What to eat - and avoid - in pregnancy to stay healthy and give your baby the best start in life.
A good diet can help you combat health problems during pregnancy, and ensures your baby gets the best start in life. For optimum nutrition in pregnancy, eat small (only an extra 300 calories in the third trimester), frequent meals that include:
Such as wholegrains, beans, lentils and vegetables, which give a steady release of energy and provide plenty of fibre to aid digestion and guard against constipation.
Such as lean meat, beans and lentils, fish, quinoa (a grain), eggs and dairy.
Found in oily fish (mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines), nuts, seeds, pulses and beans (including soya), which are vital for your baby’s brain and eye development. Avoid saturated fats, found in full-fat dairy products and meat, and hydrogenated fats in margarines and baked goods.
Particularly antioxidant vitamins C and E, and selenium, which may lessen the risk of pre-eclampsia. Eat at least five portions of fresh fruit and veg daily, and combine colours.
Such as fortified breakfast cereals, pulses, seeds, dried fruits, and leafy veg such as chard or spinach. Eat with vitamin C-rich foods to increase iron absorption.
In milk, cheese, almonds, whitebait, dried prunes and fortified soya milk.
You need 400mcg of folic acid a day to reduce the risk of birth defects and miscarriage.
Broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C – important for healthy new cells and increased iron absorption.
Dr Rana Conway, nutritionist
"I’ve been on some sort of diet for most my adult life, so I saw pregnancy as a chance to ditch the diet and indulge. It was liberating, but I went too far, eating an extra 600 calories a day, and piled on four stone. I pulled back and started to concentrate on filling up on fruit and vegetables again before treats, and I found some of that weight came off, it made me feel a lot better."
Rhian, 31, mum to Rhodri, 1
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