Your health during pregnancy
Good nutrition during pregnancy, and enough of it, is very important for your baby to grow and develop. You should consume about 300 more calories per day than you did before you became pregnant.
You don’t need to go on a special diet, but it’s important to eat a variety of different foods every day in order to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need. You should also avoid certain foods in pregnancy – see below Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy.
Fruit and vegetables
During pregnancy you will feel different things in your life. You will feel and require more than nutritional needs when you are not pregnant. This requirement can you get naturally from fruits and vegetables from around you.
As often as possible, try to eat seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day – three servings of fruit and four of vegetables.
Buy pre-cut, pre-washed fruits and vegetables. If you are eating less veggies and fruits because preparation is a hassle, this approach will help you rise above the challenge.
If you don’t like eating vegetables, “drink” them in soups or shred them into your favorite dishes. Good choices include broccoli and cheese soup, butternut squash soup, ginger and carrot soup, tomato soup, and roasted vegetable soups.
Add fresh fruit to your yogurt. Fruit parfaits are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get both calcium and fruit servings. Toss together slices of fresh bananas, strawberries, and pineapples.
Starchy foods carbohydrates
Starchy foods include bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, maize, millet, oats, sweet potatoes, yams and cornmeal. Starchy foods are an important source of vitamins and fibre, and are satisfying without containing too many calories.
Starch is the most common form of carbohydrate in our diet. We should eat some starchy foods every day as part of a healthy balanced diet.
Starchy foods are a good source of energy and the main source of a range of nutrients in our diet. Try different breads, such as seeded, wholemeal, and granary, and go for thick slices. Eat wholemeal instead of processed (white) varieties when you can. Have more rice or pasta and less sauce.
Canned Fruit, Dried Fruit, Fruit Leathers, Smoothies, Low-fat yoghurt, Unsweetened breakfast cereals, Hard boiled eggs, Nuts.
Snacks play a major and growing role in our diets. Serving healthy snacks is important to providing good nutrition, supporting lifelong healthy eating habits, and helping to prevent costly and potentially-disabling diseases.
Trying to follow a nutritious prenatal diet – don’t skip snack time! Prenatal nutrition experts generally advise eating two food groups at each snack, aiming for a balanced amount of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
Protein is a great choice for a snack because it is the building block for every cell. It also helps many moms when they are feeling fatigued or even nauseated.
Preparing food safely
Before preparing food, make sure that hands, clothes, equipment and kitchen surfaces are clean. They willalso need to be kept clean throughout food preparation.
Raw meat, including poultry, contains harmful bacteria that can spread easily to anything it touches. This includes other food, worktops, tables, chopping boards and knives. Use a separate chopping board for raw meats.
Cooking food at the right temperature will ensure that any harmful bacteria are killed. If you’ve cooked food that you’re not going to eat immediately, cool it at room temperature and then store it in the fridge. Putting hot food in the fridge means it doesn’t cool evenly, which can cause food poisoning.
You need to make sure that some foods, such as eggs and sausages, are cooked very thoroughly. If you cook bacon, sausages or eggs, it is very important to handle them carefully and cook them properly.
Cold food (which is to be served hot) will need to be quickly and thoroughly heated at the event until it issteaming hot and then kept hot until it is served. It is best to re-heat the food to a temperature of 70°C andhold the food at this temperature for at least two minutes. Use your thermometer to check that all of the foodreaches at least this temperature.
Dairy products (fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese)
Dairy foods such as milk, cheese, fromage frais and yoghurt are important because they contain calcium and other nutrients that your baby needs. Choose low-fat varieties wherever possible.
Dairy products are excellent sources of calcium, protein, vitamin D, and phosphorus. These nutrients are important for your baby’s developing bones, teeth, muscles, heart, and nerves, and for blood clotting.
Aim to eat three to four servings of calcium-rich foods a day, enough to give you 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium.
Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy
There are some foods you shouldn’t eat during pregnancy because they could cause food poisoning and harm your unborn baby.
Raw Meat: Uncooked seafood and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. These can cause uncomfortable symptoms like nausea and diarrhea, but, more worryingly, they are also associated with miscarriage and preterm birth.
Un pasteurized Milk: Un pasteurized milk may contain a bacteria calledlisteria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which can be life-threatening. Make sure that any milk you drink is pasteurized.
Liver: Don’t eat liver or liver products, such as liver p?t? or liver sausage, as they may contain a lot of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can harm your baby. Pregnant women used to be told to eat liver as it is high in iron and women may become anemic during pregnancy. However Liver is also very high in vitamin A and an excess can damage fetal development therefore women are now advised not to eat liver or its products while trying to get pregnant or while pregnant.
Raw Eggs: Raw eggs or any foods that contain raw eggs should be avoided because of the potential exposure to salmonella. Don’t eat raw or undercooked eggs and avoid foods that contain them, such as homemade mayonnaise.Make sure that eggs are thoroughly cooked until the whites and yolks are solid. This prevents the risk of salmonella food poisoning.
Fish: There are some types of fish you should limit, such as tuna and oily fish, and some types of fish you should avoid completely, such as shark. Also, don’t eat raw shellfish, as it can cause food poisoning. Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. A sample of these types of fish include: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Canned, chunk light tuna generally has a lower amount of mercury than other tuna, but still should only be eaten in moderation.
Alcohol and Caffeine: During your pregnancy, it is important that you try to avoid alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can pass through your placenta and prevent your baby from getting much-needed oxygen and nutrients. Though you may be used to having a glass of wine with dinner, alcohol can severely damage your baby and hinder her development. Avoid caffeine during the first trimester to reduce the likelihood of amiscarriage. As a general rule, caffeine should be limited to fewer than 200 mg per day during pregnancy. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it helps eliminate fluids from the body. High levels of caffeine can result in babies having a low birth weight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life.
This web page is for information and support only and NOT a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment! Nothing on this web page should be construed as medical advice. Please check with your own physician about any information that concerns you.