According to the World Health Organisation (2016), more than 50 % pregnant women in India are anemic. Karnataka stands with more than 44.8% women who are iron deficient.
Doctors prescribe iron pills to help women meet their iron needs during pregnancy. Iron pills often taste bad, cause discomfort like constipation/nausea or are just forgotten, and are often disapproved by mothers/mothers-in-law as they are seen as medicine. Hence women frequently stop taking their iron pills during pregnancy. Every year over 11 million pregnant women have access to iron pills but do not take them (National Family Health Survey-IV, 2016). Regardless of where pregnant women live, how educated they are & what their wealth status is, only 39% took their iron tablets for 100 days or more.
MamaBix was developed in collaboration with pregnant women, nutritionists and doctors to address this key issue of non adherence. It is clinically shown to provide iron and other essential nutrients like folic acid for a healthy pregnancy.
MamaBix are tasty and gentle. Pregnant women also report lesser side effects due to our special food formulation! For more information on the composition and dosage, refer to MamaBix. Don't forget to check How to Buy for your nearest locations for MamaBix availability.
Also read : Pregnant and anemic? Here is what you can do!
A woman’s body undergoes many changes during the nine months of pregnancy. You can see and feel month on month changes in the shape of your belly as your fetus grows into a baby ready for delivery!
Here are some fun facts regarding the growth of the fetus during pregnancy:
In the 1st month of pregnancy, the tiny "heart" tube of your fetus begins to beat almost 65 times a minute by the end of 4th week. At this point, your baby is smaller than a grain of rice.
By the 2nd month, your baby’s fingers, toes and eyes begin to form.
During the 3rd month, your baby can open and close its fists and mouth. Even the fingernails and toenails begin to develop at this time.
As month 4 starts, your baby can suck his or her thumb, yawn, stretch, and make faces as well.
By the 5th month, you may begin to feel your baby move, since he or she is developing muscles and exercising them. This first movement is called quickening.
During the 6th month, your baby’s eyelids begin to part and the eyes open for the first time.
As the 7th month approaches, your baby's hearing is fully developed. He or she changes position frequently and responds to stimuli, including sound & pain.
By the 8th month, most of your baby’s internal systems are well developed, but the lungs may still be immature.
The 9th month is the last leg of pregnancy with your baby's reflexes being coordinated so he or she can blink, turn the head & also grasp firmly. Your baby is now ready to enter the world!
Also read : 10-tips-for-healthy-eating-during-pregnancy
Despite its name, you can have morning sickness any time of day. It doesn't mean your baby is sick, and it doesn't hurt the baby. Pregnancy nausea or vomiting is usually mild and goes away about midway through your pregnancy. Some women never feel nauseous during their pregnancy. (https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/morning-sickness-pregnant)
Nausea and vomiting are common experiences in pregnancy, affecting 70-80% of all pregnant women. Although most women with nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) have symptoms limited to the first trimester, a small percentage of women have a prolonged course with symptoms extending until delivery. There are various risk factors for this condition including genetic factors, part time employment status, history of motion sickness etc. (Lee,Saha) It is not harmful for the baby and is normal is most cases.
Gestational vomiting/vomiting during pregnancy results from various metabolic/endocrine factors like high levels of hCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin), estrogen & progesterone.
So if you suffer from nausea & vomiting of pregnancy (NVP), there's no need to worry. Just carry on taking a nutritious balanced diet and make sure you're healthy.
Read : 10 Tips for Healthy Eating during Pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a new experience which comes with a lot of responsibility but also unwanted apprehension & anxiety. Added to this are the constant tips and suggestions we keep getting from friends, family and everyone around possible.
There are so many myths surrounding pregnancy and here is a small attempt at busting these pregnancy myths!
Pregnancy Myth #1 - Curd should be avoided during pregnancy.
