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Mothers Health First

“God could not be everywhere. And therefore, he created mothers.” Indeed mothers are the Gods who create us with their own flesh and blood. It is a feat no man can match. And that is why Mother Nature blesses a woman with a combination of hormones that fluctuate as per the fertile period, with a higher fat percentage in her anatomy to be able to support, sustain and nurture a growing human form within her.

Feeling Hungry

The joy of  motherhood is also accompanied by a nagging worry about your baby’s health and  safety. Am I eating the right foods? Am I getting enough nutrients? Questions like these are like a mental battle going on in your head, even during midnight trips to the loo. While it is true that some worry is natural as the body undergoes many changes during pregnancy, on the physical, hormonal, emotional and mental  levels, but staying well informed can help settle a big chunk of this anxiety.

- Include Folate/ Folic acid regularly: Not many know that folate is the natural form of one of the B vitamins and Folic acid is the synthetic form.  Taken in any form, it is protective against  neural tube defects in  babies, when taken for at least 1 month before conception and through the first  2 months of pregnancy. 

- Try and eat food as close as possible to its natural form and avoid processed foods. If possible, try and consume  organic produce in all rainbow colours as fruits & vegetables. Ensure a well-balanced diet that includes all food groups in appropriate portions. Those eating seafood should avoid fish with high mercury content. Prefer fish like rawas, salmon, rohu, surmai , catfish(singhara)& hilsa instead of fish like tuna, swordfish and shark. 

- Include a multivitamin everyday: More often than not, our diets lack all the essential nutrients that we require on a daily basis and  taking a multivitamin may act as a nutritional “insurance” policy to help  guard against possible micronutrient deficiencies. Vitamin A, Iron and Iodine are of crucial importance during pregnancy. A practical way to boost the iron content of food(mainly vegetables) is to use an iron skillet/ kadhai for  cooking. Also, consuming Vit-C rich food (lemon usually) enhances the absorption of iron from food. Iodine is important for normal growth and development of the baby. Calcium requirement also goes up during this  time and can be met adequately with food & supplements. And don’t forget,  you need Vitamin D to carry calcium to your bones. 

- Eat for Optimal health, not for 2: The moment a woman becomes  pregnant, she has unlimited advice pouring in about “eating for 2”. Do we realize that the fetus growing inside her is not a full-grown human being?  While women are often guided to double up their caloric intake, the focus should actually shift to ensure more nutrient-dense meals instead of calorie-dense ones. 

Even though your mother could save you from insulin resistance, thyroid irregularities, neurological defects, bone defects,  and fix your immune base just by taking care of herself and her nutrition during not only the 9 months you have been inside her, but may be a few months before that too. There is no way we can repay this debt, but the  best thing we can do is to nourish ourselves by eating clean, thinking clean and being active to be able to combat illnesses and lifestyle diseases and honour the body that God and our mothers have created.


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