The importance of consuming Folic Acid during pregnancy

What is Folic Acid?

Folate and folic acid are forms of a water-soluble B vitamin. Folate occurs naturally in food, and folic acid is the synthetic form of this vitamin.

Where is it found?

Foods that are naturally high in folate include leafy vegetables (such as spinach, broccoli, and lettuce), okra, asparagus, fruits (such as bananas, melons, and lemons) beans, yeast, mushrooms, meat (such as beef liver and kidney), orange juice, and tomato juice.

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 Benefits of Folic Acid

Folic acid is used for preventing and treating low blood levels of folate (folate deficiency), as well as its complications, including “tired blood” (anemia) and the inability of the bowel to absorb nutrients properly. Folic acid is also used for other conditions commonly associated with folate deficiency, including ulcerative colitis, liver disease, alcoholism, and kidney dialysis.

Folic acid is used for memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, age-related hearing loss, preventing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reducing signs of aging, weak bones (osteoporosis), jumpy legs (restless leg syndrome), sleep problems, depression, nerve pain, muscle pain, AIDS, a skin disease called vitiligo, and an inherited disease called Fragile-X syndrome. It is also used for reducing harmful side effects of treatment with the medications lometrexol and methotrexate. Some doctors recommend to apply folic aciddirectly to the gum for treating gum infections.

Importance of Folic Acid before and during pregnancy

If you’re pregnant or might become pregnant, it’s critically important to get enough folic acid, the synthetic form of vitamin B9, also known as folate. Women who are pregnant or might become pregnant must take folic acid to prevent miscarriage and “neural tube defects,” birth defects such as spina bifida that occur when the fetus’s spine and back do not close during development.

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 How much folic acid you need?

To reduce your baby’s risk of developing a neural tube defect, experts recommend that you take 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid a day, beginning at least a month before you start trying to get pregnant. Don’t take more than 1,000 mcg per day of folic acid unless your healthcare provider advises you to. This is particularly important if you are a vegetarian. Vegans are at risk of being deficient in vitamin B12 and taking too much folic acid would make it hard to diagnose that deficiency.

Is the supplement recommended?

Yes. Many authorities, including FOGSI, ACOG and the March of Dimes, recommend that all women of childbearing age take a multivitamin with folic acid or a folic acid supplement every single day

Signs of a folic acid deficiency

The signs of folic acid deficiency can be subtle. You may have diarrhea, anemia, loss of appetite, and weight loss, as well as weakness, a sore tongue, headaches, heart palpitations, and irritability.

If you’re only mildly deficient, you may not notice any symptoms at all, but you won’t be getting the optimal amount for your baby’s early embryonic development.

 References

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-1017-folic%20acid.aspx?activeingredientid=1017&

https://www.drugs.com/folic_acid.html

Benefits of Soothing Music during Pregnancy!

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Music is a solution to many problems. We celebrate our world by playing music. Music is a heart to heart language as it expresses a number of emotions without saying a single word. Have you ever thought that the baby in your womb can respond to soothing music? Sounds interesting right!

Playing music is an amazing way to connect with your unborn child. Wouldn’t you like to connect with your baby? We know the answer is obviously yes!

What kind of music you should listen to:

Remember that your unborn baby is still developing and playing loud music can disturb him/her. You can always go for classic, folk and instrumental music.  As per researchers, soothing music will release tension and will relax you and your baby.

It is advised by the doctors that listening to music at high volume and keeping the headphones over your belly can be harmful for your baby.

Here are a few interesting effects of soothing music:

Brings Positivity: Music is the door to positivity. Sometimes pregnancy can get stressful and in such conditions, it affects your and baby’s health. To reduce the stress levels, moms can go for an easy way to calm herself by listening to music.

Lullaby after Birth: Researchers say that babies do remember the music you played before child delivery and it will act as a lullaby after birth. So it will be easy for you to soothe your baby after birth.

Sharp Intelligence Level: During the developing stage, the minds of the babies who listen to music react to sounds better and can lead to heightened intelligence.

