What to eat when you are expecting?
|   Sep 12, 2016
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What to eat when you are expecting?

"Come on finish your juice"

"No maa, no. I don't want to have juice anymore."

"You have no option, but to finish it."

"I will run away. I will puke but won't have that orange juice ever again in my life."

Well, if you think that this is a discussion between a toddler and her mum, then you are totally mistaken. It's the discussion between me and my mum. Yes, this is a number of tantrums I have thrown during my pregnancy. But, believe me, that was not the scenario beforehand.

A week after I broke the news about my pregnancy, my mum came to my rescue. The first day when she offered me orange juice, I gulped up two full glasses. It tasted simply superb. And so did any other food. And my mum, no doubt the best cook in the world, made food even tastier. Her homemade low-calorie biryani is something to die for. But pretty soon even her tastiest dish couldn't tempt me. Nausea had already taken charge of my life, have slaughtered all my taste buds vehemently (Thankfully, I didn't have vomiting tendency. But, whether you vomit or not, nausea makes it sure that you start hating even the most savored dishes).

The first trimester is the most crucial phase of pregnancy. It is when the vital organs of the baby start developing. And you need to boost up the consumption of all the necessary nutrients (folic acid, iron, calcium, fatty acids etc.). But those are also the terrible three months. This is the phase when nausea dissuades you from, even the most palatable food. Hunger simply vanished and I would do anything to refrain myself from eating. If not for my mother and my husband, I would have abstained from eating (as much as possible).Despite of all my tantrums and nausea, she would somehow manage to give me everything. She made it a point that I get my daily requirements of foliage, lean protein, fresh fruits, milk products. You name a healthy item, and it was on her list. At times, I would sit and complain and grumble in front of my husband, with the hope that he will understand my problem. But it all went in vain. The mother-in-law and the son-in-law worked in full coordination to conspire against me.

Suggestions kept on springing up with every new visitor, every new phone call. Some said coconut water is good, some said bad, some said don't have this, others suggested have that. The more you listen, the more you get confused. So the best thing you can do is trust your instincts, listen to the advice people give you, but before applying it in a real sense, verify it. The market is full of pregnancy myths. So don't get lured by those myths.

So, like any other pregnant woman, I googled a lot. Though at times contradictory, but most of the times, beneficial. And then, all of a sudden I discovered that my 'not so net savvy' mum had already made google her best friend. All her queries were happily addressed by google. Whenever in doubt, she would immediately come and tell me, google this and see whether it's beneficial for you or not. And I was like, maa, when did you start trusting Google so much?

As far as my diet was concerned, the folic acid requirements were met by all the green leafy vegetables (she simply loaded me with lots of spinach, lettuce, and other greens), the fish provided the omega-3-fatty acids, the calcium by the milk and milk products (paneer, small amounts of cheese, rice pudding), nuts (especially almonds and walnuts), lean protein/eggs, whole grains (also muesli and oats), lots of fresh fruit and juices. One thing my mum avoided giving me was that extra dollop of ghee, butter or any such unsaturated fats as much as possible.

During the 1st trimester, I kept on reminding my mum that a pregnant woman needs only 200 calories extra per day for the baby's healthy development (thanks to google once again). This was purposefully conveyed to my mum every day (rather before every meal),so that I didn't have to eat much.But as soon as the second trimester kicked in, too hell with the extra 200 calories. I wouldn't mind taking an extra 2000 calories per day. But, my mum being a mum, made it a point to give me what my baby needed the most. A balanced diet was all I got. Along with lots of ice cream (Thankfully).

Plus, the thought of a baby growing inside me, automatically made me give up many of my favorites. Carbonated beverages were my all-time favorite, but somehow I didn't take even a sip during my whole pregnancy. Being a green tea lover, I never had to worry about the caffeine content. Restaurant food was only once in a blue moon. In fact, my husband stopped eating restaurant food just to refrain me from having it. But occasionally, I was pampered with my favorite cuisines from my favorite restaurants and patisserie (just to add, I have a sweet tooth).

Butmy sweet desires were crushed at the very onset of the third trimester. A routine blood test showed that I had gestational diabetes. The doctor gave me a strict diet chart, which had cut down the sugar content to zero. My fondness for sweets is such, that, if not anything, I would have a spoon of jam. So, having no sweet at all was simply not something that I have never imagined (And the things you are supposed to abstain from, is also the thing you ravenously crave for). But, the champ kicking inside me, kept me going. My diet included a fruit, some paneer, a small bowl of rice/chappatis with boiled veggies (no rooted veggies), an egg/lean protein. And within a month I lost full three kgs, which actually made us worried sick. But the doctor assured me, that my baby would just be fine as long as I could avoid sugar in my diet. My mum compensated my sugar cravings by substituting them with some raisins. As silly as it may sound, but it actually helped. As goes the saying, 'something is better than nothing.

And thanks to all the hearty nutritional food I had, I delivered a perfectly healthy baby. As I recollect today, those nine months was indeed the best time I had with my mum after a long time. Previously, life had become more about me, my job and my family. Somehow the daughter in me has vanished amidst all this. But pregnancy helped me reunite with my mum once again. It gave me a chance to be pampered like a five-year-old once again. But despite those trifle related to me not eating, and her forcing me to eat, it was indeed a great time to be treated like a kid all over again. Plus, an added benefit of being pregnant -this is the only time when everyone will tell you to eat more, no worries about weight gain and even the fat and plump you, will be no less ravishing than any Miss Universe for your husband.

Those glorious nine months of pregnancy transformed me from an ordinary woman to a mother. Every day was a new experience, every day was bringing me a little bit closer to motherhood. Everyday unfolded along with it, a new set of understanding between me and the little one inside me and strengthened the bond between us. Every day, it made me realize how important my baby was for me. Every day it made me realize how much dependent my little one is on me and how much what I eat can affect his growth. And I did everything possible, to provide him with all the necessary nutrients. And this realization gave me the strength to become a MOTHER.

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