Nutrition in Pregnancy

In many women who have just learned that they are pregnant, one of the most interesting topics is how the diet should be. Most women think that their baby cannot be fed correctly and balanced for their development. Even pregnant women who cannot gain weight in the first months may worry.

In fact, all these concerns are often unnecessary. Because nausea and vomiting and anorexia problems can prevent weight gain naturally in the first months.

Sometimes, diets are given to patients and they are forced to certain nutrition programs. Except for some pregnancies, such approaches have no scientific validity. It is not an acceptable approach to force women to consume food items that they do not like or tolerate by fear. Such diets can only be prepared by specialist dieticians, taking into account the condition of the patient, in accordance with the recommendations of their doctor and personally.

However, it should not be forgotten that the baby's growth, health, spiritual, physical and mental development are proportional to the health and balanced nutrition of the mother.

The fact that the mother has completed her physical development before pregnancy, the nutrient stores are sufficient and her age are the most important factors that will protect the health of both the baby and the mother. Because the baby grows and feeds by choosing what it takes for itself from the mother's food reserves and consumption during pregnancy.

While the mother gets enough energy and nutrients to maintain her daily life, the extra protein, energy, vitamins and minerals she will naturally receive are the guarantee of both her and the baby to be healthy.

In a normal pregnancy period, it is sufficient for the mother to take approximately 10-12 kg for the mother to transfer her consumption to the baby in addition to her own needs. In order to achieve this increase, in addition to a pregnant before pregnancy, 20 g daily. protein, 15-20 mg. iron, 500 mg. It is required to take calcium and an average of 300 calories of energy.

Let's take a look at the nutrients that should be consumed frequently during pregnancy.


Calcium is an essential mineral for the development of your baby's bones and teeth that begin to form from the 8th week of pregnancy.

During pregnancy, twice as much calcium as you normally need. Because during pregnancy, there is a constant lack of calcium from teeth and bones.
Calcium-rich foods are cheese, milk, yogurt and green leafy vegetables.

However, since dairy products are also rich in fat, it would be more correct to choose skimmed milk and yogurt.

In order to protect from Brucella, typhoid-like diseases, make sure that the cheese and milk you consume are hygienic and well pasteurized.


Protein-rich foods such as red and white meat, milk and dairy products, eggs, fish, legumes (beans, lentils, kidney beans ...) are recommended to meet the increasing protein requirement during pregnancy.

Proteins are divided into animal and vegetable proteins. In diets, vegetable and animal proteins should be consumed in equal proportions.

It is recommended to remove the fat in animal foods as much as possible and consume meat without fat. In addition, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which are found in fish other than protein, are also positive effects on the intelligence development of the baby. The consumed fish should be fresh and well cooked.


It is important to consume "blood-forming", that is, iron-rich foods during pregnancy, and the use of iron drugs with folic acid, especially after 4-4.5 months. Because anemia (anemia) may occur due to iron deficiency especially after these months.

In people with extreme anemia, blood pills (iron pills) can also be started early in pregnancy. However, in this case, since the nausea, vomiting and stomach complaints that are common in the first months may increase, the duration of the treatment may be delayed for a few weeks.

In pregnant women, iron deficiency can cause complaints such as weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, sleepiness and palpitations, and it provides grounds for complications such as preterm birth, inability of the baby to develop in the womb, stillbirth and miscarriage. Also, an advanced bloodless pregnant suffers from postpartum period.

Blood maker to minimize iron deficiency; Care should be taken to consume foods rich in molasses, raisins, red meat, eggs and legumes. In addition, fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C will increase iron absorption from the intestines.

Iron pills, which are generally started after the 4th months, should never be taken with milk. Because milk neutralizes the absorption of iron by reducing it.

The dosage of the iron pill that is given is reserved by the physician personally. Severe low blood pressure of the person can cause an increase in the dose of blood medication. Or, for example, in twin pregnancies, the dose of the body may increase due to the increase in iron requirement.

Some people may not use iron pills during their pregnancy due to stomach complaints. In these persons, potable (liquid) iron solutions can be used. Sometimes iron can be loaded on patients with intravenous or intramuscular applications. In very advanced cases, blood or erythrocyte (red blood cell) transfusion (transplant) may become mandatory.