Babycell’s soothing music CDs

Listen to Babycell’s soothing music soundtrack while you’re pregnant. We aim to give you a relaxing atmosphere with these soothing music genre. The CD contains a variety of soothing music like Carnatic India music, relaxing and calming music for childbirth, piano music for labour, relaxing harp music, English nursery rhymes, numbers songs, ABC songs and many more.

 

 

 

How to engage your little one with in-house activities during the monsoons!

After the scorching summers, the rains are a much-needed relief. Monsoons are fun! The refreshing smell in the air with the cool breeze, frogs croaking in the garden and butterflies are dancing in the lawn. While this is certainly something to cheer about, there is one problem! Babies and toddlers have to stay indoors. They can’t step out to play their usual evening games with their friends as parents are scared that they will catch infection during this time.

But let’s admit it. This season brings out the child inside anyone! Making paper boats and having competitions, warm cups of a chocolate milkshake or buying new colorful raincoats.

So make this season fun for your child as well. Here are different ways you can make your child’s most boring season, into something more joyful!

21] Art and craft:

Unleash your child’s creativity this monsoon. Let them explore their creative side. Get them innovative stationery like textured paper, colour pencils, crayons, etc. Teach them how to make items out of waste and old papers. It is also fun to try your hands on something imaginative. They will feel happy and encouraged. http://blog.babycell.in/?p=401

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2] Movie Time:

It’s also fun to watch some animated movies with some homemade popcorn and other snacks. Then why not enjoy the same with your child. Stack up few DVDs and snuggle up with your young one on the couch while watching fun baby movies like Baby’s Day Out or Heyy Baby. It will keep them occupied for a good amount of time and they will enjoy it too.

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3] Cook together:

Some of our little one’s always enjoy pretending like they are the world’s best chefs. So, make their role play a real thing for them! It could be a family activity which you plan to do together and also at the same time teaching the young one something new. Teach them easy recipes like sandwich, salad or biscuit snackers which do not involve cooking with fire!

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4] Card or Board Games:

Rains are the best time to get the cards and the board games outside. Instead of the child playing games alone on the tablets or the computer, the whole family can join in and play together! You can teach them games you played as a kid with your friends and family.

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5] Story Time:

One of the best feelings in this pleasant climate is to sip hot coffee and read a book. So why not let your kids enjoy the same feeling? Indulge in some storytelling for your young one. You can get them animated and pictorial books to make it more interesting and fun for the child.

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6]  Water play at home:
Most parents don’t want to risk taking their child outside during the rains, but you can create the same environment for them inside the house, in a safer way. Set up an alternate water play at home. Collect some water in a tub or a bucket. They can make small paper boats and play inside the tub. This will keep them away from infection and make it enjoyable too!

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Don’t let this season stop kids from having fun! Make it educational yet fun for them and something they will remember for a long time!

Monsoon Pregnancy Care Tips & Precautions

Monsoon is one of the most loved seasons in India. The thundering sky, heavy rains, making paper boats, and wearing raincoats, everything related to monsoon brings back happy memories. Monsoon is that time of the year when you should be more cautious about your health, especially if you are pregnant. While the monsoon gives relief from hot summer, allergies, other hazards are lurking around.

The gloomy weather not only sets the stage for mood swings (though for some it can be just the opposite) but also makes you susceptible to various infectious or communicable diseases with an already suppressed immune system.

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Here are ways in which you can tackle the monsoons with ease :-

Increase your water intake:

Most people do not feel thirsty due to increase in humidity. During monsoons, you must keep yourself well hydrated and keep a count of your water intake. This will help you flush out toxins from the body. Drink purified or boiled water when you feel thirsty. Make it a habit to consciously drink at least 2 to 2.5 litres of water throughout the day.

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Dressing for the season:

Humidity increases manifold during monsoons, this can cause excessive sweating. ‘So avoid wearing uncomfortable clothes, especially if you are in your last trimester. Make sure that you wear clothes that fit you well or are a bit loose around the tummy. Choose light cotton to go with the season,’ says Dr. Bandita Sinha, consultant gynecologist and obstetrician, SSD hospital, Mumbai.

