We all need to eat a healthy diet, but when you’re pregnant, it becomes even more important for the well-being and development of your unborn baby.
Just because you’re eating for two doesn’t mean you need to eat twice as much. In fact, at the beginning or your pregnancy, your baby is so tiny that your pre-pregnancy food intake is sufficient for the first trimester. During the second and third trimesters, however, you’ll find that your appetite increases as your body begins to require more energy to support your growing baby.
There are certain vitamins and minerals that are important to your baby’s development. Your diet should contain foods that are rich in folate, iron, iodine and vitamin A. Try to eat a good balance of the following:
You should also aim for a water intake of at least eight glasses a day because it helps your body absorb all the essential nutrients from your food and deliver them to your baby.
Sometimes those famous pregnancy cravings can have you longing for all sorts of treats, but you need to keep an eye on your consumption of several things:
When you’re pregnant, you need to be especially careful to avoid being infected with bacteria like Listeria and Salmonella, which can be present in some kinds of foods. Hormonal changes during pregnancy make you less able to fight these kinds of infections, and they can be fatal to an unborn baby. Commonly, doctors advise that you avoid soft cheeses, processed meats, cold cooked chicken, pre-prepared salads and fruits, pâté, soft-serve ice-cream and raw seafood. For a full list, visit The Department of Primary Industries website.
You should also avoid all alcohol during pregnancy. There is no known safe level of consumption. Drinking alcohol while pregnant places your baby at a higher risk of miscarriage, birth defects, low birth weight, and fetal alcohol syndrome.
By following these diet guidelines, you can be assured you’re making a positive contribution to a safe and happy pregnancy.