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Healthy Eating through Pregnancy

Healthy Eating through Pregnancy


Forget the Myth - 'Eating for Two'

Weight gain during pregnancy is healthy and absolutely normal! This weight includes your baby, uterus and placenta. Trying to lose weight during pregnancy is not recommended but a healthy diet, vitamin supplementation and physical activity will benefit both you and your baby.

 

Although you may feel more hungry, 'eating for two' is a myth!

 

In almost all pregnancies no additional calories are required until the 3rd Trimester. In the last 12 weeks you'll need an extra 200 extra a day.

200 calories - examples

  • 1 Wholemeal Toast with 2 Poached Eggs.
  • 3 Tbsp. Hummus with  Veg Sticks.
  • 1 medium Banana, 1 small apple, 2 heaped Tbsp. Greek Yoghurt and Tbsp. Blueberries.
200kcals Example - Hummus & Veg Sticks
200kcals Example - Hummus & Veg Sticks

Healthy Eating

Carbs with Meals

Go for Wholegrain Starchy Carbohydrates with each meal e.g. bread, rice, potatoes and pasta. These will satisfy hunger and provide lots of fibre.

 

Carbohydrates are a vital source of energy and during the first trimester your body uses more carbs than normal.

 

Take a look at our super tasty Breakfast Recipes for inspiration, you can download them for free!

fruit & veg

Eat AT LEAST 5 portions of different fruit & veg daily. Include as many bright beautiful colours onto every plate to take in all those delicious vitamins and nutrients.

 

A fruit salad with chopped almonds and dark chocolate grated over the top is delicious! Try Kiwi, Apple, Pear and Melon for something a little different.

 

Why not add mixed frozen berries to porridge in the morning, this will certainly fuel your day! Our Black Forest Overnight Oats are absolutely divine and fantastic of you have a sweet tooth.

 

Need some veggy inspiration? Check out our free recipes here.

Bowls of Veg & Fruit, bright colours.
Looks Great - Tastes Great!

protein

Protein builds and repairs muscles, organs, skin and the immune system. Your baby uses more protein during the third trimester to fuel growth.

 

2 Servings of fish per week including 1 oily fish ensures you and your baby receive sufficient Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are essential for baby's central nervous system development.

  • Lean Meats - Avoid Pate, Liver and Liver Products. Liver is high in Vitamin A and too much can harm your baby. Pate can contain Listeria, this can harm your baby.
  • Poultry - Remove the skin.
  • Two portions of Fish a week (no more than two portions of oily fish, such as mackerel or salmon, as they can contain pollutants/toxins). 
  • Fully cooked eggs - check food packaging such as mayonnaise or mousses to ensure they don't contain partially cooked or raw eggs.
  • Pulses, beans and lentils.
  • Nuts (you can eat nuts and peanut butter while pregnant and breastfeeding,unless you are allergic to them).
  • Fish (see guidelines below)

Check out our Healthy Eating Recipes for delicious meals that are super easy to make and full of nutrients.

fats

Fats are required as part of a healthy balanced diet and are essential for your growing baby. 

Healthy Fats - Avocados
Healthy Fats - Avocados

The type of fats to go for are unsaturated fats such as:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Flax
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Oily Fish (no more than twice a week as they can contain pollutants)

Limit your saturated fats such as cream, ice cream, biscuits, cakes, pastries, and other snacks and confectionery.

dairy

Dairy helps you to get a sufficient intake of calcium and other nutrients.

 

Stick to Pasteurised or UHT (long-life) Milk.

Check that any homemade yoghurts are made with pasteurised milk.

 

If you prefer dairy alternatives then go for an unsweetened with added-calcium options.


Guidelines on Foods to Avoid or Limit during Pregnancy

fish guidelines

AVOID

  • Shark, Swordfish, Marlin - Due to high levels of mercury that could affect baby's nervous system development:
  • Raw or undercooked Shellfish  - Due to bacteria and toxins, e.g. Oysters, mussels, scallops, clams, winkles, prawns, shrimps, crabs, crayfish. If you are concerned then take out the risk and avoid these as they have no specific advantages  over other fish sources.

 

LIMIT

  • Fresh Tuna - no more than 2 steaks a week (170g Raw).
  • Tinned Tuna - no more than 4 tins a week (140g per can drained).
  • Oily Fish - no more than twice a week as they can contain pollutants.

Sushi is OK if it's frozen first and Vegetable sushi OK. The safest way is to opt for fully cooked or vegetable options.

cheese guidelines

SAFE TO EAT Cheese - as long as they are made from pasteurised milk.

  • Hard Cheeses: cheddar, Parmesan and Stilton.
  • Cottage cheese
  • Mozzarella
  • Feta
  • Ricotta
  • Halloumi
  • Cooked Goats cheese (no rind and thoroughly cooked until steaming throughout - see the NHS Guidelines on Goats' Cheese.)
  • Spreads/ processed cheese

 

Halloumi on Griddle
Hello Halloumi - Safe to eat during pregnancy if made from pasteurised milk.

AVOID - Mould-Ripened Soft Cheese

  • Brie 
  • Camembert
  • Danish blue
  • Gorgonzola
  • Roquefort

Any unpasteurised dairy and mould-ripended soft cheeses (white rind cheese) should be avoided. See the NHS Guidelines on all foods to avoid in pregnancy.

limit the high sugar food & drinks

For a healthy lifestyle, limit your saturated fats and sugary snacks such as cream, ice cream, biscuits, cakes, pastries, and other snacks and confectionery.

 

Take a look at our Healthy Snack Recipes to replace the sugary snacks and keep your energy up.

Sugar Roller-Coaster
Replace sugary snacks with healthy homemade snacks and fresh fruit.

Vitamins

Eating a healthy varied diet through your pregnancy should help you get most of the vitamins and minerals needed for you and your baby.

 

When you are pregnant the NHS recommends:

  • 400 micrograms of folic acid each day - from before you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks pregnant.
  • 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day - throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Vitamin D can be found in Salmon, mackerel, herring, eggs and red meat.

 

Avoid Vitamin A

 

Some supplements may include vitamin A which should be avoided. Vitamin A can also be found in pates and fish liver oils.

 


Physical Activity through Pregnancy

Here is the recommended physical activity through pregnancy. Everyone is different but even if you have not been active before pregnancy, you can start with walking and build up gradually (always check with your GP)

 

If you have been exercising before pregnancy and want to keep going through pregnancy then when not come and join us at Move with Mumma? We offer a FREE Session so you can try the classes out, our health and fitness packages include online support and workouts, healthy eating recipes and health assessments as well as training sessions with highly qualified instructors. Take a look at our classes here.

Department of Health and Social Care Info-graphic
Physical Activity Guidance - Department of Health and Social Care

Please note this is general healthy eating advice and information, if you have specialist requirements or any concerns then please consult a nutrition professional or your GP.

 

Resources

RCOG

Department of Health & Social Care

NHS

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