Dietary Guidelines

Nutrition for Special Groups 3(3+0)

Dietary Guidelines

  • Small and frequent meals should be taken. Fasting or missing any meal should be avoided
  • More fiber should be included in the diet to prevent constipation ( 5- 6 servings of fruits and vegetables should be included)
  • Diet should be rich in calcium to prevent osteomalacia. Calcium supplements also can be taken
  • Iron rich foods should be taken to prevent anaemia, and to build up iron stores in foetal body. Iron supplements can be taken.
  • Diet should contain optimum amounts of sodium. If oedema or hypertension prevail, then sodium should be restricted.
  • Inclusion of green leafy vegetables daily ensures minerals like calcium and iron.
  • Plenty of water should be taken to keep the bowel movements normal
  • Fatty foods, fried foods, excessive seasonings, strongly flavoured vegetables may be restricted if nausea and gastric distress are present.
  • Fluid intake should be between meals rather than along with meals
  • Adequate amount of calories should be taken so that enough fat is deposited during pregnancy which can be utilized for lactation.

Nurturing a new life is a serious and challenging task, but it can be a rewarding one.
Even among pregnant women, these are a few who form a special group because of their condition. One common problem seen among pregnant women in early pregnancy is hyperemesis gravidarum or severe vomiting. Hypermesis subsides after the first trimester and in previously well nourished women it does not require any intervention. Oral supplementation may be tried before considering enteral nutrition. Small quantities of infusion may be given- 30ml/hour for 24 hours. Oral intake should be initiated gradually.

For women with low pre pregnancy weight and low weight gain who do not take adequate oral or enteral formula, parenteral feeding is considered. Parenteral feeding is given through central vein to meet calorie and protein needs. It should contain sufficient amounts of amino acids, including some non essential ones. It should also contain fat emulsion with both linoleic and linolenic acids. Fat emulsions should provide not more than 30% of calories and should be infused slowly over 24 hours.
Use of parenteral nutrition requires careful monitoring of blood glucose levels (hyper glycemia) as well as serum triglycerides.

Last modified: Friday, 4 May 2012, 5:11 AM