For you and your little one
The right nutrition throughout pregnancy is vital for the safe development of baby although it can be quite daunting in the realisation that prior to conception, you only really ever had to worry about whether eating that extra doughnut would cause upset to your waistline! There’s all kinds of nutrients that you need to be taking in and other foods you should avoid which previously would have been top pick for you.
Before now, you may have never really bothered to learn your vitamins and couldn’t tell a B from a K, but now there’s not just you to be thinking about, it’s time to face the music and catch up on your alphabet!
Don’t worry, we’re here to help you! Follow these pointers below and you won’t go far wrong:
- Frolic in the Folic – Folic acid is essential for the safe development of your little one’s spine and by ensuring you’re getting enough (600mg daily), you may be helping in the prevention of birth defects such as spina bifida.
- Know your portion sizes – Did you know that extra weight gain in pregnancy can be mostly due to over-eating? In fact, during pregnancy you only need to consume an extra 150-300 calories in your second and third trimesters, slightly more where exercising.
- Brain power – Ensuring you are eating at least 12oz a week of Omega 3 fatty acids, e.g. oily fish, will mean baby’s brain, vision, memory and motor skills can develop safely.
- Avoid alcohol – Drinking during pregnancy can lead to baby developing behavioural problems, learning disabilities and attention-deficit disorder. Try some Superfruit mocktails instead to get those vitamins in too!
- Get your iron in – (30mg per day) Due to your increased amount of blood volume, more iron is required to transport oxygen where required. Combine iron-rich foods with vitamin c to aid absorption and you’re winning! Chicken with salsa? Surely Nando’s counts?!
- Ban bacteria – With baby’s teeny-weeny little immune system in mind, look to avoid foods which may lead to nasty food poisoning such as Salmonella and E.coli. Foods such as soft cheeses and runny eggs, may be best to avoid completely until baby is out.
- Cut caffeine – Limit yourself to 2 cups max per day (300mg) to prevent increased risk of miscarriage.
- Catch up on calcium – Aim for at least 1000mgs per day. Calcium is vital in tooth and bone development during the 2nd & 3rd trimesters.
- Fill up on Fibre – This will avoid snacking on sugary snacks and fulfilling high-calorie cravings. Consuming high amounts of sugary, fatty foods whilst pregnant can give your little one sweet cravings before they’re even born! Plus, swopping chocolate fingers for melon ones means your body will thank you post-baby! Aim for 25-35mg of fibre per day.
- Don’t forget your vitamins! – Vitamin C is great for your immune system, absorption of iron, protecting from bacteria and viruses, reducing cholesterol and increasing cell lifespan as well as being involved in lots of yummy healthy fruits, extremely nutritious and important for baby!
So there, you have it. Follow the measurement guidelines above and you’ll be sure to be providing little one with all they need to grow strong and healthy as well as set yourself up for a speedy recovery! Try not to bog yourself down with numbers though. Look to pick bright, colourful foods with a good balance of carbs, fats and proteins to keep your energy levels stocked up and keep well hydrated throughout the day.
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