Keeping track of all the advice out there if you’re expecting can feel overwhelming! The Infant & Toddler Forum are here to help, with our list of pregnancy top tips.
Eating for two? Not quite!
It’s a common belief, that a pregnant woman can expect to ‘eat for two’! However, the Department of Health recommends an extra 200 calories per day only in the final three months – women in their first and second trimesters should continue to eat the same size meals as before pregnancy. Examples of food providing 200 calories include two slices of buttered bread, half a chicken and salad sandwich, or a bowl of wholegrain breakfast cereal with milk.
Balance your diet
A healthy balanced diet during pregnancy is good not only for the growth and development of your baby, but also your own health, both in the short and long term. You can find all the nutrients you need for a healthy pregnancy in a balanced diet, except for vitamin D and folate/folic acid which are required as supplements. Be sure to include 3 servings of milk, hard cheese or yogurt each day for calcium and iodine, at least 1 vegetable and fruit in both main meals, (as well as fruit with breakfast) and meat, fish eggs, nuts or pulses at 2-3 meals each day for iron.
Weight gain – During pregnancy, gaining either too little or too much weight can be bad for both your health and the health of your baby.
While there is currently no UK evidence-based guidance on pregnancy weight gain, guidance from the USA suggests that those who begin pregnancy with a normal BMI should look to gain 11.5-16kg, those who are overweight, 7-11.5kg and those who are obese, 5-9kg. Those who were underweight before pregnancy could gain 12.5-18kg. You should expect to gain only 0.5-2kg in the first trimester, with the remainder spread out over the second and third trimesters.
Although always important, food safety is all the more vital when you’re expecting! Be sure to thoroughly cook meat and fish, to wash all soil from fruit and vegetables and avoid vitamin A supplements. Other foods to avoid include liver, liver pate, unpasteurised dairy products, soft and blue cheeses, swordfish, marlin and shark. If you enjoy tinned tuna, be sure to limit this to 4 small servings a week!
To find out more guidance and pregnancy top tips, visit our Ten Steps for Healthy Pregnancy