BY Team Veera
Pregnancy with PCOS is challenging, so you must have worked hard to get pregnant. You must take care of your pregnancy just like any other, but you must be exceptionally watchful and careful about points, complications, and many other factors. You should ideally maintain a healthy diet, focus on pregnancy exercise, and reduce smoking and alcohol intake for a healthy pregnancy.
There are many other tips that you should look out for! So, here we have made it easier for you by compiling 5 suggestions that are perfect for you if you are a PCOS mom-to-be:
Focus on your diet:
You are more likely to experience complications after your difficult pregnancy. Dietary changes can effectively control them. To nourish yourself and your unborn child and manage PCOS symptoms, you must pay close attention to your nutrition. You must carefully manage your food due to weight problems, fluctuating hormone levels and hormonal imbalances, hypothyroidism, and insulin resistance.
Eat high-fiber food:
- Veggies with green leaves, fruits with skin, etc. A list of fruits good for PCOS includes apples, pears, guava, berries, peaches, cherries, and oranges.
- A high-fiber diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and regulates insulin levels. As fiber slows down digestion, our food’s carbs take longer to convert to glucose (or blood sugar). This aids in controlling your blood sugar.
- Additionally, dietary fiber makes you feel fuller for longer, which helps you control your appetite.
Eat high-protein food:
- Lean protein foods like chicken, fish, and egg whites, despite having little fiber, help you feel fuller for longer and regulate your blood sugar.
- Your baby’s growth and healthy development are supported by protein.
- You can consume a mixture of high-quality proteins from plants and animals.
- Beans, lentils, legumes, nuts, seeds, and other vegetarian proteins aid in regulating blood sugar levels. However, since they are a rich source of iron, high-quality animal proteins like grass-fed organic beef, oily fish, and organ meats must be included.
Eat complex carbohydrates:
It is advised to consume up to 75–150g of carbs per day in a moderate carb diet.
- Make sure you choose healthy sources of carbohydrates; choose items with a low glycaemic index, such as whole grain products like brown rice, Poha, and pasta made from whole wheat, wheat flour, or whole grains.
- List of healthy fruits for PCOS like dark red fruits, such as red grapes, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries.
- Gluten-free sources of grains and legumes are a few wonderful alternatives.
- Additionally, healthy options include lentils, beans, steel-cut oats, and vegetables, including green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and zucchini.
Eat healthy fats:
The development of your unborn child throughout pregnancy and the health of your hormones depend on fats.
- Steer clear of saturated fats, which raise cholesterol and calorie intake.
- Consuming healthy fats with ample EFA (essential fatty acids) can support your baby’s healthy brain and eye development and healthy birth weight.
- High-quality fats are necessary for producing rich, nutritious breast milk.
- Additionally, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K are essential for a healthy pregnancy.
- Consume omega-3-rich foods, including fatty fish, egg yolks, nuts, coconut oil, cream/milk from coconuts, grass-fed butter, ghee, and seeds.
Avoid refined carbs:
- Avoid refined carbs that will cause wild insulin spikes and crashes.
- Avoid any form of –
- Refined cereals like maida, sooji, white rice, white rice Poha, etc.
Reduce coffee and tea intake:
Aim to limit your coffee and tea intake as it –
- Raises stress hormones
- Interferes with sleep
- Causes Anxiety
- Insulin resistance.
Reduce soy intake:
As soy is proven to interfere with thyroid hormone but not insulin, try to reduce your soy consumption.
Avoid alcohol and smoking:
- Smoking may make metabolic syndrome more severe in women with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
- Smoking may adversely affect cholesterol levels and reproductive hormones, in addition to raising the cardiovascular risk.
- Smoking has the potential to increase metabolic syndrome and hyperandrogenism in women with PCOS.
- Drinking alcohol while pregnant increases the risk of miscarriage and fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) in the unborn child.
Do not consume extra calories:
- Eat 300 additional calories each day during the second trimester because your BMR is often low, and you require fewer calories.
- During the third trimester, consume 500 additional calories per day.
- First-trimester weight gain should be avoided.
- Avert rapid and excessive weight gain.
