Pregnancy & Nutrition
6.Make snacks nutritious. Snacking is common during pregnancy. Howevertoo many indulgent snacks can result in excessive weight gain. Healthier snackchoices include: malt loaf; currant buns; low-fat yoghurts; bread or vegetable sticks;breakfast cereals; milky drinks, fruit smoothies and fruit.
7.Aim for two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily. Oily fish includessalmon, trout, sardines, pilchards etc and are important for supplying the baby with longchainfatty acids (AA, EPA and DHA). DHA contributes to the normal development of theeyes and brain of the foetus*. If you never eat oily fish speak to youmidwife about takinga pregnancy supplement which contains omega-3, such as Vitabiotics PregnacareR Plus.
8.Get active and try to maintain a healthy weight. The average pregnancy weight gain is10-12 kilograms or 22-28lbs. Gaining too much weight can affect your health and bloodpressure. Equally, it’s important to avoid dieting when pregnant as this can limit thebaby’s access to nutrition. Being active not only helps to moderate weight gain, but alsoprepares the body for birth.
9.Drink plenty of water and other fluids. Pregnant women dehydrate more quicklythan normal so drinking plenty of water and other fluids is important, especially whenexercising or if the weather is hot.
10.Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast provides a vital boost to energy and nutrient levels, somake sure you get every day off to a great start for you and your baby.
Vulnerable Vitamins & Minerals
What & how much you need per day Role in pregnancy Particular concerns/times Rich sources Folic Acid 400mcg supplement plus 300mcg from food. 3⁄4 women fail to eat enough from diet and over half do not take a folic acid supplement prior to confirmation of pregnancy.Contributes to maternal tissue growth during pregnancy.Taking the correct amount can reduce the risk of having a baby with Spina Bifida by 40%. Women should take a 400 mcg folic acid supplement from the time contraception stops and until at least the twelfth week of pregnancy and also choose foods rich in folates. Women with multiple pregnancies or with a previous history of neural tube defects should double the dose. Black eye beans, brussels sprouts, beef or yeast extract, kidney, kale, spinach, spring greens, granary bread, broccoli and green beans. Also added to some soft grain breads and breakfast cereals. Vitamin D 10 mcg Up to 100% of women fail to consume sufficient amounts from their diets. Contributes to normal absorption/ utilis ationof calcium. All pregnant and breastfeeding women. Main source is sunlight. Also found in oily types of fish, eggs and full fat dairy products. Also added to margarines, some yoghurt and breakfast cereals. Iron 14.8mg 8 out of 10 women eat too little. 2 in 5 women enter pregnancy iron deficient. Contributes to normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin. Anaemia is common during pregnancy affecting both the mother’s and baby’s well being. All meat, especi allyred meat, fortified breakfast cereals and white bread, beans, chick peas, baked beans, eggs, dried fruit, nuts and seeds. Calcium 700mg 1 in 2 women eat too little. Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bone and teeth. Most of the baby’s calcium is laid down in bones during the 3rd trimester. Milk, cheeses, yoghurt, fortified soya milk and soya products, canned fish e.g. pilchards and sardines, added to white bread, beans and baked beans, almonds and hard tap water.
Many people in the WORLD consume a diet which contains lower than ideal levels of vitamins and minerals. This occurs for several reasons including; low fruit and vegetable intake, hectic lifestyle,erratic eating pattern, lack of balanced diet and poor food choices. As a result of this, many womenare at risk of not meeting the increased vitamin and mineral requirements during pregnancy.Many women choose to take a pregnancy specific multivitamin and mineral supplement, suchas Vitabiotics Pregnacare® or Pregnancy. Plus in order to boost dietary intake and ensure that the baby is receiving everything that he or she needs. Some women are eligible for free
vitamins – just ask your midwife. Common Dietary Myths Now that I’m eating for two, can I eat twice as much as before? In short, no. Falling for the myth of eating for two is likely to result in excessive weight gain, which is not good for you or the baby. The body becomes more energy efficient during pregnancy in order to meet the increased energy needs so you only need to eat slightly more e.g. the odd extra slice of bread or one or two healthy snacks each day. I’ve been having strong food cravings – does this mean I am deficient in something? Cravings or aversions to food vary between women and even between pregnancies in the same woman. We don’t really know why food cravings or aversions occur, but they are likely to be caused by hormonal changes to taste and smell rather than any specific deficiencies for vitamins
or minerals. For many women food cravings or aversions are unlikely to be harmful but if the craving is for unusual foods, such as coal or matches then it is important to discuss this with your midwife. Eating spicy food will bring on labour. Is this true? No. Eating spicy food close to a due date may cause tummy upsets but that is as close to bringing on labour as you might get. So if you enjoy spicy foods you are safe to carry on eating these throughout the whole of pregnancy. I love herbal teas but have been advised to avoid raspberry tea until the end of my pregnancy. Why is this? Raspberry leaf tea is thought to have a stimulating effect on the womb, helping to induce
contractions. Therefore intake of this is not usually advised until towards the end of pregnancy, generally after 36 weeks. Whether raspberry leaf tea helps with labour still requires further research, as there have been few studies in this area. I’ve been feeling sick all day – why is it called morning sickness? The cause of morning sickness is thought to be due to the rise in hormone levels during pregnancy. For many women nausea and sickness are at their worst in the mornings hence the
name morning sickness, but it can indeed be ‘any time of day sickness’. Most cases resolve by the end of the first trimester, but may continue after this time. Women who are severely affected should speak to their midwife for advice on how to cope with this troublesome problem.
Diet after birth & breast feeding.
Breast milk is the best choice for your new baby. It provides all of the nutrients the baby will need as well as extra immunity against infection. It also helps your body return to normal after the birth and utilise the extra body fat stored during pregnancy. In the first year the baby will triple its weight and double in length, so not surprisingly the nutritional demands of breastfeeding are quite high. Feeding a new baby (whether by breast or bottle) can be exhausting in terms of disturbed nights and loss of sleep, so try to make sure you get all ofthe help and support you need in order to get adequate rest during the day, especially during the first few weeks. The basics of healthy eating after birth remain exactly the same as during your pregnancy, however your energy needs will be higher so you may need to include regular snacks in addition to meals if breastfeeding.