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Ensure optimal hygiene: 

To keep you cool and fresh bathe at least twice daily. Keep a wet tissue handy to wipe off sweat and grime. Wash your hands, ideally with warm water before you eat or touch your food. Use a hand sanitizer instead if you are outdoors or at work.

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Sanitize Your Home :

Pest Control your house during the monsoon to free your home from disease spreading insects like flies, cockroaches, termites, and mosquitoes, etc. But, make sure you stay away during the process as the smoke with chemicals may affect your pregnancy in a negative way.Use a high quality disinfectant to clean your house and keep it germs free.

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Pregnancy yoga:

While you are likely to stay indoors for most of the time, indulging in pregnancy yoga can be a good way to pass the time. Yoga during this time of the year can help you get through with minimal discomfort. It will also help child-birth and post-delivery stages. Read about yoga postures, exercise safety, and more – http://blog.babycell.in/?cat=17

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Keeping the above pregnancy tips in mind will ensure happy monsoon and healthy pregnancy. All to-be mothers take utmost care of yourself and make the best effort secure the future of their upcoming baby.

 

 

Tests and Services To Look Out For While Opting For Stem Cell Banking

There are a number of things that need to be kept in mind while opting for stem cell banking such as cryopreservation facility, location, cost, collection and transportation facility. Over and above the basic services one must also ensure they choose a stem cell bank is transparency in providing the complete detailed reports of all the tests performed such as sterility, CD34 cell count, viability CFU, HLA Testing and more.

Stem cell banking benefits:

Storing these cells can help you treat over 80 diseases including cancers, blood disorders, and immune disorders. Stem cells also have the ability to rebuild cardiac tissue, repair damage due to stroke or spinal cord injuries, reverse the effects of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and much more. As a result, cord blood banking is worth spending for. Below is a list of tests and services you must look for:

Sterility Test: Sterility Test detects any kind of aerobic and anaerobic microbial contamination in the cord blood and cord tissue. Helps to ensure micro-organism and contamination free cord blood and cord tissue which can be used in future transplantation.

 

Stem Cell Count: Stem cells happen to be Mono-Nuclear Cells or MNC: when you look at them under a microscope there is only one nucleus. Unfortunately, one of the most difficult aspects of stem cell biology is that you can’t identify a stem cell just by looking at it.  There are other types of blood cells which are also MNC, such as nucleated red blood cells.  The only proof that a cell is a stem cell comes from how it behaves when it multiplies. Stem Cell Count test is done to determine the number of stem cells in the isolated fraction of cord blood cells. Stem Cell Count aids the hematologist in determining the treatment plan for stem cell transplantation.

 

CFU: Stem cells have the ability to differentiate, but how do you evaluate this ability? The answer to this is CFU test. This test is a two-week lab test that lets you estimate the cell potency. In the CFU test a small portion is observed under controlled conditions to see if stem cells differentiate to form colonies.  Earlier it used to be a subjective measure, but recently it has been standardized with technology to image the cells and count colonies in the image. During the test it takes 14 days for colonies to grow, therefore it is advised to perform the test at the time of preservation. As per US. Dept. of Health and Human Services and their prescribed guidelines CFU evaluation is a must at the tim

e of preservation as it determines potency, differentiation capacity and actual utility of stem cells. Babycell™ is the only stem cell bank in India that performs the CFU assay at the time of preservation and provides the test results along with client’s Cryopreservation Certificate.1

 

HLA testing and its importance:

HLA means Human Leukocyte Antigens, which are found on the surface of various types of nucleated cells in the human body. In the human anatomy, they are akin to an “identity card”, inherited from one’s parents and could distinguish “self” and “nonself”. Briefly, there are 6 HLA types: A, B, DQ and DR. Out of which A, B and DR play a critical role during cord blood transplants. A cord blood transplant is just as effective at curing patients with only a 4 out of 6 match (67% match) between donor and patient.

