Mother’s Health: Pregnancy

Mother’s Health: Pregnancy
  • Care
  • Pregnancy


Morning sickness:

  • Eat every 2 to 3 hours (keep food in the stomach)
  • Avoid getting hungry
  • Drink fluids between not with meals
  • Avoid fried foods
  • Avoid gas forming foods
  • Avoid foods with strong odors.
  • Prefer carbohydrate rich foods
  • Whole bread, rice, potato.
  • Keep track of the foods that disturb you and avoid them.


  • Drink 8 to 12 glasses of water per day
  • Consume high fiber grains: beans and peas
  • Consume high fiber vegetables: broccoli, spinach
  • Consume high fiber fruits: prunes, apples
  • Walk, swim or do any light exercise that the doctor agrees upon, regularly.
  • Don’t take laxatives unless prescribed by the physician.
  • Try to get some rest hours during the day.


  • Eat small frequent meals
  • Eat between not with meals.
  • Eat slowly
  • Avoid large meals at bedtime
  • Avoid lying down 1 to 2 hours after eating
  • Avoid taking antacid unless Dr Prescription.
  • Wear lose fitting clothes.
  • Avoid spicy and fatty acids.
  • Wait at least two hours after eating before exercising.


  • Use salt in food only to “taste”
  • Try avoiding canned foods and carbonated beverages
  • Try to avoid salty foods
  • Walking helps you
  • Don’t take diuretics unless prescribed by the doctor.

Food cravings:

  • If you crave some foods you can eat them in moderation without guilt.
  • If you crave substances not food such as clay, starch or others, check with the doctor for Fe-deficiency



  • Herbal infusions:  Use herbal infusions such as Yansoun (anis) or cinnamon (kerfeh) or teas in moderation as they may have side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
  • Alcohol: It is advisable to avoid drinking not only after getting pregnant but even in the weeks in which you are trying to conceive
  • Dieting and weight loss: energy restriction during pregnancy could lead to severe damage for the fetus.
  • Smoking: it increases iron needs and reduces availability of vitamin B12, Vit C, folate and zinc, it also restricts the oxygen flow to the fetus. So it is recommended to abstain from smoking.
  • Caffeine: a maximum of 2 cups of coffee per day if you are used to drinking coffee, but in general coffee isn’t advised. Don’t over eat products containing caffeine such as cola beverages, tea and chocolates. Refer to Appendix E
  • Avoid gas forming foods: turnip, cabbage, radish and all what personally causes gases.
  • Avoid consuming unsafe foods to avoid intoxications such as Listeriosis and toxoplasmosis.
    • Raw eggs in food preparations like mayonnaise or tiramisu dessert
    • Fermented cheeses such as brie, camembert, prefer hard cheeses, cottage and yogurt.
    • Non-pasteurized milk.
    • Leftovers should be heated thoroughly before use
    • Fatty fish with long life span such as swordfish, fresh tuna, salmon in sushi, instead prefer cooked fish with short span.
    • Wash fruits and vegetables very well with potable water and specialized soap.
    • Avoid heating foods in lead or ceramic containers.


  1. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus:
    • Consult the dietician
    • Avoid simple sugars
    • Monitor the blood glucose daily
    • Consult the dietician for an individualized diet regimen.

4. Lactose intolerance:

       If you have difficulty digesting milk, you can substitute milk by other milk        products. For one cup of milk, you can use:


5. If you are vegetarian:

Replace the protein of meat/poultry and fish by dried beans, peas, chickpeas, lentils

Milk and eggs should better not be omitted in case of a vegan diet:

Vit.B12 should be supplemented (could be found in cottage cheese, tuna, chicken liver).

Increase intake of Ca-rich foods, Vit.D and riboflavin (Spinach, Broccoli, Turnip)

Emphasize the intake of certain foods combined together to get the essential amino acids:

Rice/corn + dried beans /peas or

Fresh vegetables + sesame seeds /nuts/ mushrooms

Exercise during pregnancy facilitates your labor and improves your mood in addition to helping you control your weight.

Certain activities are not recommended under any circumstances:

Such as board diving, scuba diving, water skiing, contact sports, exercises done at high elevation, exercise in hot and humid environments, and exercise in the supine position.

Guidelines for exercise during pregnancy:

  1. Hypertension:
    • Consult the physician
    • Salt restriction is not advisable
    • Keep track of the blood pressure on daily basis.
    1. Anemia:
      • Consult the physician
      • Choose foods high in Fe content and that could be easily absorbed by the body (see “nutrients never to omit”)
      • Prefer lean meat and fish   
      • Choose foods high in folate content: beets, spinach, enriched cereals, lentils and avocado (see “nutrients never to omit”)
    • 1 cup of low fat yogurt.
    • 45g (a matchbox size) hard cheese like cheddar
    • 1 ½ cups of cottage cheese.
    • The enzyme lactase (“Lactaid”) is available in pharmacies to add to milk in order to make the milk easily tolerated without changing its nutritional value.
    • Regular exercise is preferable to intermittent exercise.
    • Competitive activities should be discouraged.
    • Ballistic movement (bouncy) should be avoided.
    • Exercise should be done on a wooden floor or a tightly carpeted surface to reduce shock and provide a sure footing.
    • Liquids should be taken liberally before and after exercise to prevent dehydration. If necessary, activity should be disrupted to replenish fluids.