Diet, Nutrition and Pregnancy

by MuminBusiness

What to eat and what to avoid when planning for pregnancy and while pregnant.

A healthy diet is a pre-requisite for a healthy life. When preparing to be pregnant and when pregnant, it becomes even more important as your baby's growth and development can be optimised by ensuring you have all the nutrients your baby needs.

It is also important for your body. I learnt while I was pregnant that your body will direct all the best nutrients to your developing baby before you get any of the remaining nutrients. And if there is no remaining nutrients, well, you get nothing!

So make sure that both you and your baby are getting a sufficient quantity of minerals and vitamins. It is essential for a healthy pregnancy that you be conscious of eating habits.

Planning for Pregnancy

Now, if you are like most mothers-to-be, there was no planning involved.  It just happens!  You can skip this then...

However, if you are in the organised position of planning to become pregnant then read on...

Planning to become pregnant is a big step and you may think of everything but your diet.  However, a healthy weight and diet can help make the coming nine months a lot more enjoyable. So these are a few of the things that you must consider...

For You the Lady

Take Folic Acid - In the UK, women are advised to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily while preparing to be pregnant and for the first twelve weeks of pregnancy as well.

Folic Acid reduces the risk of your baby developing neural tube defects such as in Spina Bifida where the spinal cord has not formed properly.  You can, of course, carry on taking the supplement for the duration of the pregnancy.  This is just the bare minimum we should be aiming for.

For Your Partner - The father to be

A poor diet can have an effect on your sperm count.  It can affect sperm quality and quantity and we do not want that now, do we?  Taking a supplement with Zinc and Selenium will support normal fertility and also the creation of good healthy sperm (spermatogenesis).


Both of you should work on limiting alcohol intake as well.  Keep up a healthy exercise regime and start working those stomach muscles, they have a lot of hard work to do. 

During Pregnancy

A list of essential components of a healthy diet

Congratulations are in order!

Your healthcare professional will probably talk you through the best things to eat and also the foods to avoid.  

Some of the rules change though from year to year so pay attention when your health care professional or Midwife is talking you through these things and ask as many questions as you like, particularly if this is your first baby. I still remember that over the course of 4 years, the rules regarding the intake of alcohol changed for each child I had in that period.  It was a bit bemusing.

You may feel hungrier than normal, particularly when you pass that first trimester and the horrid nausea and possible vomiting pass (Unless of course you are one of the ones that has it for the duration! That would be a pity!).  Do try not to give in to the concept of 'eating for 2' as you will find out after the birth that losing the second person's weight can be pretty difficult.

Instead, keep healthy snacks to hand like fruit so when you get peckish you have great alternatives to chocolate.

  1. Try to have at least five portions of vegetables and fruit each day - Remember this can be tinned, frozen, smoothies, dried fruit or fresh.
  2. Starchy Carbohydrates, in moderation, are great too - Rice, bread,cereal, pasta, noodles, potatoes.  Get the wholewheat versions if possible.

  3.  Milk and Dairy Products - This are essential for calcium and they help you maintain bone density and your baby builds great bones.

  4. Iron rich foods like spinach and other green leafy vegetables, pulses and fortified breakfast cereals.  This should help keep anaemia at bay which is common in pregnancy.

  5. Protein - Meat fish, poultry.  Fish and White meat are better for you and your digestive system.  This class of foods provide iron as well as zinc, magnesium and essential fatty acids.  Protein can also be obtained from pulses, soya, eggs and beans 

  6. Fatty Acids including Omega 3 fats - Oily Fish like salmon, fresh tuna, trout, mackerel, sardines.  Have two portions of these each week and not more than that as fish can sometimes contain trace bits of waste which might affect the baby. 

Great Books to read when Planning Pregnancy and when Pregnant

What to Expect: Eating Well When You'...
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What to Expect When You're Expecting
Updated: 03/11/2012, MuminBusiness
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nooid on 03/23/2012

Thanks for share

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