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Nutrition for Complicated Pregnancy

February 23, 2015 in Nutritional Insightsby Ms. Nina Maria Saldanha
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Pregnant women eating healthy food
Pregnant women eating healthy food

Most pregnancies are normal, but some women need “extra “attention” because of the intricacies involved right from the initial stage of conception. Any co-morbid condition encountered during pregnancy such as elevation in-blood glucose, blood pressure, liver enzymes can make a strong impact on the chances of having a good maternal and fetal outcome. Hence in cases where the maternal and fetal outcome is unpredictable, questionable, it is termed as High-Risk Pregnancy. In a few instances, the morphology of a woman’s Uterus can also be considered to reasonably predict the element of “High Risk”. Your Obstetrician is the best person to decide or confirm the High-Risk aspect of your pregnancy. Those who fall into the category of “High Risk” need excellent medical care, nursing support, social services, ample guidance from nutritionists and regular follow-ups, if necessary.

To Consult: The Best Pregnancy Doctor in Noida

In addition to medical support, a strongly embedded sense of positivity is highly essential for supporting a High Risk or a complicated pregnancy. Working on stress levels to the point of keeping them subdued or negligible is a major contributor to reduce the extent of complications in pregnancy.

Healthy food for pregnant women
Healthy food for pregnant women

But it’s important to remember that being at high risk doesn’t mean that you or your baby are bound to be burdened with health issues every other day. All that is anticipated from you is a disciplined lifestyle with due importance attached to the medicines prescribed followed by the regular follow-ups with your Obstetrician and a very happy frame of mind that is verily enjoying the existing state of  “carrying a baby”!

Must Read: Foods to be included/excluded during pregnancy

A woman may be considered the high risk if she has certain pre-existing conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypothyroid or Hyperthyroid
  • Heart conditions
  • Cancer
  • Kidney Disease
  • Anaemia
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Advanced Age
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis
  • Obesity
  • Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome – PCOS
  • Alcohol / Smoking
  • Infection / Vertically Transmitted Infection
Pregnant women holding a bowl of healthy food
Pregnant women holding a bowl of healthy food

Pregnancy may become high risk with conditions such as:

  • Multiple Pregnancies
  • Gestational diabetes (diabetes starting during pregnancy)
  • High blood pressure – Pregnancy Induced Hypertension
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Placental problems
  • Bleeding
  • Pre-term labor and preterm birth
  • Small for gestational age ( SGA ) OR Large for Gestational Age ( LGA)  Baby
  • Premature Birth
  • Stillbirth
  • Postpartum haemorrhage, especially if left unattended
  • Ectopic Pregnancy, especially if not diagnosed at the right juncture
  • Placental Abruption

To Know More: About The Pregnancy Platter

There is no evidence that any specific diet will increase your chances of getting pregnant or reduce certain complications during pregnancy. Nevertheless, maintaining a good nutritional status, as a part of integral health, even before planning for pregnancy can have a good impact on the outcome of the pregnancy.
Some foods are rich in specific nutrients that are necessary for the production and function of hormones and balance, fetal development, egg health, sperm health, and blood health.

Three things that have been proven:

  • Maintaining your weight in the reference range with Normal BMI (Body Mass Index) is necessary for getting pregnant and reduce complications during pregnancy.
  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet consisting of whole grains, protein, dairy and dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables to maximize your health and health of the baby.
  • Folic acid is a B vitamin. Taking a folic acid supplement even before getting pregnant and during early pregnancy can reduce your chance of having a baby with a neural tube defect or other birth defects.
Pregnant women preparing healthy food
Pregnant women preparing healthy food


Nutrient Benefits Foods
Calories Additional calories are required for Anemia, Multiple pregnancies, Small baby, Postpartum haemorrhage
The “extra” calories are to accommodate for the deficit in growth or in nutrient levels where Energy balance makes a mark
Moderate calories – Obese, Diabetes, and Large Babies; over nourishment is dealt with moderation in Calories instead of a gross restriction as a part of nutrition intervention
Just need an added 300 – 350 calories in a day as per condition
Carbohydrate Carbohydrate exchange should be maintained in Gestational Diabetes, Obese, PCOS
Whole grains and legumes Vitamin B1, B2, Niacin, zinc, selenium, magnesium – helps in fetal, tissue and organ development
Try to have complex carbohydrates such as whole grains – Bread, Chapati, noodles, oats, barley, corn and brown rice mixed with Simple carbohydrates like white bread, rice & flour, cornflour, Maida and sugar
Protein Building blocks of body cells. Rich in iron, calcium, protein, vitamin D, B12 and folic acid
Amino acids are needed for body tissues like muscles, blood, nerves, bones, teeth and all organs.
Proteins give an added advantage of keeping the Carb intake under check.
Food sources rich in protein are an egg, fish, chicken, soya bean, lentils, peas, milk, curd, buttermilk, soya milk, cheese, ghee, butter and paneer.
Need “exaggerated” protein intake for supporting an IVF and complicated pregnancy
Vegetables & Fruits Rich in calories, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, potassium, magnesium and fibre
Green and yellow vegetables rich in vitamin A, beta-carotene, fibre, vitamin E, riboflavin, folic acid, vitamin B6, calcium, and trace minerals
Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which help to protect egg and sperm health from the damage caused by free-radicals
Helps to prevent constipation and haemorrhoids
Fruits are also packed full of essential vitamins and minerals necessary for the baby’s growth
Green and yellow vegetables for Gestational Diabetes, Obese, Large Babies, PCOS – Restrict intake of High Glycemic Index Foods – Potato, Yam, Jackfruit, Pineapple, Sapota, Guavas etc.
Iron Still, birth, postpartum haemorrhage, ectopic pregnancy, placental abruption, anaemia, PCOS, DVT, multiple pregnancies, placenta problem, bleeding meat, fish, dates, peach, raisins, rice flakes, soya bean, pumpkin seeds
Omega 3 fatty acids Needed in the early stage of pregnancy, throughout pregnancy Avocado, flax seeds, egg, walnuts, soya bean, Fish
Salt It is required for maintaining blood pressure and normal fluid balance in the body and transmitting nerve impulses In pre-pregnancy hypertensive or pregnancy-induced hypertensive states, reduce salt intake and avoid processed, preserved and readymade foods
Fluids Water is essential for semen volume and the fluid nourishing the eggs, IVF, Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome. Water also reduces your chance of constipation, reduces your risk of developing a urinary tract infection and subsequent haemorrhoids that can develop from straining during defecation Need 3 to 4 litres daily
Omit caffeinated drinks, aerated drinks which act as diuretics

Caffeine and Alcohol
Contraindicated – IVF / in High-Risk pregnancies Many studies have demonstrated that drinking coffee, tea and caffeinated soft drinks can result in delayed conception rates and at times associated with a concomitant increase in the risk of miscarriages.
Hence, it is better to bid a temporary farewell to Caffeine to take a safe stand infertility.

The above-furnished information related to IVF/complicated pregnancy are generalized guidelines and cannot be considered as an individualized prescription. It is better to consult a Nutritionist and have a structured meal plan in place to help attain the desired results.

Must Read: Vinegar in Pregnancy 

In many cases, IVF pregnancies involve multiple hormonal injections and phases of complete bed rest (temporary though), restricted exercising regime and so on. Hence, a combined admixture of three D’S – Diet, Drug and DE- stressing can help in reducing the factors of risk involved in the pregnancy.

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If you found this article interesting and would like to know more, talk call a Cloudnine expert today! +91 99728 99728

If you found this article interesting and would like to know more, talk to a Cloudnine expert today! Call Us : +91 99728 99728