Anemia other than iron deficiency anemia or intestinal absorption disorders (malabsorption syndromes) should be sought if the hematocrit and hemoglobin values in the blood remain low despite the intensive iron treatments in a person.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a necessary vitamin for the absorption of iron from the intestines, increasing the immune resistance of the body against the causative agent of microorganisms and for many biochemical processes in our metabolism.

Vitamin C requirement during pregnancy increased due to the acceleration of metabolism; however, it is not recommended to take vitamins in pill form in pregnant women who are fed regularly.

Vitamin C is found in many fresh fruits and vegetables such as orange, lemon, red and green pepper, tomato, strawberry, grapefruit, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts. Since it is not stored in the body, a certain amount should be taken daily.

Most of the vitamin C is lost in foods that are stored and cooked for a long time. You should consume the foods while they are fresh and eat well-washed vegetables raw or boiled a little. In addition, preserved and similar foods that are not natural ingredients and have been waiting for a long time are not recommended for pregnant women.

Folic acid

It is very important to take “vitamin B9”, folic acid, from the first weeks of pregnancy, especially for the development of the baby's central nervous system. It should be taken daily since it is not stored in the body and more than normal is needed during pregnancy.

Fresh green vegetables are a source of folic acid, but reduce their amount in long-term cooking and long-standing foods. It is mostly found in spinach, peanuts, hazelnuts, cauliflower, whole wheat bread.

Since natural foods cannot fully cover the folic acid deficit of the pregnant woman, it will be appropriate to take it as a pill from the first weeks of pregnancy.

It has been shown that a number of abnormalities (hydrocephalus, spina bifida, anencephaly) may appear in babies due to folic acid deficiency in pregnant women under the name of "neural tube defects". In addition, it was observed that preeclampsia (pregnancy poisoning) developed more frequently in these pregnant women.

Women who have previously been diagnosed with folic acid deficiency or who have given birth to a baby with neural tube defect anomaly should start taking folic acid at least 3 months before the date they are considering conceiving.

Fiber Foods (Posed Foods)

Fibrous (posed) foods, which should make up a large part of your daily diet, are very useful in preventing common constipation and intestinal laziness during pregnancy.

Generally, all vegetables and fruits are rich in fiber. You can eat abundantly every day. Wholemeal foods also contain fiber, but should not be over-consumed, as they reduce the absorption of some other nutrients from the intestines.

Fiber foods are most often in whole wheat bread, oatmeal, kidney beans, wholemeal pastas, apricots, raisins, peas, leeks, brown rice, raspberries, dried nuts.

Liquid Consumption During Pregnancy

Drinking plenty of water and fluids during pregnancy is extremely beneficial for you and your pregnancy.

In particular, abundant water consumption can be protective or therapeutic in many situations such as urinary tract infection, oligohydramnios (the baby's amniotic fluid is less than normal), preterm labor, respiratory infections, constipation, diarrhea.

Tea, coffee, cola drinks and cocoa are not recommended during pregnancy. While tea causes iron deficiency with the substance “tein”, it is not recommended because other substances may contain 'caffeine' as it may have a negative effect on the baby. Drinking mineral water (soda) has no negative effects.

Herbal teas such as peppermint, lemon, sage, linden, rosehip, chamomile, which are completely natural and contain no additives, can also be drunk during pregnancy. However, there are some concerns about drinking “cinemaki tea”. Therefore, it is not recommended to consume this herbal tea during pregnancy.

Alcohol is definitely harmful because it is defined as “fetal alcohol syndrome” in the baby when used in pregnancy and causes problems that are manifested by mental retardation and some structural abnormalities.

It is also necessary to restrict unnecessary calorie consumption during pregnancy. It should not be forgotten that the important thing is not the fat binding of the mother's belly, but the healthy and proper development of the baby inside. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid sugary foods and beverages that lack essential nutrients such as cakes, biscuits, jams and soft drinks. In addition, boiled foods should be preferred instead of fatty fries.

It is also appropriate to avoid excessive salt consumption. Especially in recent months, excessive salty eating may increase edema in the body, blood pressure may increase and you may feel more uncomfortable.

What food sources do what?

Meat, eggs, legumes: It is responsible for the development of the brain, muscle, bone and teeth and blood production. They meet the need for protein and iron.

Milk and dairy products: They are in charge of bone, tooth development and growth. They are a source of protein and calcium.

