Eating well during pregnancy
If you are pregnant, eating well is vital for your baby to develop, and for your body to deal with the changes taking place.
During pregnancy your body undergoes many changes to ensure that your developing baby is properly nourished and well protected. Eating healthily throughout your pregnancy is vital to prioritise nutrients for your baby and prevent any deficiencies. At no other time in your life will the quality of food you eat have a greater impact.
Healthy eating, healthy baby, healthy you
Your health and the environment in your womb when you are pregnant ‘set the stage’ for your baby's future health – potentially reducing or increasing the chance of birth defects, or your child’s risk of chronic illness like heart disease in later life. Plus your body needs specific nutrients to help develop your baby's bones, brain and nervous system, and avoid the risk of a neural tube defect like spina bifida.
When you are pregnant, your body becomes very efficient at absorbing nutrients from the food you eat. All the goodness is passed onto your baby, but your own stores of nutrients can be depleted if you don't eat healthily.
For example, you could become anaemic. Your body needs to make a lot of extra red blood cells to carry oxygen around your body and to your baby. And your baby will take a lot of iron from the food you eat to make its own red blood cells. Both can impact on your body’s reserves of iron.
So think about eating for two as quality, not quantity. You don't actually need many extra calories (just an additional 200 or so in the third trimester). Plus it's important not to be underweight or overweight while you're pregnant, as both can lead to complications for you and your baby. You can make your food count (even your cravings!) through regular meals that pack a nutrient punch and really nourish your baby, and you as well.
Eating well may also help you manage symptoms often experienced in pregnancy, like constipation, or feeling tired and low in energy. So you can feel good, and enjoy being pregnant!
If you want to feel energetic during your pregnancy and create the best environment for your growing baby, eating well is a great place to start. Pip nutrition can also help if you are considering getting pregnant, or are a new mum. Book a one-to-one consultation with Kym Lang for expert nutrition advice that fits with your lifestyle—with an approach that is personal, imaginative and possible.