What should I eat during pregnancy?

by sivklemets | on 27th December 2012 |

Whilst pregnant it is important to take good care of your health, a balance between eating healthy food and keeping fit is essential. Eating healthily whilst pregnant will ensure your baby develops normally and you keep fit and well. It is not necessary to go on any special diet, but you must ensure that you eat a balance diet, made up of different foods each day so that your body has the necessary nutrients available to supply to your growing baby.

What should I eat during pregnancy?

Here are some general guidelines:-
• Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables each day, these are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as fibre
• Starch rich foods are also helpful such as breakfast cereal, try to eat wholemeal bread and wholegrain where possible
• Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yogurts are all good as they are rich in Calcium, be careful to avoid ripened soft cheeses such as brie or camembert as these can be possible sources of Listeria infections.
• Try to cut down or cut out sugar and sugary foods and drinks, avoid sweets, or fizzy drinks, cakes, jams and the like, these are energy rich but lack other nutrients. Coke drinks contain caffeine and other artificial sweeteners and should be avoided. Caffeine can affect you babies' birth weight and should be avoided.
• Cut down fatty foods, try to avoid junk foods and foods high in fat such as chocolate, these are tasty but can cause you to gain too much weight.
• Vitamin supplements, if you have a varied diet you should not need supplements, Folic Acid is helpful to take before pregnancy and you should continue taking it until week 12.
• Citrus fruits are a great source of Vitamin C and oily fish is rich in Vitamin D, be careful of some fish such as shellfish or Salmon as these can contain high levels of mercury.
• Lean meats, leafy vegetables and nuts contain iron, a lot of women have issues with low iron levels leading to tiredness and anaemia during pregnancy, so eating these will help to avoid those issues.

• As mentioned above teas and coffees should be cut down to the minimum or switch to de-caffeinated varieties.
• Cut out Alcohol and recreational smoking as these present major health risks to your growing baby. There are non-alcoholic versions of many drinks available now and these are far better options, they can still however cause weight gain, so be careful. Stop smoking as soon as possible.
• Avoid some foods such as uncooked eggs, ripened soft cheese and Liver products such as liver sausages or Liver pate, these contain high levels of Vitamin A which is a possible health issue for your growing baby.

Always speak to your Doctor about your diet before making major changes to your diet and fitness regime, during pregnancy. They may also be able to give you further advice on how to improve your diet. Remember to balance diet and exercise to ensure your overall health is the best it can throughout your pregnancy.

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