Vegetables and fruits: They provide vitamins and minerals for growth and development.

Cereals: Because they contain calories and B group vitamins, they are important for growth and development.

Fats and sugars: They contain only energy and close the energy gap.

We should consume these food groups, which we have to consume carefully in an adequate and balanced diet, with the same care in pregnancy so that we can gain the right eating habits in order to live healthy.

“Pregnancy is not a good time to diet”

Pregnancy should be started in appropriate weight according to age, height and movement. Weakening a very overweight pregnant woman is not correct during pregnancy, it is necessary to try to maintain her weight and not to go to calorie restriction, especially after the fourth month.

It is essential to prevent high intake of high-calorie foods in nutrition, but to meet the needs by getting essential nutrients for pregnancy.

In pregnant women who are in adolescence or who are very active due to their life, it is essential to maintain weight and additionally meet the increasing need for pregnancy.

Monitoring weight is very important during pregnancy. It is appropriate to gain weight in the first three months, 0.5-1 kg, and in the following months an average of 1.5-2.0 kg.

Low weight birth, preterm birth, stillbirth, mentally and physically handicapped births can be seen in very weak pregnant women and malnutrition. The rate of anemia (anemia), bone and tooth loss, preeclampsia, water retention (edema), loss of work force and weakness are high in the mother.

In overweight pregnant women, problems such as hypertension, diabetes and birth difficulties can be seen. For this reason, it is necessary to carry out pre-pregnancy controls of expectant mothers and to monitor nutrition and weight every month after conception.

Tips for Nutrition

Your meals should be frequent and fewer portions. Stay hungry for a long time, or just fill your stomach when you eat.

Make sure that the food you buy is fresh. Take care to consume fresh and natural ingredients instead of canned foods, preserved foods, and preserved foods.

Give importance to "diversity" in the foods you eat. In this way, you will be able to get many vitamins and minerals.

Instead of overly fatty, sweet, spicy and calorie foods, turn to foods that are rich in protein and carbohydrates, and are low in fat. Do not forget that the important thing is not to gain weight, so that the baby can be fed adequately inside.

If you have a preeclampsia condition or risk, you may need to increase your protein intake, or if you have diabetes due to pregnancy (gestational diabetes), you may need to go to a calorie restriction as recommended by your dietitian.

Two substances that should be taken as an external pill during pregnancy are folic acid and iron. In a pregnant diet that can be fed well, it is unnecessary to take external vitamins or minerals.

There are many medicines called multivitamins on the market that contain many vitamins and minerals. These are also prescribed by most physicians.

Scientific studies in recent years; It has been shown that vitamins A, C, E and magnesium, calcium, zinc, selenium, copper and fluorine, which are taken as external pills during pregnancy, do not have any positive effects on pregnancy in regular diets.

If you have pregnancy-related leg cramps, your doctor may prescribe you with “Magnesium” and if you have a risk of preeclampsia, “calcium”.

Although synthetic multivitamin pills can be given as supplements in pregnant women who cannot be fed well, natural foods will never replace them.

As a result of “Toxoplasma tests” performed in the first months of pregnancy, it is imperative that you take some precautions if your body has never encountered this parasite before. Especially if this disease, which is transmitted with cat and dog feces, occurs during pregnancy, it can cause fatal or disability problems in the baby. Toxoplasma passes through unwashed vegetables and fruits, and uncooked raw meat.

Toxoplasma is frequently seen in our country, especially in eastern and southeastern Anatolian regions, where raw meat is consumed extensively.

To protect from Toxoplasma;

  • Wash your hands properly before meals
  • Wash vegetables and fruits for a long time before consuming them.
  • If you are feeding cats or dogs at home, do not neglect their vaccinations, do not give them raw meat and avoid close contact.
  • Avoid raw or poorly cooked meat and meat products (such as sausage, salami, sausage, raw meatballs).

Never neglect water in nutrition. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day. In the summer, this amount can be up to 15 glasses.

If you have constipation especially in the following months, you can avoid this problem by drinking plenty of water, consuming the fruits eaten with its peel, adding vegetables and salads at every meal and walking.

Drinking 1-2 glasses of milk a day is to replace the calcium losses that occur during pregnancy. If you cannot drink milk, consume yogurt or buttermilk. You can also consume cheese or curd. Make sure that milk and dairy products are pasteurized.

