e-book Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Moms Healthy Eating Guide

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Listen show more. More show more. Tags: Healthy Eating Healthy Eating - Health conditions and food Healthy Eating - Nutritional needs throughout life Healthy pregnancy - Keeping healthy during pregnancy Healthy pregnancy Healthy pregnancy - Health concerns during pregnancy. A pregnant woman needs to boost her nutrient intake, rather than her kilojoule intake. Pregnancy creates extra demands for certain nutrients, including iron and folate.

Good food hygiene is particularly important during pregnancy to avoid listeria infection and salmonella risk.

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Good nutrition during pregnancy can help to keep you and your developing baby healthy. The need for certain nutrients, such as iron, iodine and folate, is increased at this time.

A varied diet that includes the right amount of healthy foods from the five food groups generally provides our bodies with enough of each vitamin and mineral each day. However, pregnant women may need supplements of particular vitamins or minerals.

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Consult your doctor before taking supplements. Healthy weight gain during pregnancy Steady weight gain during pregnancy is normal and important for the health of the mother and baby. However, it is also important not to gain too much weight. If you are pregnant, a good approach is to eat to satisfy your appetite and continue to monitor your weight. For women who are a healthy weight, it is recommended that you gain between Underweight women may need to gain more weight between If you are overweight, pregnancy is not the time to start dieting or trying to lose weight.

However, it is recommended for women who are overweight to gain less weight during pregnancy between 5 and To maintain appropriate weight gain during pregnancy, it is important to choose healthy foods from the five food groups, and limit discretionary foods and drinks high in saturated fat, added sugars and added salt, such as cakes, biscuits and sugary drinks. Healthy eating for pregnant women It is important to choose a wide variety of healthy foods to make sure that the nutritional needs of both mother and baby are met.

Choose mostly wholegrain and high fibre options choosing foods that are high in iron, such as lean red meat or tofu. Iron-rich foods are important for pregnant women making a habit of drinking milk, and eating hard cheese and yoghurt, or calcium-enriched alternatives.

Reduced-fat varieties are best drinking plenty of water fluid needs are about to 1, ml extra per day Foods and drinks that are high in saturated fat, added sugar and salt are not a necessary part of a healthy diet and should be limited. The table below outlines the number of serves of foods from each food group that pregnant women need to make sure they have enough energy and nutrients for themselves and for the growing baby.

No need to eat for two During pregnancy, both you and your growing baby need extra nutrients, so eating healthy foods from the five food groups is important. During the second and third trimester, the energy needs of pregnant women increase. Some suggestions to help you meet these additional energy needs include: a wholegrain sandwich with fillings such as roast beef, hard-boiled egg, tinned fish see recommendations about fish below , hummus a small bowl of pasta with meat or bean sauce a small bowl of stir-fried rice with tofu.


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Folic acid folate and pregnancy Folate known as folic acid when added to foods is a B-group vitamin found in a variety of foods. Folic acid helps protect against neural tube defects in the developing foetus, so it is important for pregnant women to make sure that they are receiving enough of this important vitamin.

For women who are planning a pregnancy, and during the first three months of pregnancy, a daily folic acid supplement that contains at least micrograms of folic acid is recommended, as well as eating foods that are naturally rich in folate or are fortified with folic acid. Three slices of fortified bread g contains an average of micrograms of folic acid. Breakfast cereals and fruit juices sold in Australia may also have folic acid added. Folate in your diet Excellent food sources of folate include: asparagus bran flakes broccoli Brussels sprouts chickpeas dried beans lentils spinach.

Very good food sources of folate include: cabbage cauliflower leeks oranges orange juice parsley peas wheat germ wholegrain bread. Good food sources of folate include: hazelnuts vegemite parsnips potato salmon strawberries tomato unsalted peanuts walnuts. Although liver is high in folate, it is not recommended for women who are, or could be pregnant, because of its high vitamin A content.

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This is because the developing foetus draws iron from the mother to last it through the first five or six months after birth. Iron losses are reduced during pregnancy, because the woman is no longer menstruating. However, this is not enough to offset the needs of the developing foetus. It is important for women to eat iron-rich foods every day, such as meat, chicken, seafood, dried beans and lentils, and green leafy vegetables. Animal sources of iron are readily absorbed by the body. Iron from plant sources is not absorbed as easily, but absorption is helped when these foods are eaten together with foods that contain vitamin C such as oranges.

This is important for women who follow a vegetarian diet. The recommended daily intake RDI of iron during pregnancy is 27 mg a day 9 mg a day more than for non-pregnant women. Iron deficiency during pregnancy is common in Australia, and iron supplements may be needed by some women.