The best potential for an HLA match is within the family. Each person inherits one A, B, DR antigen from each parent. Thus, we have 2 HLA-A antigens, 2 HLA-B antigens and 2 DR antigen which make up total 6 anitgens. In case of a Cord Blood Transplant 4/6 is a suitable match.

When an unrelated donor is sought the number of potential HLA combinations becomes so enormous that finding the patient’s exact HLA type may seem like searching for a needle in a haystack. HLA helps to understand the acceptance and recovery after transplantation on two factors

  • Engraftment – Engraftment occurs when the donated cells that were transplanted begin to grow and make new cells.
  • Graft-Versus-Host Disease (GVHD)-A post-transplant complication, GVHD occurs when the immune cells from the cord blood (the graft) attack the patient’s own immune cells.

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Haemoglobinopathy Test:

Haemoglobinopathy is a condition that involves an abnormality in the structure of haemoglobin. An investigation of a hemoglobin disorder typically involves tests that determine the types and amounts of hemoglobin present in a person’s sample of blood. Information from the test, along with results from routine tests such as a complete blood count (CBC) and blood smear, aid in establishing a diagnosis of Hemoglobinopathies.

With this test, you can detect the disorders and arrange a treatment accordingly.

So the next time you are looking for a reliable stem cell banking in India or anywhere in the world, keep the above services in mind. They will definitely help you choose the right stem cell banking service that lets you make the most for your loved ones.

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To know more read –

  1. http://www.babycell.in/our-services/core-services.php
  2. http://parentsguidecordblood.org/en

Pregnancy Diet – Essential Nutrients – Folic Acid

Choosing a balanced diet during pregnancy is a must, it will help you meet your daily calorie requirements, keep a check on your intake and maintain a healthy body weight. During this phase, pregnant women should consume the right amount of protein, calcium, iron, vitamins, folic acid and more.

Take a look at some of the nutrients which deserve a star position in your pregnancy diet.

Folic Acid:

Is vital for the normal development of your baby’s brain, skull and spinal cord.

Proteins:

Proteins help pregnant mother’s produce amino acids that are the building blocks of the baby’s body.

Iron:

Iron is useful in the production of haemoglobin that helps to deliver oxygen and prevent premature delivery.

Calcium:

Calcium helps in the development of the baby’s brain.

Vitamin A:

Vitamin A helps in the creation of cells that will make up baby’s internal organs

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C helps in building a healthy immune system.

While every nutrient is important, there are a few that should be consumed on a larger scale. One of them is folic acid.

Why folic acid during pregnancy?

Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps a baby’s neural tube to develop properly which then becomes the brain and spinal cord. On the other hand, folic acid also helps prevent other birth defects, such as a cleft palate, etc. While folic acid plays a vital role, we have listed few myths and truths about this essential nutrient.

Folic acid is not the same as folate.

Myth 1:

Pregnant mothers who do not have a history of ‘spina bifida’ do not have to take folic acid.

Truth 1:

Most (95%) spina bifida cases happen in families without a history, so it is important to plan ahead and take folic acid regularly.

Myth 2:

Women, who are not planning to get pregnant anytime soon, do not need to consume folic acid.

Truth 2:

As half of all pregnancies are not planned, it is important to take folic acid every day.

Myth 3:

Foods that have folate, like orange juice also have folic acid. So, having a glass of orange juice will provide the required folic acid.

Truth 2:

Our bodies absorb a man-made form of folic acid found in vitamins easily. The best way to get the folic acid is by taking a vitamin with it.

Now that you know the myths and the truth associated with ‘Folic acid’, take a look at the top foods that serve as a rich source

1. Dark Leafy Greens 

If you are looking for an immediate boost in folic acid, make sure to include spinach, collard greens, kale, turnip greens and romaine lettuce into your daily diet.

 

12. Asparagus

Asparagus is rich in folic acid that makes it one of the best sources. Eating asparagus will provide you with Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Manganese and more.