Fact - Curd is a rich source of calcium, essential during pregnancy. Besides building teeth and bones, calcium also keeps your blood and muscles moving and helps your nerves send messages from your brain to the rest of your body. (https://www.webmd.com/baby/get-the-calcium-you-need-during-pregnancy#1)
Pregnancy Myth #2 - Chocolate is bad for you during pregnancy
Fact - A small amount of dark chocolate during pregnancy (especially during the first & second trimesters) can help improve circulation and reduce the risk of pre-eclampsia. The improved blood flow helps the placenta develop and function normally, leading to good pregnancy outcomes. (https://utswmed.org/medblog/dark-chocolate-pregnancy/)
Pregnancy Myth #3 - Papaya is unsafe for consumption during pregnancy.
Fact - Ripe papaya is safe during pregnancy as it is a rich source of fiber, potassium, Vitamin C & folate which are very beneficial during pregnancy.
Unripe papaya contains latex which can lead to marked uterine contractions and could be unsafe in pregnancy. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12144723)
Pregnancy Myth #4 - Mangoes are unhealthy for you during pregnancy.
Fact - Mango is a power-packed fruit. Mangoes are rich in antioxidants, such as beta carotene and vitamin A, C and D, very important during pregnancy. Mango consumption can definitely cause increase in blood sugar levels. Thus, it is not advisable for obese mothers or those who are diabetic to consume the fruit. (https://indianexpress.com/article/parenting/health-fitness/can-you-eat-mangoes-when-pregnant-5750880/)
Pregnancy Myth #5 - There is no need of supplements during pregnancy.
Fact - During pregnancy, the nutritional needs increase 3 times for various minerals and vitamins. Our diet therefore, does not suffice for most cases and hence, external nutritional supplements are always needed.
MamaBix biscuits are special iron & folic acid fortified supplements for meeting your increased iron demands during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Myth #6 - Eating saffron & oranges during pregnancy can make your baby fairer.
Fact - Complexion of the baby depends on various factors including genetic factors. It does not depend on the foods you eat in any way!
Pregnancy Myth #7 - Exercising during pregnancy is harmful for the baby.
Fact - If you had a strict work out regime before getting pregnant, you should not suddenly discontinue. A lighter work out routine under appropriate guidance can actually make you feel more energetic and happier.
However, if you never used to work out before, a short light walk in a day is always beneficial since it makes you more active and keeps you energetic!
Pregnancy Myth # 8 - Morning sickness only happens in the morning.
Fact - Nausea and vomiting is common during pregnancy due to constant changes in hormones and can happen at any time of the day. In most cases, it happens during the morning hours. For some women, the condition begins to improve after the first trimester but for others, it continues throughout their pregnancy.
Pregnancy Myth #9 - I should be ‘eating for 2’ during pregnancy.
Fact - There is no scientific explanation of ‘eating for two’ during pregnancy. Your nutritional needs increase at this time but overeating is bad for both your and your baby’s health. A well balanced diet is what is important for fulfillment of your pregnancy needs.
Iron deficiency anemia is a type of anemia caused by an insufficient amount of iron in the body.
During pregnancy, your body’s iron needs increase greatly, especially starting in the second trimester. In India, over 50% of all pregnant women have anemia, the majority of which is due to lack of iron. (WHO/NHD/01.3).
There are various ways by which we can tackle iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy:
1. Iron rich diet - Make sure your diet comprises of foods which give you enough iron & folic acid. Here’s a list of top iron rich foods you can choose during pregnancy.
PROS : It’s always beneficial to have an iron rich diet to keep you energetic during pregnancy.
CONS : Your diet alone might not be sufficient for your increased iron demand during pregnancy. (Iron demands increase up to 3 times during this time).
2. Iron Pills - Different combinations of iron and folic acid fortified capsules/tablets serve as common supplements. An additional supplement/tablet of Vitamin C helps in increased absorption of iron.
PROS : They taste better than other options sometimes and are culturally accepted.
PROS : They fulfil the iron needs for anemic patients and are clinically tested as well as trusted by doctors.
CONS : Injections are a painful experience for some patients and this alternative is sometimes expensive.
6. MamaBix - Special iron and folic acid biscuits which can fulfil pregnant women’s daily iron needs. They also contain added Vitamin C for increased absorption of iron.
Having a baby is a blessing which comes with happiness and responsibility. Your and your baby's health during pregnancy depends on the foods you eat and their nutrients. Essential during pregnancy is iron - truly a shakti nutrient!