Use iodized salt in meals. If there is high blood pressure (hypertension), cook the dishes with little salt. Reduce salt during these periods, especially to reduce edema in the last months.

In the morning nausea that starts when you get out of bed in the morning, a slice of cheese, a grissi can provide comfort. To protect yourself from these nausea and vomiting, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, choose solid, dry and non-fat foods during this period. Stay away from kitchen odors and heavy perfumes.

In the morning nausea that starts when you get out of bed in the morning, a slice of cheese, a grissi can provide comfort. To protect yourself from these nausea and vomiting, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, choose solid, dry and non-fat foods during this period. Stay away from kitchen odors and heavy perfumes.

According to a study conducted in recent years, French fries made by frying with extreme heat in Mc Donald’s or similar fast foods during pregnancy and chips produced similarly in the markets contain “teratogen”, that is, poisonous substances. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid consuming such substances during pregnancy. Since fried potatoes made at home are fried at low temperatures, they do not have such a negative effect.

As mentioned before, pregnancy is not a good time to diet. A certain amount of weight gain is essential during pregnancy. It will be appropriate to gain more weight if you have a weak body, and less if you are overweight. You can evaluate your weight status with "Body mass index".

Nutrients to be consumed during pregnancy and their measurements

Proper nutrition requires that the requirements be provided from various food groups due to the characteristics of the pregnancy state.

Food items perform various tasks in our body. Food groups have been created from foods that perform the same tasks. If you do not consume one of the group options, you can eat right by eating another.

MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS cheese 2 cups of milk or yogurt 1 serving (2 slices) or 2 tablespoons precipitate
1 Egg 1 serving of meat, fish, chicken, turkey (60-90gm.)
1 serving of dried legumes (120gm)
FRESH VEGETABLES AND FRUITS 2 portions of cooked fresh vegetables
3 servings of raw fresh vegetables
2-3 medium fruit or fresh juice
CEREALS 6-8 Thin slices of bread
1 serving of rice or pasta
1 serving of soup
FATS 3-4 Wipe tablespoons of oil
SUGAR 1-2 Teaspoon honey, jam or molasses

A sample menu

1 glass of milk,
1 egg,
1 slice of cheese,
1 slice of bread,
1 tomato, 1 cucumber, parsley, green pepper, dill, etc.

1 fruit,
1 glass of ayran,
1 thin slice of bread

1 serving of dried legumes with meat
1 serving of rice or pasta
1 glass of ayran
1 serving of salad,
1 medium slice of bread,
1 fruit

1 slice of bread,
1 slice of cheese, tomato and cucumber,
1 fruit

1 serving of meat, fish, chicken (with vegetables)
1 serving of vegetable oil with olive oil
1 glass of ayran,
1 serving of salad, 1 medium slice of bread

1 cup milk or 1 serving milk dessert
1 serving of fruit

5 olives, 1 teaspoon of honey, molasses, jam can be consumed for breakfast or snacks. It can be 1 serving of fruit, 1 medium apple, orange or a small bunch of grapes, a thin slice of watermelon or melon, half a banana or grapefruit.

“Pregnancy is Beauty”

Being a expectant mother is a very special and demanding process to carry a creature similar to her husband and herself on her body.

"The gradually increasing aggravation and changing physical appearance by feeling the baby adds a different beauty to the mother."

Pregnancy, one of the circuits where nutrition is very important and very special in human life, gave the mother the responsibility of bringing healthy individuals to the society.

If the mother is not fed well and properly, she may face dangers such as stillbirth, preterm birth, low-weight birth, physically and mentally disabled births. He may also have anemia, blood pressure problems, water retention, fatigue, tooth and bone problems.

As a result; It is not right to eat too much and unbalanced so that the baby will eat well during pregnancy, and it is not right to eat less to reach the post-natal old appearance easily.

The basic principle; It goes through a proper and balanced diet that the baby inside will benefit enough.

Op. Sibel Malkoç, MD

Gynecology and Obstetrics Specialist

Dr. Sibel Malkoç attended many domestic and international training seminars and congresses during 25 years of specialised physician service.

Pregnancy follow-up, urinary incontinence surgery and laser treatments, genital aesthetic surgery and laser applications and vaginismus treatment are of special interest.

It serves its patients especially in surgical and laser-assisted Vagina aesthetics.

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