23. Broccoli

This source of folate is also one of the best detox foods. One cup of broccoli will provide you with approximately 24% of your daily folic acid needs and other nutrients.

34. Citrus Fruits

Fruits that are rich in citrus, contain a high amount of folic acid. Consider eating papaya, grapefruit, banana, cantaloupe and strawberries in your diet.

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How to include them in your diet?

There are a number of ways you could include folic acid in your diet. Some of the popular ways are listed below:

Juice: If you don’t prefer your greens boiled or cooked, put them in a juicer. You can consider having them with your breakfast. It is advised that you consume them fresh.

Salad: Salads too are a healthy and easy way to consume greens rich in folic acid. You can mix different sources of greens and enjoy.

Fortified cereals:

Most fortified cereals supply a whopping 100 to 400 mcg of folic acid in half cup to one and a half cup serving.

Mask it with your favourite dish:

While some of you might not like the taste of these greens, a good way to enjoy them is to add it to your favourite food dishes.

The best way to find out the right amount of folic acid that a women needs to consume varies from person to person. Hence, it is best to ask your experts who can help you with your diet.

So if you are pregnant or are about to conceive, make sure to include folic acid in your diet that can be vital for you and your baby.

 

 

 

A Girl Child Is A Boon!

Daughters are angels! They are delicate, tender, beautiful and most importantly they are innocent. Daughters are inspiring, motivating and a powerful support system! Check out how much fun it is to be a parent of a baby girl.

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Seven things that will excite you about having a baby girl –

1] You can go on a Shopping Spree!

If you have a daughter on your side, all you need to do is grab your wallet and go on a shopping spree! This little fashionista can be your best companion to experiment your fashion vogue.

2] Mommies get a lot of girlie stuff – earrings, accessories, scarfs and handbags and Daddies can get some amazing shopping tips and what to wear ideas.

Your daughter will know your sense of style well and she will be the one gifting you trendy stuff! You come to a stage in life eventually when your daughter will help you dress up for an occasion right from selecting outfits/accessories/ hairstyles, etc. and you won’t need to worry about keeping up with the latest trends!

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3] Who else to try your make- up and hairstyles tutorials with?

Mommies will never get bored or lonely when they have a daughter! Makeup is a fantastic and cost-effective way to add the WOW into any outfit and your little girl will love watching you get all decked up! You can also try those awesome Youtube hair tutorials on her and make her feel included in the fun of getting all dressed up.

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4] Girls love to mimic!

As early as three years of age, girls excel at imitation, a precursor to back-and-forth interaction. Younger babies are best at copying finger moments, and they spend a lot of time observing and processing information before they attempt anything. You can capture videos with your baby girl and share these fun moments with her in future.

5] Enjoy activities you missed out on!

Left out some things on the checklist from your younger day? Now is the time to try out these activities with your daughter! Whether it be something adventurous like skydiving or something as simple as experimenting with make-up and hair, enjoy them with your daughter!

6] Set up a sweet Mother- Daughter or Father- Daughter Photo Shoot

We all know how crazy all ladies are about Selfies and photo shoots! Not just because we like to deck –up but because we love capturing moments that we can keep for a life time!

Father-Daughter relationship is very impactful. You can empower and motivate her to help achieve her goals. So go ahead and make some amazing memories with her!

dshserjryketykteyketyk7] Daughters grow- up into a friend

You get a best friend for life with whom you can share everything and anything! Your ups – downs or be it the much needed emotional support, they will always help to overcome all hurdles in your life :)

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Embrace and be proud of your baby girl! After all, a daughter your daughter really admires you. So go ahead express your love and spend amazing time with your little one!

Weird cravings during pregnancy

As a mom-to-be, you must have experienced the crazy pregnancy cravings! You are feeling emotional and some food/beverage items just feel right! But if you are having an extreme craving that does not seem right as it could mean there is some kind of nutritional deficiency. Here is a list of all food items that one usually craves and the science behind it.

