Eating Well in Pregnancy.
Pregnancy is an important time to be focusing on your health and on eating well so both mum and baby get all they need to grow.
However pre-pregnancy is as important, you want your body to be in tip top form and able to provide the baby with all it needs, then continue eating well into pregnancy and throughout breastfeeding.
- Reduce or cut out alcohol pre-pregnancy.
- Super sizing your fruit and veggies, aim for more than 5 portions a day.
- Take 400 µg of folic acid every day pre-pregnancy and for the first 12 week of pregnancy.
- Wash all fruit, veggies and salads to remove any traces of soil which could contain toxoplasma.
- Go wholegrain as often as possible with bread, pasta, rice and other starchy foods.
- Up your iron stores by eating red meat, green leafy veggies, fortified breakfast cereals, dried fruit, nuts, seeds, tofu, pulses and beans regularly.
- Eat regular meals and keep snacks healthy.
The big pregnancy myth is that you need to eat enough for 2. Unfortunately this isn’t true! The body becomes more efficient at using the food you give it. So you don’t need to eat any extra until the second and third trimester when you may need 2-300 kcals extra a day.
There are several foods that you need to stay away from when pregnant:
- Mould ripened cheese (brie, camembert, goats cheese that has a hard rind).
- Soft blue cheese (Danish blue, gorgonzola, roquefort).
Cheese made with mould can contain listeria, listeriosis can cause miscarriage and increase the risk of still birth.
- Eggs should be well cooked, raw and undercooked eggs can cause salmonella poisoning. Avoid home made mayonnaise as well.
- Pate can also contain listeria.
- Raw and undercooked meat.
- Liver, liver pate, liver sausage and other liver products, these contain high levels of vitamin A which can cause birth defects.
- Alcohol should be avoided due to fetal alcohol syndrome.
- Caffeine should be limited to no more than 200mg per day (2 mugs of tea or instant coffee, 1 mug filter coffee). Watch out for caffeine in energy drinks, chocolate, hot chocolate and cola drinks.
- Sword Fish, shark and marlin should be avoided due to the levels of mercury they can contain, oily fish should be limited to 2 portions a week due to the levels of PCB’s and dioxins (pollutants) in them.
- Shellfish should only be eaten when properly cooked as these can also cause food poisoning.