Healthy Eating in Pregnancy

You are glowing, eating for two, you are tiny, you must be having twins, are all comments you hear when you are growing your new little human. Then you walk up to the buffet at a function to discover almost nothing you ‘can’ eat? Let’s get some clarification so you can eat a healthy delicious meal tonight without the anxiety. Firstly, there is no need to be ‘eating for two’. Whilst you are pregnant you need to eat a good nutritious diet for one healthy person. Your diet should be varied and include adequate amounts of:

  • Fruit & vegetables;
  • Breads & cereals, mostly wholegrain and/or high fibre
  • Milk, yoghurt and hard cheese
  • Lean meat, chicken and fish for iron.

When we consider what you were eating pre-pregnancy to now, we would expect you to need a few more calories, but they should be nutrient dense. Two extra serves of low GI grains such as wholegrain bread or cereal, plus one extra serve of protein will for the most part, meet all your nutritional needs.

For vegetarians sources of iron can be found in lentils, eggs, tofu and beans. If you do not eat any animal products it is recommended you have a B12 supplement, as this is particularly important for baby’s brain development.

Fish is an excellent source of protein, minerals, B12, iodine and omega-3 fatty’s acids important for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. Due to the mercury content in fish you should limit your servings to 1-3 /week.

Eat 2-3 serves per week of any fish and seafood  – Mackerel, Snapper, Atlantic Salmon, Canned salmon and canned tuna in oil, Herrings, Sardines.

Eat 1 serve per week of these fish, and no other fish that week – Catfish or Deep Sea Perch

1 serve per fortnight of these fish, and no other fish that fortnight – Shark (Flake) or Billfish (Swordfish, Marlin)

You all know to avoid soft cheeses like camembert, blue cheese, and brie but these along with fetta and ricotta can be consumed in cooked dishes as long as you eat it fresh and hot. This goes for deli and processed meats as well. Put them in a toasted sandwich or on a pizza. As for eggs, ensure the whites are cooked through and the yolk starts to thicken.

For more DO’s & DON’T’S refer to the table within this link: http://www.foodauthority.nsw.gov.au/foodsafetyandyou/life-events-and-food/pregnancy/foods-to-eat-or-avoid-when-pregnant

Feel free to ask your Hatch midwife or obstetrician for any clarification about maintaining a good diet throughout your pregnancy. Your pregnancy is unique and your needs may vary but with the right education and diet, you are setting yourself and your baby up for a safe and healthy pregnancy.