  • Dirt, wall paint, ice

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If you are craving for non-food items like chalk, wall paint, dirt and detergent, you might be suffering from ‘pica’. This means you are a little anemic and need to include iron rich foods in your diet.

  • Chocolate

If you are craving for chocolate then it could mean your body has magnesium deficiency. If you are good at self-control, you could eat sweets in moderation, have just a square or two of dark chocolate at a time. But if you aren’t, you could probably snack on almonds instead.

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  • Pickles

It is very common for all pregnant ladies to crave for pickles at some point or the other. The craving for sour and tarty flavors might mean you want more variety in your daily diet. So go ahead and try out different things to see what makes you happy!

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  • Spicy Food

Yet another common craving among pregnant ladies is spicy food, especially hot curries and red peppers. One of the advantages of spicy foods is makes you sweat, which in turn makes your body to cool-off. You can try adding spices to your meal to combat your craving.

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  • Ice cream

If you are craving it for its creamy, sweet and icy feel then it might just be the weather. But if you are craving it too much, then your body might be in need of calcium. You can eat frozen yogurt instead and ensure there is enough calcium in your daily diet.

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  • Green leafy vegetables

This might be the weirdest craving! But some time you can end up craving for leafy veggies. You would want to eat a giant pile of lettuce, palak, methi, etc. But this is a good craving to have! These are packed with nutrients and are good for your body and your baby!

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All these crazy cravings are just a small part of the great journey that is pregnancy. Just remember to have a well-balanced diet and drink a lot of fluids between your meals.

A special message for all you fathers out there! Make her feel loved and never let the cravings take charge of her.

Pregnancy Nutrient Needs

Here’s a simple illustration of what your body needs during pregnancy.

Make the most of these ingredients in your diet for you to enjoy pregnancy with a power back up!
Here’s all the information on why to include these in your daily diet and how it will benefit your baby during pregnancy.
Share your comments if you find this information helpful! 

Pregnancy Nutrient Needs

Nutrition During Pregnancy

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The first question that most mothers have is ?when should I think about nutrition?? Change in food habits should start long before conceiving your baby- in the planning stage when you decide that you are ready to carry the baby. And you have to ensure that you take care of your diet not only before and during the pregnancy but also after the pregnancy when you breastfeed the baby.

However it is important to remember that even though you are growing a baby inside you it does not mean that you have to eat double. For a single pregnancy you need just 300-500 extra calories per day. This means a simple vegetable sandwich, a fruit and a glass of milk extra per day.

Mother?s nutrition is important right from the planning stage of baby. The right amount of nutrients help in the physical and mental development of the baby. Ideal birth weight is directly proportional to the right amount of nutrients intake by the mother.

Here are few reasons how a healthy diet benefits the mother

  • Healthy and Safe Pregnancy
  • Timely Labor and Delivery
  • Positive Birth Experience
  • Management of Hormones
  • Optimum weight gain

In the planning stage, doctors prescribe Nutraceuticals which help in the development of a healthy baby.

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Now that we have gone through the list of food items once must include in their diet, let us move on to the food items once must avoid.

  1. Raw Meat: Might invite infections due to toxoplasma parasite.
  2. Soft cheese and milk- unpasteurized- Unpasteurized milk carry various disease causing bacteria.
  3. Raw eggs: Raw eggs too can carry salmonella that causes various diseases like mentioned before.
  4. Fish (in excess)- Some types of seafood ? particularly large, predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish ? can contain high levels of mercury. Although the mercury in seafood isn’t a concern for most adults, special precautions apply if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
  5. Caffeine- Since caffeine is a stimulant that increases heart rate, it can cause various discomforts like feeling jittery and insomnia. It can also contribute to heart burn by stimulating the secretion of stomach acids.
  6. Alcohol and other forms of drugs: Alcohol and other forms of drugs, in general are harmful to the human body. So imagine the effect these would have on your baby. These can cause life threatening problems for your baby. Hence stay far away from them.