Five healthy food habits that can help during pregnancy if you have a history of PCOS
This condition refers to a hormonal disorder at reproductive age that affects the menstrual cycle
Women’s health has become a major area of concern over the past few years. With a change in lifestyle and food habits, one of the most common problems called Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is getting quite common among women of different age groups.
In case of pregnancy, this condition makes it even more difficult to conceive and can cause several complications during pregnancy and delivery. This condition refers to a hormonal disorder at reproductive age that affects the menstrual cycle. The ovaries develop numerous follicles and fail to regularly release mature eggs that can even affect women who wish to conceive for a second child.
Even if a woman gets pregnant, the chances of miscarriage become three times higher in expecting mothers. As food plays a very vital role during these crucial times, certain food habits can help expecting mothers to have favourable pregnancy outcomes with minimal possible adverse effects. These are as follows:
- Include Fibers: Women who suffer from PCOS must pay special attention to their diet and weight by including more fibers in their daily diet. These include pumpkins, nuts, berries, whole grains, and almonds that help in digestion along with managing blood sugar levels. It is recommended not to follow a restrictive diet as this will affect the overall growth of the child.
- Manage weight: Women suffering from PCOS often develop the problem of overweight & obesity which needs controlled weight gain during pregnancy. While some exercises can help in managing weight, adding fresh, green vegetables and protein-rich foods like soya, tofu, eggs, and chicken, becomes light on the stomach.
- Small servings: It is recommended to take small servings frequently throughout the day to tackle hunger binges. It is recommended to have 2 to 4 small servings of fruits, grains, bread and four servings of dairy products like milk, cheese, and ghee. One must also stay hydrated throughout the day by increasing the intake of water inside the body to purify blood.
- Avoid sugar: It is also recommended to stop the intake of processed and junk food during pregnancy, especially to women who suffer from PCOS. One must limit the consumption of sweets and sugary syrups. These will not only contribute to the risk of obesity but can also lead to deranged blood sugar levels & diabetes. One must increase the intake of water inside the body to purify blood, an adequate hydration.
- Increase anti-inflammatory food: During pregnancy, women are supposed to increase the intake of anti-inflammatory food items which include tomatoes, olive oil, spinach, and fresh fruits. At the same time, omega-3 fatty acids are also beneficial in controlling blood pressure and cholesterol levels in pregnant women suffering from PCOS. Based on the doctor’s recommendations, one can also include omega-3 fatty acids, prenatal vitamins, vitamin D, and calcium supplements to ensure that the baby gets the required nutrients for optimal growth.
Apart from maintaining healthy food habits, one must visit a gynaecologist if they have any symptoms of PCOS for better consultation. Even after delivery, one must get routine check-ups in case to reduce the risk of PCOS. Ignorance of these symptoms can make it even worse and further lead to infertility. PCOS is one of the most common causes of infertility and should be dealt with in a timely and effective manner.
The writer is Consultant - Obstetrics & Gynecology, Manipal Hospital, Ghaziabad. Views expressed are personal.
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Here are five PCOS management tips for women
Exercise regularly and take a healthy diet. This can help to regulate your insulin and blood sugar levels. It even helps you to lose weight