What To Eat When Pregnant
Having a healthy diet when you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant is extremely important.
Eating and drinking the right things and knowing what to avoid goes a long way to ensuring the health of your baby and yourself.
Folic AcidIt is recommended that you take 400mcg of folic acid every day as early as possible in your pregnancy. Folic Acid is known to reduce the risk of Spina Bifida and you should continue taking the vitamin every day until you are 12 weeks pregnant.
Healthy Eating in PregnancyWhen pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, your diet should include plenty of calcium, fibre, protein, iron and other vitamins and minerals. Eating the following foods will help you obtain all of these things:
Five portions of fruit and vegetables every day
Food containing starch (bread, rice, pasta, potatoes)
Dairy products (milk, cheese, youhurt)
Lean meat and chicken
Wholegrain bread and pulses
Two servings of fish a week (including oily fish such as sardines and mackerel - ensure no more than two servings of fresh tuna)
It is also a good idea to take supplements containing 10mcg of vitamin D each day.
It is common for pregnant women to have an iron deficiency so it is important to eat plenty of iron-rich foods. Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables which contain vitamin C will allow your body to absorb iron. If Your GP or midwife might suggest you take iron supplements.
The following foods will help you to keep your iron level normal:
Fortified breakfast cereals
Avoid EatingPeanuts and foods containing peanut products if you, the baby 's father or siblings have certain allergic conditions such as hay fever, asthma or eczema
Mould-ripened soft cheese (Brie, Camembert, goat 's cheese, etc)
Liver or liver products (although liver is a good source of iron, it is high in vitamin A and should be avoided by pregnant women.)
Shark, swordfish and marlin (they contain high levels of mercury)
Large amounts of caffeine and alcohol
Raw or partially cooked eggs
Kathryn Crawford, Editor.