Pregnancy & Nutrition
This guide has been developed by
Professor Hakim Dilshad Hussain Tabassum (Gold Medalist)
Ex-member: American Infertility Association (USA)
All the important answers for mums-to-be ……….
Pregnancy is an exciting time and a special journey to producing a new life. Itis also a time when what you eat and drink becomes more important as you areproviding two people – yourself and your growing baby – with thenutrition required every day. This practical guide is designedto help you understand what these nutritional needs are,how they change and the best foods to choose during preconception,pregnancy and breastfeeding. You don’t need aspecial diet during pregnancy, but you do need to choose a dietthat is healthy, balanced and full of the extra vitamins and mineralsthat you and your baby needs.As your baby grows his/her nutritional requirements will change, soyour diet should reflect this. However, whilst you do need a diet that ispacked with nutrients, vitamins and minerals, it is important not to fallinto the trap of ‘eating for two’ as your need for extra calories only reallyincreases during the third trimester of pregnancy, and even then, not by agreat deal.In addition to eating well it is also important to take care of yourself in other ways, such asensuring adequate rest and relaxation time and keeping fit and active. Pregnancy is demanding,both physically and emotionally so don’t be afraid to ask those around you for extra help andsupport, whether it be with household chores or at work.Every woman’s experience of pregnancy is different, and it passes sooner than you think, so takethe time to enjoy your changing body, to eat well and to pamper yourself – after all nothing ismore special than bringing a new life into the world.
Becoming pregnant -what to eat when you areplanning to conceive.
Making the decision to plan for a pregnancy is an ideal time for you and yourpartner to review your diet and lifestyle and make changes in order to achieveoptimal health before conception. It is also a good time to ensure your intake ofmicronutrients are increased, particularly those known to be at greater demandduring pregnancy e.g. folic acid, vitamin D, calcium and iron.What you eat and drink can make a difference to both female and male fertility andthe basics are the same for both mums and dads-to-be:
Consume a balanced and varied diet, rich in vitamins and minerals:
• Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least 5 portions each day) to boost vitamin and mineralintakes.
• Choose iron rich protein foods such as lean meats, eggs, beans and lentils.
• Try to include one portion of oily fish each week e.g. salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines etc.
• Avoid shark, swordfish and marlin, and limit tuna (fresh and canned) due to highmercury content.
• Include low fat dairy foods every day for extra calcium e.g. low fat milk & yoghurts etc.
• Choose healthier snacks such as fruit, dried fruit, fortified breakfast cereals etc.
• Avoid (or limit) alcohol.
• Give up smoking.
• Achieve an ideal body weight.
• Be active on most days.
Do’s and Don’ts of Diet during Pregnancy.
In addition to eating a wide variety of foods, there are certain precautions that shouldbe taken to safeguard the baby’s well-being. Your immune system tends to be slightlyless effective during pregnancy leaving you more vulnerable to tummy bugs and upsets soextra care is needed. Follow some well established do’s and don’ts for food and food preparation.
• Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly. so that there is no trace of pink or blood, and wash all surfaces and utensils after preparing raw meat. Also use aseparate chopping board for raw meats. Store properly in the fridge.
• Wash fruit, vegetables and salads thoroughly, even pre-packaged typ esthat are washed and ready to eat.
• Make sure eggs are thoroughly cooked .until the whites and yolks are solid,and avoid foods containing raw and undercooked eggs like fresh mayonnaise,uncooked cheesecake and mousse.
• Only drink pasteurised or UHT milk. If only raw or unpasteurised milk is available, boil it first. Don’t drink unpasteurised goat’s or sheep’s milk or eattheir milk products.
Ten basics of Healthy Eating for Pregnancy.
1.Base every meal on starchy foods like bread, potatoes, rice, pasta, chapatis, yamsand cereals. These provide energy for you and for the baby to grow. Thecan also be agood source of fibre, help you feel full and satisfied, and combat fatigue.
2.Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Aim for a wide variety and at least 5servings every day. Fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced all count.
3.Choose foods rich in protein such as lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs,soya, beans and nuts. These foods are also great sources of iron.
4.Eat more fibre rich foods such as wholegrain breads and pasta,brown rice, wholegrain or high fibre breakfast cereals, pulses,fruit and vegetables to help prevent constipation and piles.
5.Eat plenty of dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurts.Dairy foods are a major source of calcium, important for themother’s and baby’s teeth and bones. Choose low fat varieties when you can.