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Healthy diet, healthy you, healthy baby

 Taking good care of yourself is always important, now you have even more reason to look after yourself. A healthy diet is an important part of pregnancy for you and your babies growth and development. It is also important that once your baby is born you continue to eat well to make sure you have all the energy you need to look after your new-born, especially if you are breast feeding. 

There is no special diet put into place when pregnant, but you need to ensure you eat a wide variety of foods daily to make sure you receive all the nutrients you and your baby needs, tiredness is common in pregnancy but if you eat well this will help. It is extremely important to make sure you take folic acid during pregnancy (and when planning for pregnancy) 400 micrograms is advised and should be taken up to week twelve of your pregnancy. Folic acid will help to prevent any birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida. 

What should and should'nt you eat whilst pregnant

healthy pregnancy diet

Go to town with your fruit and veg, 2 Cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day. For those who aren’t too keen on fruit and veg don’t look at it as a chore, look around, try some new fruit and veg you might find some new favourites. Get yourself a smoothie book and find some smoothies to add some veg to. Get out the cook book and try some homemade vegetable broths theyre easy and as tasty as you make them. Make it new and enjoyable, include leafy greens and squeeze in some legumes. 

Starchy foods / carbohydrates should take up around a third of your diet. Try and avoid the refined starch (white) food, go for wholegrain and high fibre options like brown rice and pasta and keep the skins on your jackets. Brown bread and high fibre cereals, noodles, maize, millet, oats, yams the list goes on. Choose heathier options of cooking, go for oven chips not fried and make sure you have a steamer for your vegetables to keep all that goodness in.

Don’t forget your protein intake, protein is what your body uses for cell development so effectively to create skin, muscle, hair and bones etc. Aim for three servings daily, that’s around 75 grams a day. Foods such as beans, pulses, meat, fish and eggs. Always choose meat careful, nice lean meat is best and always remove the skin from poultry.  If you are vegan, no problem you just need to increase your intake of foods such as grains and legumes and soy, there are always alternatives for gaining the vitamins and minerals we need. 

Dairy during pregnancy is important, dairy products are packed with 9 essential nutrients calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin, and niacin (niacin equivalents). Dairy is important for your babies bones but go for low fat products where possible. 

Avoid raw and undercooked eggs and be mindful of product which can contain raw eggs such as mayonnaise. Salmonella poisoning can occur should your eggs not be properly cooked through.  

You would think that you couldn’t go wrong with a glass of milk, however unpasteurized milk and this includes unpasturised goats milk or sheep milk and foods which are made with unpasturised milk is a no no. 

       pregnancy diet

 You need to be a little more careful with meat, ensure that any red meat and poultry is cooked thoroughly, no traces of blood or pink should be present. Toxoplasmosis is present in some meats such as salami, pepperoni, parma ham and chorizo, this is because they are not cooked but they are cured and the fermented. Foods with a lot of vitamin A also need to be avoided such as liver pate or liver sausage. 

It is advisable to eat 2 portions of fish per week, however you do need to be careful in choosing which fish to eat as some have high levels of mercury. The same rule applies as with meat, take care to ensure the fish is cooked properly, it would be wise to avoid shellfish altogether.

Alcohol should be completely avoided whilst trying for a baby and whilst pregnant as it is seriously harmful to your babies growth and development. Caffeine should also be limited to 200 milligrams a day, too much caffeine can cause miscarriage and cause your baby to have a low birth weight. 

What if you have eaten something you shouldn’t have whilst pregnant? 

Its difficult to remember all the do’s and don’ts whilst pregnant, if you have eaten something you shouldn’t have its likely your body will tell you, you may feel unwell pretty instantly. However, this is not guaranteed, and it is always worth checking with your midwife or doctor for any side effect you should look out for.












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