- Energy: Additional energy of 300k cal is required for the following:
- Growth and physical activity of the foetus
- Growth of plasma
- Normal increase in maternal body size
- Additional work involved in carrying the weight of foetus and extra maternal tissues
- Slow and steady rise in BMR during pregnancy
ICMR recommended energy requirement of pregnant woman is as follows:
Sedentary worker ------- 1875+300 = 2175 k cal/ day
Moderate worker ------- 2225+ 300 = 2525 k cal/ day
Heavy worker -------- 2925+ 300 = 3225 k cal/ day
Increase in calories for trimester wise is as follows:
1st trimester ------ 10 k cal/ day
2nd trimester ------- 90 k cal/ day
3rd trimester ------- 200 kcal/ day
Normal protein requirement of an adult woman is 50g/ day. ICMR recommended an additional 15g for pregnant woman. Additional protein is essential for:
- Rapid growth of foetus
- Enlargement of uterus, mammary glands and placenta
- Increase in maternal circulating blood volume and subsequent demand of increased plasma and maintenance of colloidal osmotic pressure and circulation of tissue fluids
- Formation of amniotic fluid
- Transfer of amino acids from mother to foetus up to 20 weeks ( all amino acids must be provided to the foetus as it cannot oxidise amino acids as a source of energy).
If protein requirements are not met during pregnancy:
- There is increased risk of pregnancy
- Foetus may grow at the expense of mother
- Maximum growth of baby cannot be obtained
- Number of cells in tissues particularly in brain may not be normal.
Milk, meat, egg and cheese are complete proteins with high biological value. Additional protein may be obtained from legumes and whole grains, nuts and oil seeds.
- Fat : 30g/ day
ICMR recommended calcium requirement of adult woman is 400 mg/ day. Requirement increases during pregnancy to 1000mg/day.
Increased intake of calcium is highly essential for:
- Calcification of foetal bones and teeth
- For protection of calcium depletion from mother to meet high demands during lactation
|A full term foetal body is made of 30g of calcium
Mother’s diet should contain less of phytic acid, adequate amount of vitamin D and sufficient amount of calcium to prevent ‘Osteomalacia’ and muscular cramps. Mother should avoid repeated pregnancies.
Adequate milk and other dairy products and green leafy vegetables should be consumed (supplements if necessary).
Normal iron requirement of an adult woman is 30mg/day. ICMR recommendation for iron during pregnancy is 38 mg/ day.
Increase of 8 mg iron / day can be attributed to the following:
- Infants are generally born with haemoglobin levels of 18- 22g/100ml of blood. Iron stores in the liver of the infant lasts from 3 to 6 months. Iron is also required for the growth of foetus and placenta. To achieve these levels mother must transfer 240 mg of iron to the foetus during gestation.
- Iron is also required for the formation of haemoglobin as there is 40 -50 per cent increase in maternal blood volume. For this 400mg of iron is required.
- Loss of maternal iron through skin and sweat is about 170mg of iron.
The total iron requirement for the entire period of pregnancy is 810mg. including blood loss at the time of delivery. Liver, dried beans, dried fruits, green leafy vegetables, eggs, enriched cereals and iron fortified salt provide additional sources of iron.
During pregnancy, there is increase in extra-cellular fluid which calls for 80% increase in the body sodium.
When blood sodium level drops, kidney produces the hormone rennin, as a result of which sodium is retained in body.
In case of oedema and hypertension sodium is restricted.
ICMR recommends additional requirement of 25 µg of iodine/day during pregnancy to normal requirement of 100- 200 µg of iodine / day. Iodine deficiency in mother can lead to abortion, still birth, congenital anomalies, increased perinatal mortality, cretinism and psychomotor defects.