Ideally, we want our children to be in the best health that they
can possibly be in, therefore, it makes sense to give them the best
start in life that is possible - and what better way than by eating
an excellent and well balanced diet! At the same time, you want to
be in the best possible health you can be in for your pregnancy.
Eating well can help you avoid complications such as anaemia and
pre eclampsia and also help your comfort during pregnancy, such as
avoiding fatigue, morning sickness, constipation, leg cramps, to
name but a few. You can also avoid delivering your baby too early -
specifically a deficiency in zinc has been linked to an increased
risk of premature labour. Another great benefit of a well nourished
body is that it will recover post delivery much more quickly and
easily and weight that has been gained on a good diet will be shed
Focussing on eating a well balanced diet complete with complex
carbohydrates, proteins, essential fats, vitamins and minerals is
the best thing you can do for your unborn child.
Carbs such as wholegrains and a wide variety of fruit and
vegetables are the best kind to eat as they have a low glycaemic
index and are slower to digest than refined carbohydrates and
saturated fats such as processed (junk) foods. You will have more
energy for longer and your baby will be receiving the most
nutritional carbs you can give him. Eating these kinds of slow
burning carbohydrates will also assist with nausea as your blood
sugar will be more balanced.
Proteins such as fish, lean meat, eggs, low fat dairy, nuts and
legumes will assist with your baby's cell development and will also
help to keep you fuller for longer, as well as providing a wide
variety of vitamins and minerals for both yourself and your
Essential fats are just that. They are fats that your body and your
baby need. These come in the form of oily fish, nuts and seeds,
cold pressed oils, and fruits like avocados. Your body will use
these fats well - they are not fats to avoid or to be afraid of.
It's the saturated fats in processed food and fried food that we
have to be careful of and those are the ones that push up the blood
pressure and cholesterol if we consume too much of them. These
foods along with refined carbohydrates like sweets and white bread
are the ones that can cause us to really stack on the weight when
we are pregnant, so leave these for treats once a week only!
Aim to make your plate as colourful as possible when eating a
meal. This ensures that you both will be receiving adequate
vitamins and minerals in your diet. Dark greens, bright yellow and
orange, red and purple coloured foods are all very high in
essential key vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These are a must
With everything that is about to go in your mouth, ask yourself,
"Is this what my baby really needs?" if it is a yes and it will do
you both good, then eat it! If deep down you know it is a no, then
put it down and don't look at it again. Your baby's needs are your
priority and if you take care of yourself you will not regret the
rewards to come!