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Ghee is one of the main cooking elements in a majority of the households across India. In Ayurveda, ghee is said to provide internal lubrication and softness. It may also be recommended by elders in the family during pregnancy, as it is believed to assist vaginal delivery (though there is no scientific study to prove the same). Read on to discover all you need to know about eating ghee during pregnancy.
Is Eating Ghee During Pregnancy Safe?
It is a known fact that a balanced diet and nutrition is of utmost importance in pregnancy and fats are an integral part of a balanced diet. Ghee is a source of fats and thus, can be included in the diet of a pregnant woman. However, it is recommended to include ghee in your diet with consultation with your doctor.
Benefits of Ghee During Pregnancy
Ghee is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, Omega 9 fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Ghee has many health benefits but its benefits in pregnancy are not scientifically proven. However, in Indian culture ghee is believed to have the following benefits in pregnancy:
- It helps in relieving constipation in pregnancy
- It helps in development of baby’s brain
- It helps in easing labour
- It helps in improving the digestion
- It helps in nourishing the baby
Homemade ghee is a better and healthier option as compared to ghee or clarified butter that is procured from the market. You may begin consuming desi ghee in the first trimester but if gaining weight is a concern or you are already overweight, then it is recommended to include desi ghee in your diet after consulting your doctor.
Is Ghee Really Necessary for Pregnant Women?
Diet plays an important role in pregnancy. It is important for an expecting mother to eat a well-balanced diet to provide good nutrition to her growing foetus. It is believed that ghee lubricates the vagina and helps in normal delivery. It is also believed that it eases the labour pains and is also effective in stimulating contractions. However, these beliefs are not supported by any scientific evidence. A pregnant woman only requires 200 extra calories to cater to the nutritional needs of the growing foetus. These extra calories can be obtained by eating a good diet that may include ghee also. However, consumption of ghee in large quantities may lead to weight gain. If weight gain is a concern then you should refrain from excess consumption of ghee.
Why Consuming Ghee in Pregnancy Might Not Be Safe?
Consuming ghee in pregnancy does not have any ill effects on the health of the mother or her unborn child. You may include ghee in your diet during pregnancy as it is a good source of fats. However, it is important to include a moderate amount of ghee in your diet, as consuming large amounts of ghee could lead to weight gain and obesity. Physical activity also reduces in the last months of pregnancy and more amount of ghee could make you and your baby gain more weight. Normal or vaginal delivery can become difficult in case your baby gains more weight. Adding ghee in your diet may also lead to excess weight gain in case you are already consuming high calorific diet or consuming junk food often. Excess weight and obesity may cause complications in your pregnancy and it may become very difficult to get rid of excess fat after childbirth.
Therefore, if you are already overweight or have concerns about gaining excess weight in your pregnancy, it is advisable to consult your doctor before including ghee in your diet.
Myths Associated With Eating Ghee When Pregnant
Ghee is naturally made in many households in India and there are a number of myths associated with eating desi ghee during pregnancy. It is believed that ghee acts as a wondrous food in pregnancy. Adding ghee in milk provides for extra nutrition and calories to the mother and her unborn child. It is also believed that it aids the birthing process by lubricating the vagina. Many people think that including ghee in your diet in the ninth month helps in normal delivery.
Although these age-old myths and beliefs do not have any scientific explanation, if you wish to eat ghee in your pregnancy, you may do so in consultation with your doctor.
Are There Any Negative Impacts or Issues?
There are no known risks of consuming ghee other than the possibility of putting on extra weight. A balanced diet is of utmost importance in pregnancy as it nourishes you and your baby. It is advisable to eat small meals often as opposed to consuming big meals at a single time. Including more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet is a healthy option. If you are enjoying a good health and you do not have any weight gain issues, then you may include a moderate amount of desi ghee in your diet. Ghee has been in use since ages in almost all Indian homes and it is also a good source of dietary fat.
It is recommended to seek expert medical advice whenever you plan to make any dietary changes in pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend the best food options for you in pregnancy.