Health For AllWomen and Child HealthSurviving Summer: Tips for Moms-to-Be

Surviving Summer: Tips for Moms-to-Be

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Summer presents challenges for pregnant women due to the heat, which can lead to dehydration and other health issues. Therefore, it’s vital for expectant mothers to maintain a nutritious diet to safeguard their well-being and that of their baby during this season. Prioritizing both the expectant mother’s well-being and the development of the unborn baby is paramount, with proper diet and nutrition being crucial components of prenatal care, especially given the soaring summer temperatures.

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My article will outline key recommendations for maintaining a healthy summer diet while pregnant:

  • Stay Hydrated: In hot weather, the body requires more fluids for hydration. Aim to drink at least 2-3 litres of water per day, and consider options like coconut water, buttermilk, and lemonade. Avoid sodas and sparkling water.
  • Include Plenty of Fresh Fruits: Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and limes are rich in Vitamin C, strengthening the immune system and boosting energy levels. Berries, strawberries, watermelon, and cantaloupe are also excellent choices.
  • Opt for Summer Salads: Fulfil pregnancy cravings with options like broccoli salad, Greek kale salad, tomato and cucumber salad, and Mediterranean chickpea salad.
  • Load Up on Vegetables: Incorporate a variety of vegetables rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre, such as leafy greens and bell peppers, to prevent constipation common in pregnancy.
  • Choose Whole Grains: Prioritize whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat bread over refined grains to increase fibre intake and prevent constipation.
  • Incorporate Lean Proteins: Include sources like poultry, fish, tofu, beans, and lentils for the baby’s growth and development while keeping you feeling full.
  • Don’t Forget Healthy Fats: Consume sources such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil for baby’s brain development.
  • Limit Sugary and Processed Foods: Minimize intake of sugary snacks, sodas, and processed foods to avoid empty calories and excessive weight gain. Indulge in treats like ice cream occasionally, limiting cheat days to once a week.
  • Snack Smartly: Keep healthy options like Greek yogurt, whole grain crackers with cheese, hummus with vegetable sticks, and homemade smoothies on hand to curb cravings and maintain energy levels.
  • Be Mindful of Food Safety: Avoid raw or undercooked meats, unpasteurized dairy products, and high-mercury seafood to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses. Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before consumption.
  • Take Prenatal Supplements: Supplement with prenatal vitamins as recommended by healthcare providers to ensure adequate nutrient intake.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to your body’s signals and eat when hungry, considering any dietary restrictions or concerns. Consult healthcare professionals or registered dietitians for guidance.

Also Read: World Hypertension Day: Five Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Remember, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for a healthy pregnancy. Enjoy summer fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated, and prioritize both your and your baby’s well-being. Your doctor and this guide will support you in staying on track with your diet and managing pregnancy weight gain.

Dr. Bindiya Jhamb, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, YAS Clinic Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi
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