Understanding your pregnancy nutrition is vital when carrying your child as it has a tremendous impact on its health and development. It's important as an expectant mother to know how your pregnancy nutrition affects your unborn child, and how to tailor your pregnancy nutrition so that they provide the nutritional needs of both yourself and your infant.
The first thing to knowing what your pregnancy nutrition needs are that during pregnancy, your body needs a lot more energy in order to deal with the physical demands of a growing child and natural milk production. To allow for this, pregnant women should aim to include an extra 150 calories in her pregnancy diet in the first and second trimester, and up to 300 calories extra in the third.
Nutritionally, your pregnancy diet should rely on more or less the same principles as your regular diet. Centre meals around a carbohydrate base, likes breads, cereals, rice and potatoes. Make sure to get all of your five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. It's recommended that you try for two or three servings of dairy products, like milk, yoghurt and cheese. It's especially important to keep these up because they are rich sources of the vitamins and minerals used in the production of breast milk. You can eat two portions of protein sources like meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and pulses. Lastly, you can eat sweets and foods high in fat, but try to keep these to a minimum. Bare in mind that any weight you gain during pregnancy will be weight you will have to work off after the baby is born. It's also a good idea to take a 400mg folic acid supplement leading up to conception and three months after.
Avoid foods like liver, pate, pasteurised and soft cheeses, ready prepared salads and raw or undercooked meat or eggs as these foods can be ripe breeding grounds for bacteria which can harm your baby.