Tag Archives: pregnancy

What you CAN eat in pregnancy.

Pregnancy can feel like a time when you CAN’T do things. The food, the drinks, exercise, sleeping positions,  long haul flights…. this being my third pregnancy I wanted to focus on what you CAN do.

Pregnancy is an important time to focus on yourself and also on the new baby. The affects of eating well in pregnancy are not shortlived. Research suggests that how you eat can affect your child’s long term health including mental health, risk of type 2 diabetes, cancers, obesity and cardiovascular disease. This is known as the fetal origins of adult disease. A cohort of mums form the Dutch Hunger Famine of 1944-5 have been followed and the research has shown how their diet had affects on the children. Changes in nutrition at different stages of pregnancy can have long term affects on health.

Metabolic programming is the term used for this concept that nutrition and lifestyle choices early on in life can impact on later health. For example it has been shown that obese mums and mums that gain more weight in pregnancy are more likely to have obese children. The EarlyNutrition Project is a large scale research project looking into this further. 

The short version is, that what you eat in pregnancy can have long lasting effects. 

So I have put together a short video clip of what you CAN eat in pregnancy, the good parts to focus on. 

Look out for more posts on healthy snacks for pregnancy and see my post on healthy eating in pregnancy.

Philips: Mother and Child Care Advisory Panel Meeting.

 I love talking and sharing knowledge about breastfeeding, pregnancy, nutrition and weaning, so when I was asked to come on board as the nutrition expert for the Philips Mother and Child Care Advisory Panel I instantly said Yes.

The panel met at the High Tech Campus, Eindhoven, The Netherlands and it was an action packed few days of tours, discussions and presentations.

 

 It was very refreshing to be in a room of experts plus the Philips team who were all open to new ideas, constructive criticism and focused on the evidence base. I was struck by the desire Philips Avent have for driving new initiatives forward and trying to find the balance being creative yet basing ideas on current research.

 Highlights for me included meeting some very knowledgeable experts and getting top tips from them and having some key discussions on the what the current needs are for mums and babies in terms of nutrition.

 A visit to the Maxima Institute was eye opening, showing family centered care taking place. A place where mums and babies are cared for together post-birth, families have space to be family together, there are no visiting hours, there is even a “guest house” and toddler play ground and the medical team are seen as visiting the family. However safety and care are still at the heart of this place. Personally as a pregnant women I was walking round thinking how much I’d love to give birth in a place like that!

 

Hangout and learn about Early Life Programming

So you may remember I recently took part in a fantastic Health Hangout on the Topic of Vitamin D, if you missed it you can still go and catch up. For those of you not in the know a Health Hangout is a free online, interactive way to learn from the experts. Instead of travelling and paying to go to a lecture you get to sit back on your sofa, cuddle up with your laptop and a cuppa, then watch it either live or after the event. You can even take part by asking questions before hand. Pretty good huh.

The next Health Hangout will be: 11th April 9pm and the topic is Early Life Programming. We shall be looking at what you should eat when pregnant and how what you eat in pregnancy and what you feed your infant early on in life can impact later health. It’s a fascinating topic and I can’t wait to learn all about it from the other experts involved.

Health Hangout Early Life Programming

Send in Your Questions:

If you have any questions relevant to the topic please do get in contact.

To send in a question:

1. Tweet your question to any of our experts’ Twitter accounts along with our dedicated hash tag #HealthHo:

@Health_Hangout

@Cake_Nutrition

@dietitianUK

@Slangers1

@DrBecLang  

2. Email your question to us: hello@thehealthhangout.com

3. Post your question onto our Facebook page: click here.

Please get your questions in by Monday 8th April at 9pm.

 

So pop the 11th April in your diary 🙂

Eating Well in Pregnancy

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.

 

Top tips:

  • 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.

 

 

The Fertility Diet and the Guardian

I was fortunate enough to be asked by a media company to work with a journalist and write a column on Fertility and diet. This was fascinating for me as it meant I spent some time reading the research on this area and brushing up my knowledge. The article is at  the end of this post.

There has been some good research showing:

  • There is a U-shaped relationship between weight and fertility, with lower fertility rates in obese and underweight women, so you have the best chances of concieving when you are a healthy BMI.
  • Caffeine should be restricted to <300mg/d (1-2 cups tea/coffee). More than this is linked to an increased risk of miscarriage and poor fetal growth. Caffiene has a prolonged half life meaning it hangs around in the body so you really want to cut down the caffeine before you become pregnant. 
  • A large piece of research calls the Nurses Health study followed 17,000 plus women who were trying to conceive over a period of 8 yrs. The study showed that healthy eating is key. Women eating less trans fats, more monounsaturated fats (heart healthy fats such as olives and avocardo), more plant protein, high fat dairy products, high fibre, low glycaemic index carboydrates and more iron that comes from plants had higher fertility rates.
  •  There is some research to suggest over exercising and infertility may be linked. Although it is not proven that it is the exercise that causes the infertility, it makes sense as over exercising can stress the body and lead to being underweight, which are things we know affect fertility.
Dietitian UK: Priya features in the Guardian 26.07.12
Dietitian UK: Priya features in the Guardian 26.07.12

Eating Well in Pregnancy

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.

Top tips:

  • 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.

 

This post was written for Slimsticks.