“Nutritionists can better help pregnant women with special dietary needs because they can recommend the necessary food exchanges and adjustments,” Dr. Aquino explains. Pregnant women with diabetes (prior and during pregnancy),overweight or underweight patients, and women with digestive system disorders, hypertension or other conditions and illnesses all fall under this category.
Vegetarian women also have unique needs. “They are usually anemic so we prescribe iron supplements,” Dr. Aquino says. For patients with hypertension, she recommends a diet that is low in salt and sugar.
For The Overweight To Begin With—Are There Safe Diets? Overweight women can gain less weight safely (but no less than 6.8 kg!). Moms who are carrying twins (or even triplets) should ask their doctor about the right weight-gain amounts. Some women ask if they can continue their diets (Atkins, South Beach, etc.), and experts are unanimous in saying that the focus should be on good nutrition, not weight loss. However, if you do need to lose weight upon your OB’s advice, you can consider the South Beach diet. According to The South Beach Diet Book, it’s safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women to follow Phase 2, but not Phase 1 (which is very restrictive). Show your OB the list of food items under Phase 2 first.
The official Atkins website cites that the Atkins diet is not appropriate for pregnant and nursing women. The diet doesn’t provide balanced nutrition and restricts the intake of dairy products and carbohydrates, both of which provide energy and essential nutrients. The time to diet is before, and not during pregnancy.
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