine: The general medical advice for pregnant Indian women is to minimise consumption of caffeine-containing beverages. Drinking buttermilk, fruit and vegetable juices and soup can keep you hydrated and also provide nourishment. Based on a 200 mg/day limit, pregnant Indian women should take only 1 cup of Indian coffee with milk every day.