If you prefer a nutritious iron supplement like MamaBix, speak with your doctor!
Iron deficiency anemia is a type of anemia caused by an insufficient amount of iron in the body. During pregnancy, your body’s iron needs increase greatly, especially starting in the second trimester. In India, over 50% of all pregnant women have anemia, the majority of which is due to lack of iron. (WHO/NHD/01.3).
Some of the main tips to manage iron deficiency anemia during pregnancy are:
1. Incorporate iron rich foods in your diet: Sources of iron can be classified into Heme & Non-heme sources.
Heme sources include :
Some sources of Vitamin C include :
4. Never have your iron supplements with any calcium products. (Also read: Calcium inhibits the absorption of iron). Combine your iron supplements, including MamaBix with citrus juices like orange juice, amla juice, etc. instead of milk, tea & coffee.
5. Monitor your Hb levels routinely. Patients with a good level of Hb also have a risk of developing anemia eventually along pregnancy due to a process called hemodilution during pregnancy. In such cases, a maintenance dose of 1-2 MamaBix special iron biscuits can be consumed to prevent anemia. Remember to maintain your iron levels at all times since it’s very essential during pregnancy.
(Also read : Why is iron so important during pregnancy?)
The demand of calories increases to more than 350 calories during pregnancy and up to 600 calories during lactation.
Oils and fats are typically frowned upon in life. However, fats are very important during pregnancy and lactation as they provide energy and help in the fetal growth.
Fats help in the formation of cells for the growing baby contributing in developing the placenta, immune system, heart, brain, eyes and more. Fats also aid in blood clotting, and help your body use vitamins A, D, E, and K. Some fats, called omega-3 fatty acids, play an important role in brain development. Source : ACOG
Fats should make up about 20–35% of your total food intake—that’s about 6 tablespoons per day.
It’s very important to keep in mind that during pregnancy, the quality of fats is more important than their total amount, especially for fetal development and infant growth. (Marangoni, Cetin, et al.)
Fats can be classified into : Unsaturated fats, saturated fats and trans fats.
Unsaturated fats should be maximized. These include olive oil, palm oil, almonds, avocados etc.
Saturated fats that need to be controlled include olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, etc.
Trans fats are chemically processed saturated fats which need to be avoided as they have no nutritional value. These include chemically processed and packaged crackers, cookies, potato chips etc.
MamaBix contains zero trans fats.
Therefore, balance your diet with appropriate proportion of fats for healthy growth of mother and child. Be careful on what you consume. After all, you are what you eat!
In 2011, we began to research why pregnant women did not take their iron tablets, despite having access to them. Our literature review and qualitative/quantitative interviews with hundreds of pregnant women across India told us:
According to the most recent Indian National Family Health Survey (NFHS-IV), only 39% pregnant women who had access to iron tablets took them for the recommended 100 days or more.
The issue of non-compliance to iron tablets isn’t restricted only to pregnant women in rural areas. Just 49% women in urban areas stick to their iron tablets routine during their pregnancy. Also, the more pregnancies a woman has had, the less likely she is to take iron tablets.
To address this issue of non-compliance and fulfil critical iron needs during pregnancy, Violet Health researched, formulated, and clinically tested MamaBix. MamaBix contains crucial nutrients including iron, folic acid, vitamin C, and protein. Learn more about these special iron-folic acid biscuits here!
Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron
5 top protein rich foods in pregnancy
Seafood is a great source of protein, iron and zinc — crucial nutrients for the baby's growth and development.The omega-3 fatty acids in many fish, including DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), promote your baby's brain development. Fish are also rich sources of other nutrients required for fetal neurodevelopment including iodine, selenium, choline, vitamin D and long-chain n-3 fatty acids.
However, one concern is mercury levels in large predatory fish (in high doses) could be harmful for the brain development of your baby. (Taylor, Emmett & Emund)
Some seafood that’s safe to consume during this time include:
Seafood to avoid include:
Due to limited clinical studies conducted in India regarding local seafood and their effects on pregnancy, it is always suggested to consult your physician/ nutritionist about the type and serving size of each type of fish that you consume.