You are growing a new human being! That’s a hard job and your body needs to be well prepared for this extraordinary task.
Fill your body with nice & heathy food during the pregnancy. A well-balanced diet will give you and your baby lots of energy.
Don’t eat for two - it’s a myth you need to do so. You can be more hungry than usual, though. Eat up to your hunger but don’t overeat.
What is your balanced diet?
A balanced diet should consist of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. They contain a lot of fibre, which will help you to avoid constipation. Constipation of quite common during pregnancy, so eat a fair amount of fruits and veggies and drink plenty of water.
It’s also important to get enough carbohydrates. Good sources are brown bread, pasta and oats.
Remember about your proteins, too. Great sources of protein are meat o fish, but if you are vegan you can replace them with beans or nuts.
Important thing is that the meat you eat during pregnancy should be cooked through. Be careful with cold cured meats like salami or chorizo (they might contain parasites, which cause toxoplasmosis).
Avoid liver and pâté (even a vegetarian one), because they are high in vitamin A and studies show that excessive amounts of vitamin A during pregnancy can cause congenital birth abnormalities.
When it comes to fish you should have 2 portions of fish per week. This included 1 portion of oily fish, such as salmon or mackerel. Avoid deep-sea fishes like sprat fish or marlin. Good news is that smoked salmon is perfectly fine and so is sushi, but only if the fish was frozen first.
Take a look at the amount of tuna you are having. You can have 2 tuna stakes or 4 tuna cans a week.
Eggs are also a great source of protein. The safest option is to choose eggs stamped with a British Lion mark. If the eggs don’t have the stamp they have to be cooked (no running yolk allowed). Also, be careful about homemade mayonnaise.
You can also eat dairy products while you are pregnant.
- Hard cheeses (like cheddar) are absolutely ok.
- Soft cheeses (for example mozzarella cheese, cream cheese or cottage) are also ok as long as they are pasteurised (if they are not it should say so on the packet). Always cook unpasteurised cheese.
- Regarding the blue cheeses - eat them only cooked.
Drink or not to drink?
When it comes to questionable drinks, it’s ok to have coffee, as most pregnant women ask about this. You can take 200 milligrams of caffeine a day. This equals about 1–2 cups of coffee. However, remember that caffeine is also in chocolate bars and fizzy drinks.
Don’t drink more than 4 herbal teas a day.
Of course, remember that alcohol is harmful to your baby. High-levels of alcohol have been researched and we know they ave great negative impact on the baby’s wellbeing. Although we are not sure about the effect of low amounts of alcohol it’s safe to say that any amount of alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy.
Some extra vitamins
You should have all your vitamins coming from the balanced diet, but there are 2 supplements recommended for pregnant women:
- folic acid (400 micrograms a day) - you should start taking it when you are trying to conceive and then up to 12 weeks pregnant
- vitamin D (10 micrograms a day) - all the way through your pregnancy and breastfeeding
Take care of yourself: eat well, sleep on your left side, exercise if you can and remember to have a rest!