I wanted to talk about considerations for pregnancy today. What you should keep in mind before falling pregnant, while pregnant, and post-birth.

It might be relevant to you or someone you know right now.

“Good nutrition is crucial for optimum child development throughout the first 1000 days of life and beyond”

The first 1000 days start in the womb. This means, what a mother eats during pregnancy does matter.

But let’s bust this myth first…

Do you really need to eat for TWO while pregnant?

Absolutely not. I wish I could have. But morning sickness (which you’ll know isn’t just in the morning) made me lose any appetite for the first half of my pregnancy.

But here’s what you need to know.

Energy requirements do not change during the first 6 months of pregnancy. It’s important to maintain a steady weight gain. During the last 3 months of pregnancy, energy requirements increase by approximately 200kcals per day – NICE (2010)

What 200kcals roughly looks like:

– 2 medium bananas
– 2 x 200ml glasses of semi-skimmed milk
– 2 slices of wholemeal toast

If you decide to exclusively breastfeed for the first 5 months after birth, this requires roughly an extra 625 kcal/day. It takes up a lot of energy to produce milk for bubba!
But do remember that when you are breastfeeding post-birth, you’re probably not moving around much either. So, it’s likely those extra cals required balance out your diet to what it may have been before birth.

Before trying to conceive, it’s ideal to start supplementing with folate and Vitamin D and throughout pregnancy.
– 400mcg Folic Acid (Folate)
– 10mcg Vitamin D (also post-birth, while breastfeeding)

You might also consider supplementing with these minerals:
– Iron
– Iodine
– Calcium

There can be side effects of constipation with an Iron supplement, it might be a little trial and error to find the best one for you.

If you’re planning a pregnancy, talk to your doctor about getting all your levels tested before falling pregnant. It’s beneficial to know if there are certain areas you should be supplementing right away (such as Iron).

I’ve also just whipped up some tables below for you to save in regards to which foods are recommended to avoid or limit throughout pregnancy, and why.

*Please don’t drink 5 cans of coke while pregnant… Far too many liquid cals from sugar. It’s just there to give you a guide of caffeine content.

Have you found this helpful or know someone who will?

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Bianca Coghlan
MNU Certified Nutritionist