The old adage that you should ‘eat for two’ during pregnancy has been thoroughly debunked, but that doesn’t mean that food isn’t an important aspect of staying healthy during these nine amazing months. The foods you choose could have a real impact on several aspects of your overall wellbeing during this time. It will affect the amount of weight you gain, the energy levels you experience as your pregnancy progresses, and even the health of your baby. Including particularly nutritious foods will help to ensure that you feel your best during your pregnancy.
Once you’ve found a good obstetrician in melbourne, you’ll likely learn that the actual amount of food you eat doesn’t really need to change up until the third trimester. During the first trimester, many women are more focused on finding nutritious options that they can eat without feeling sick. In the second trimester, you can work on incorporating lots of these healthy, vitamin-packed options into your daily diet. Once you reach the last few months of pregnancy you should aim to add about 3-500 extra calories so your body has extra fuel for those last big growth spurts in the womb.
Not sure what to eat? Here are a few ideas:
- Lentils: Lentils, and other legumes like peas, chickpeas, and soybeans, are a great source of a range of important vitamins. They’re packed with folate, a B-vitamin that’s essential to the development of your baby and an important defence against certain birth defects and complications. They’re also high in protein and fibre, which will keep you energised throughout the day without the need for constant snacking.
- Salmon: Because pregnant women are advised to avoid particular types of seafood due to the risk of mercury poisoning, some become anxious around all types of fish and don’t get enough omega-3 in their diets. Salmon is rich in essential fatty acids that will nourish your body and feed your baby’s brain. Keep your fish intake to twice a week at most and you’ll be unlikely to experience anything but positive results.
- Berries: If you’re overweight or concerned about excessive weight gain during your pregnancy, berries are a great snack option. They have plenty of vitamin C and fibre, but their high water content means they’re low in calories, so you can munch away without worrying about your weight.
- Dairy: Your protein and calcium requirements grow during pregnancy, and incorporating dairy into your diet can definitely help you meet these needs. Greek yoghurt is a great low-fat source of protein that’s easy to mix with berries or granola for a delicious and filling breakfast. Choosing yoghurts that contain probiotics will also help keep your gut functioning at its best.
- Red meat: Red meat is packed with iron, a vital mineral for pregnant women and their developing babies. Iron-deficiency is common in pregnancy, and could leave you feeling weak, dizzy, and fatigued. Choose lean cuts of red meat for a powerful iron punch, and pair it with vitamin-C rich tomatoes to encourage proper absorption.
- Whole grains: Constipation can be a major issue during pregnancy, so it’s important to choose starches that are high in fibre. Eat whole grains with plenty of fruits and vegetables to strengthen your digestive system and provide long-lasting energy.