A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time, but is especially vital if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow…
The first thing is to make sure it is a Balanced diet.
It should provide sufficient food sources of major macronutrients and micronutrients required for health.
They should contain
- a good supply of vitamins and minerals in order for the body to function.
- A broad spectrum of fruits and veg of various colours (fresh ideally but tinned, frozen or dried would provide some nutrients). These are also a good source of fibre!
- Starchy carbohydrates- to provide energy as you will feel various degrees of fatigue. Wholegrain bread, pasta and brown rice will give a better chance of resisting tiredness. (Small frequent servings rather than one big portion!). These are also a secondary source of fibre.
- Good quality protein is vital as it is required to build tissues in the growing baby. Protein is found in meat, fish, dairy, beans, lentils and some vegetable sources.
- Calcium – which plays a vital role in the growth of the child’s tissues, sourced from dairy and green veg.
Refined carbs should be limited in order to stabilise insulin levels which are already affected by hormonal changes. The Glycaemic index is a good guide for carbohydrates.
There will be a constant stream of advice on what you should and shouldn’t be doing – you will find much of it is conflicting. But we would advise you to avoid:
- Due to the presence of bacteria some cheeses such as brie, camembert and soft blue cheese
- Pate as it might bring the risk of listeria
- Raw egg for the risk of salmonella
- Alcohol and caffeine as they pass through the system of the growing foetus.
It’s often asked how much weight is normal to put on.
It used to be that doctors had people diet during pregnancy and try to gain less than 15 pounds. That proved to put the baby at risk. Then they tended to say gain whatever you need to, which led to obese babies who were also at risk. Now they tend to say gain 25 pounds on average. More if you’re thin and less if you’re overweight. Your doctor or midwife will give you lots of great advice on this.
Just be sure to communicate with your trainer too as things change again when you are exercising!