PCOS, Pregnancy, and Nutrition
By Nmami Agarwal
Conceiving becomes complicated when a woman is diagnosed with PCOS and hence, she might struggle to get pregnant. This happens due to the increased levels of male hormones that prevent the ovulation or release of an egg. Planning to get pregnant with PCOS is a dual concern for women of childbearing age. PCOS is considered as the most widespread disturbed hormonal condition leading to infertility. Without any medical guidance, pregnancy in PCOS can be even more complex.
The cysts with PCOS produce a higher level of androgens (male sex hormones) which blocks the process of ovulation. As no mature egg gets released, ovulation fails to take place and the hormone, progesterone is not prepared to result in an irregular or absence of periodic menses. However, by managing a diet fortified with nutrients and its amount can positively lessen PCOS symptoms and you can become pregnant and have a healthy baby.
Vitamin D: Vitamin D is among the vital nutrients, traced eighty per cent deficient in women with PCOS which can impact on their fertility. So, if you’re not already taking a Vitamin D rich food then start taking them to strengthen its quantity in your body which will help you in your PCOS pregnancy. Foods rich in vitamin D are quinoa, oatmeal, salmon, and tuna.
Protein: Generally, PCOS diet is not high in protein, however; you need to increase your protein intake during pregnancy because protein is the key nutrient in the growth and development of a baby. You can have a combination of good quality proteins from animals and plants like beans, legumes, lentils, quinoa, nuts and seeds with added fiber which will keep your blood sugar levels in control.
Fiber: Diet rich in fiber controls blood sugar levels and also keep the insulin levels under control. Fiber slows down the process of digestion, and thus the carbohydrates we eat take longer to be broken down into blood sugar that keeps your blood sugar in control. This is why having high fiber foods like barley, sweet potato, apples, black beans is important for your PCOS pregnancy diet.
Right Carbohydrates: PCOS diet is relatively a low carb diet, but you may need to increase your carb intake during PCOS pregnancy as such a diet has a bad impact on embryonic organ growth. A moderate carb diet which includes up to 75-150g carbs a day will be good to go with. Make sure you choose good sources of carbs; low GI sources are still preferable but avoid refined carbs. Some right carb options are low GI fruits, beans, quinoa, buckwheat, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, zucchini, gluten-free grains, and legumes.
Healthy Fats: Healthy fats are crucial for the development of your baby during pregnancy. Healthy fats called Essential Fatty Acids ensure the healthy development of the brain, eye, and good birth weight. Hydrogenated, partially-hydrogenated and trans-fats should be eliminated from the PCOS pregnancy diet. Rather, include omega-3 rich fats from fatty fish, egg yolks, avocados, coconut cream, coconut oil, ghee, nuts, and seeds.
Over to you
It’s true that PCOS pregnancy does increase the risk of gestational diabetes, premature delivery, miscarriage or high blood pressure. Still, women in real diagnosed with PCOS do experience healthy pregnancies. If you have PCOS and planning to conceive a baby, then consult your doctor first and try following the suggested tips in your pregnancy. Consider getting proper treatment from the doctor and these suggestions will help you experience a healthy pregnancy and a happy family.
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