One of the upsides of pregnancy is guilt-free eating. It is time to gorge on ghee-soaked parathas with oily pickle and dispatch the husband on an ice-cream hunt in the wee hours because the ‘baby wants to have a chocolate chip sundae’. But Lavina Tauro’s pregnancy was very different. The 33-year-old Mumbaikar did not touch sweets or fried items and she got an entire day’s food cooked in less than three teaspoons of oil.
Tauro is among a small but growing breed of fitness conscious women who diet during pregnancy to ensure the nine months don’t leave them with saddle bags, double chins and flabby arms. At least five mothers-to-be approach Mumbai-based nutitionist Pooja Makhija and Dr. Manisha Bandishti, who runs a lifestyle management clinic in Pune, every month for guidance even though they don’t suffer from conditions like gestational diabetes or hypertension. “These women too want healthy babies but they don’t want to be ten sizes bigger by the end of it.” says Makhija, a mother-of-two whose slender frame make her look like the screen divas she usually counsels.
Dieticians also dispel myths regarding consumption of certain foods. “Elders often ban bananas and eggs saying they release too much heat. But these are, in fact, very beneficial during pregnancy.” says Dr. Bandishti. She gives a trimester-specific diet to women. For instance, she recommends good fats and omega-3-rich foods, like flax seeds and fish for those in the third trimester as this is the final stage of the baby’s brain development. In the first trimester, she suggests eggs and lean chicken as they are rich in vitamins B12 as well as foods with folic acid to aid in the formation of the nerve cells of the foetus and prevent anaemia.