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It is important to discuss your need for supplements with your doctor, as iron can be toxic poisonous in large amounts. Iodine and pregnancy Iodine is an important mineral needed for the production of thyroid hormone, which is important for growth and development. Inadequate iodine intake during pregnancy increases the risk of mental impairment and cretinism in the newborn baby.

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Foods that are good sources of iodine include seafood and seaweed including nori and kelp , eggs, meat and dairy products. Iodised salt also includes iodine. It is important to avoid adding salt at the table or in cooking, but if you do, make sure it is labelled iodised. Due to the re-emergence of iodine deficiency in Australia, iodised salt is now added to all commercially sold bread in Australia and New Zealand, with the exception of organic and unleavened bread.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women have increased iodine requirements. Iodine supplementation of micrograms per day is recommended for women planning a pregnancy, throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Vitamin A and pregnancy Although vitamin A requirements do increase during pregnancy, vitamin A supplements are rarely recommended for pregnant women. Always be advised by your doctor before taking vitamin or mineral supplements. No need for extra calcium during pregnancy Until , Australian dietary recommendations advised increased calcium intake during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

This advice has since been revised. The recommended dietary intake for non-pregnant women 1, mg a day for women aged 19 to 50 years and 1, mg a day for adolescents or those aged over 51 remains unchanged during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt and calcium-fortified soy milk are excellent dietary sources of calcium. The dangers of dieting while pregnant Some women fear the extra weight gain of pregnancy and may decide to eat sparingly to avoid putting on body fat.

Restricted eating or crash dieting in any form while pregnant can seriously compromise your health and that of your baby, and is not recommended during pregnancy. Pregnancy in adolescence Pregnant adolescents need more of some nutrients than adult women, because they are still growing themselves. Adolescents may give birth to smaller infants, because they are competing with the growing foetus for nutrients.

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It is important for pregnant adolescents to make sure they are getting enough iron. Calcium intake is also important, because young women have not yet reached their peak bone mass, and inadequate calcium intake may increase the risk of osteoporosis developing later in life.

Constipation during pregnancy Constipation is a common occurrence during pregnancy. To help with constipation, enjoy a wide variety of foods that are high in fibre , such as vegetables, legumes, fruit and wholegrains and drink plenty of water. Some suggestions that may also help include: Eat some dry bread, biscuits or cereal before getting up in the morning. Get up slowly, avoiding sudden movements. Drink liquids between rather than with meals to avoid bloating, as this can trigger vomiting. Avoid large meals and greasy, highly spiced foods. Suck on something sour like a lemon.

Relax, rest and get into the fresh air as much as possible. Keep rooms well ventilated and odour free. Try food and drinks containing ginger, such as ginger tea, as these sometimes relieve nausea. Heartburn and pregnancy Heartburn is common in pregnancy because, as the baby grows, there is more pressure on the abdomen.

Small, frequent meals may help, compared to larger meals.

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Try to avoid: eating late at night bending, lifting or lying down after meals excessive consumption of tea or coffee. You may also like to try sleeping with your bedhead raised a few inches. You can do this by putting a folded blanket or pillow under your mattress. Alcohol during pregnancy There is no known safe level of alcohol consumption for women who are pregnant.

The Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol recommend that the safest option for pregnant women is not to drink alcohol at all. If you find it difficult to decrease or stop drinking alcohol during pregnancy talk to: your doctor or midwife your local community health service an alcohol or other drug helpline in your state or territory. The Australian guidelines to reduce health risks from drinking alcohol provide more information. Listeria infection and pregnancy Listeria infection, or listeriosis, is an illness usually caused by eating food contaminated with bacteria known as Listeria monocytogenes.

Healthy people may experience no ill-effects from listeria infection at all, but the risks are substantial for pregnant women. The greatest danger is to the unborn baby, with increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth or premature labour. A listeria infection is easily treated with antibiotics, but prevention is best. Some foods are more prone to contamination with listeria than others and should be avoided if you are pregnant.

They include: soft cheeses, such as brie, camembert and ricotta — these are safe if served cooked and hot precooked or pre-prepared cold foods that will not be reheated — for example, pre-prepared salads, pate, quiches and delicatessen meats like ham and salami undercooked meat, chilled pre-cooked meats, pate, meat spread raw seafood, such as oysters and sashimi or smoked seafood, such as salmon canned varieties are safe unpasteurised foods pre-prepared or pre-packaged cut fruit and vegetables soft-serve ice cream. The organism that causes listeria infection is destroyed by heat, so properly cooked foods are not a risk.

Salmonella and pregnancy Salmonella is a cause of food poisoning that can trigger miscarriage.

The most likely sources of salmonella are raw eggs and undercooked meat and poultry. Suggestions include: Always wash your hands before and after preparing food. Keep your kitchen surfaces clean.