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Guidance & Tips for mums to be
Take a daily supplement
of 10µg vitamin D throughout pregnancy and 400µg folic acid up until at least the 12th week of pregnancy. Some women will be prescribed 5mg folic acid per day instead of 400µg.
Keep physically active
throughout pregnancy, aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on 5 or more days per week.
A healthy weight gain
during pregnancy depends on your pre-pregnancy weight and height. Expect to gain only 1-4 pounds (0.5-2kg) in the 1st trimester and the rest over the 2nd and 3rd trimesters – see our factsheet for more details.
Choose nutritious foods, not extra foods.
Extra energy (e.g. half a sandwich each day) is only needed during the last trimester
Balance your diet
Base each meal on wholegrain starchy foods such as bread, rice, potatoes, pasta or breakfast cereals and include:
- 3 servings of milk, hard cheese or yogurt each day for calcium and iodine
- at least 1 vegetable and 1 fruit in both main meals and include fruit (fresh, canned or dried rather than juice) with breakfast
- meat, fish, eggs, nuts or pulses at 2-3 meals each day for iron
Eat fish twice a week
with one or two servings as oily fish for omega 3 fats – if you don’t eat fish take a daily supplement of 200mg DHA but avoid fish liver oil supplements.
Choose nutritious snacks
such as fruit, nuts, yogurt, a sandwich or toast rather than food or drink high in sugar or fat.
Have about 6-8 drinks
(1½ – 2 litres) per day for good hydration – water is a good choice. Limit caffeine to 200mg per day (about 1 shot of espresso or 2 mugs of instant coffee or 2½ mugs of tea)
Thoroughly cook meat, fish and eggs; wash all soil from vegetables and fruit and avoid vitamin A supplements, liver, liver pate, unpasteurised dairy products, soft and blue cheeses, swordfish, marlin and shark; limit tinned tuna to 4 small servings per week.
to stop smoking or misusing drugs or medication and avoid alcohol.