Avoid foods that cause inflammation:
These foods contain a lot of omega-6 fatty acids, making PCOS symptoms worse and must be avoided at all costs –
- French fries
- Red meat and other processed meats
Since many health professionals feel that dairy-based products can raise insulin levels, which can aggravate acne and other symptoms, some experts suggest avoiding dairy products as well.
Don’t take the stress:
- Stress is linked to PCOS’s onset and progression.
- According to studies, PCOS women have a heightened stress response linked to obesity and an uneven distribution of body fat.
- Stress can lead to unhealthy behavior, which has been shown to affect the fetus and the pregnancy.
Take restful sleep:
Low-quality sleep is linked to –
- A higher risk of obesity
- Insulin resistance
Both of these are essential contributors to PCOS.
As a result, improving sleep is one of the most significant lifestyle changes PCOS patients can make. Managing a sleep log and keeping a record can help.
Take the right supplements:
The correct vitamins can support a healthy pregnancy. The following supplements are suggested for PCOS individuals who are expecting:
• Prenatal vitamins can fill in any dietary shortfalls in terms of nutrients.
• Myo-inositol aids in reducing anxiety and restoring insulin sensitivity.
• Vitamin D: It promotes a baby’s healthy growth and development and lowers the chance of postpartum depression.
• Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are anti-inflammatory and helpful for PCOS.
Concentrate on pregnancy exercises:
- Exercise for between 30 and 60 minutes each day is necessary in addition to eating the proper foods since it can lower insulin resistance by raising basal metabolic rate.
- You may gain weight as a result of having high insulin resistance, which can also darken your skin and increase your testosterone levels.
- All of these problems can be solved by regular exercise.
Do not neglect your pregnancy check-ups:
- Pay attention to your symptoms.
- There are numerous alternatives for treatment.
- Without fail, take your prescribed medications, such as metformin, as skipping them increases the risk of hormonal imbalance and hypoglycemia.
- Do not fail to show up for your consultations.
- Never disregard a consultant’s advice.
Patients with PCOS are more likely to have specific complications; therefore, you should be extra careful. Some of these complications might be –
Women with PCOS have a poor reproductive profile with a significant risk of gestational diabetes mellitus, pre-eclampsia, and pregnancy-induced hypertension.
In addition to having a greater frequency of traditional cardiovascular risk factors like hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes mellitus, patients with PCOS also have a higher prevalence of nontraditional cardiovascular risk factors such as mood disorders like sadness and anxiety.
Additionally, there is debate over current clinical data on cardiovascular morbidity and death in PCOS-affected women.
Lastly, premenopausal women with PCOS risk developing endometrial cancer more than healthy women without the condition.
The significant endocrine and gynecological scientific associations concur that PCOS-positive women are more likely to experience obstetric, cardiometabolic, oncological, and psychiatric difficulties throughout their lives. Therefore, it is advised that these women be appropriately assessed with routine follow-up.
This emerges during pregnancy and goes away after six weeks. As insulin resistance is the main contributing factor to PCOS, patients may be more likely to develop diabetes.
- Oral glucose tolerance testing is recommended.
- Exercise regularly
- Eat frequently, and consume three major and three minor meals.
Hypothyroidism in Pregnancy:
Typically, hypothyroidism is identified during the prenatal stage.
Hypothyroidism raises the possibility of difficulties during pregnancy, including –
- Maternal anemia
- Placental abruption
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Early delivery
- Low birth weight
- Poor IQ in infants
- PIH typically begins to appear after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
- If left unchecked, it could develop into eclampsia and pre-eclampsia (seizures with hypertension).
- Usually, the patients require a C-section.
- Patients with PCOS may experience elevated BP as early as the first trimester.
- The importance of early diagnosis and prompt treatment cannot be overstated.
Usually, 20 percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. However, in PCOS, this rate is about 40% higher.
This higher rate is the result of several reasons, including –
- Progesterone deficiency
- Folic acid deficiency
- Lifestyle (smoking, alcohol, or drug use).
If you have PCOS and are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, there are many complications that you may face, but by following some of these tips, some of those issues can be avoided. Make your pregnancy a stress-free and healthy experience. All the best for your pregnancy!