Proper pregnancy nutrition is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. The food you eat is the main source of nutrition for your baby.
On a daily basis, your pregnancy nutrition routine should include a variety of foods from the four main food groups.
â€¢ Fruits and vegetables. Aim for at least five portions each day.
â€¢ Starchy food. Try to choose wholegrain options of bread and pasta, brown rice, and potatoes.
â€¢ Foods rich in protein. These include lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs, beans, and lentils. Try to get at least two portions of fish (including oily fish) a week.
â€¢ Dairy foods. Opt for milk, yogurt, and cheese, which provide calcium.
Dairy products, along with sea fish and sea salt are all good sources of iodine. You need plenty of iodine for your pregnancy nutrition to help your baby’s development.
For the first six months of pregnancy you donâ€™t actually need any extra calories. Then you only need about 200 extra calories per day for the last three months.
Your appetite is your best guide of how much food you need to eat. You may find fluctuations of your appetite throughout your pregnancy:
â€¢ In the first few weeks, especially if you have nausea, you may not feel like eating proper meals.
â€¢ Your appetite may not change or be vaguely increased in the middle part of your pregnancy.
â€¢ By the end of your pregnancy your appetite will probably increase.
The best rule to remember when speaking about pregnancy nutrition is to eat when you are hungry.
Some vitamin supplements may be good insurance to make sure youâ€™re getting the right nutrients.
During your pregnancy it’s recommended that you take two important supplements:
â€¢ 400 mcg folic acid a day – for the first 12 weeks
â€¢ 10 mcg of vitamin D a day – during your entire pregnancy
Later on in your pregnancy you may need to take an iron supplement. Calcium is also important for proper pregnancy nutrition – you’ll need twice as much each day.