When you first become pregnant, many changes begin to take place. While some things change on their own, there are some things you must change yourself in order to maintain health and wellbeing during your pregnancy.
Good nutrition during pregnancy can help to keep you and your developing baby healthy. Check out our handy guide to pregnancy and nutrition below.
Consult a doctor
A varied diet that includes the right amount of healthy foods from the five food groups will generally provide our bodies with the adequate amount and variety of vitamins and minerals it needs each day. However, pregnant women may need to take vitamin or mineral supplements during pregnancy. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements. They may recommend that you have a blood test or see a dietitian to review your need to take extra supplements.
Healthy weight gain during pregnancy
Steady weight gain during pregnancy is normal and important for the health of both you and your baby. However, it is also important not to gain too much weight. Excess weight gain during pregnancy can increase your risk of a number of health issues and as such, should be carefully maintained. If you are pregnant, an adequate approach is to eat to satisfy your appetite and continue to monitor your weight. To maintain a suitable weight gain during pregnancy, it is essential to:
- choose healthy foods from the five food groups
- limit foods and drinks high in saturated fat added sugars and added salt, such as cakes, biscuits and sugary drinks
- remain active during your pregnancy.
The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends the following servings per day for pregnant women:
8 to 8 ½ servings from the bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles group — an example of 1 serve is 1 slice of bread; ½ medium bread roll; ½ cup of cooked rice, pasta or noodles; ½ cup of cooked porridge or cup of breakfast cereal flakes. There is an allowance of about 15g a day for poly or monounsaturated fats and oils that can be used to spread on bread or rolls or used elsewhere in the diet.
5 servings from the vegetables, legumes group — an example of 1 serve is 75g or ½ cup cooked vegetables; ½ cup cooked dried beans, peas, lentils or canned beans; 1 cup of salad vegetables; or 1 small potato.
2 servings of fruit — an example of 1 serve is 1 medium apple; 2 small pieces (150g) of fruit (apricots, kiwi fruit, plums); 1 cup of diced fruit pieces or canned fruit; ½ cup of fruit juice; or 1 ½ tablespoon of sultanas.
2 ½ to 3 ½ servings from the milk, yoghurt, cheese group — an example of 1 serve is 250ml of milk; 250ml of calcium-fortified soy beverages; 40g (2 slices) of cheese; or 200g (1 small carton) of yoghurt.
3 ½ servings from the meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and legumes/beans group — an example of 1 serve is 65g cooked meat or chicken; 1 cup of cooked beans; 100g cooked fish fillet; 30g nuts or seeds; or 2 large eggs.
If you need any further advice on nutrition or pregnancy in general, it is important to contact an obstetrician as they will be able to tell you the best measures you can take for your body.
If you have any questions about preparing your body for pregnancy, or would like to book an appointment, please do not hesitate to get in touch.