When you are expecting a baby, your diet will need special consideration. Here are some basic but important advices.
- Avoid foods that may contain listeria, salmonella, and toxoplasma. These include refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods (meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy - unpasteurized milk and milk products or foods made with unpasteurized milk), Make sure that any eggs, meat and fish you eat is cooked right through.
- Be choosy with your seafood. Seafood may contain mercury.66 You should not eat fish high in mercury like shark, swordfish, tilefish, and king mackerel. Canned “white” tuna (albacore) is higher in mercury content than the “light” variety; limit canned white tuna to less than 6 ounces per week. Mercury can harm the developing nervous system in an unborn child or young baby. However, you may choose those lower in mercury like salmon, flounder, tilapia, trout, pollock, and catfish.
- Cut back on caffeine. Try to keep your caffeine consumption to a less than 200 mg a day, which is equivalent to 1 cup espresso, or 2 to 3 cups of regular coffee. This is equal to about one 12 oz cup of coffee. Don’t forget caffeine in chocolate, tea, and some soft and energy drinks. High caffeine intake is associated with delayed conception, spontaneous miscarriage, and low birth weight.
- Avoid alcohol. Drinking during pregnancy, especially in the first few months of pregnancy, may result in a range of lifelong physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities in the baby.
How to manage common conditions in pregnancy
- Try a supplement specifically designed for morning sickness, like Elevit Pronatal. Elevit reduces the risk and severity of morning sickness.
- Avoid strong tasting, odorous foods.
- Avoid an empty stomach at all times eating small amounts of food often rather than several large meals – but don’t stop eating.
- Ginger (in the form of spice in foods and drinks, or extracts in teas) to be a safe and effective solution to relieve nausea and vomiting.
- Prevent a full stomach. Dividing your meals into smaller portions and consuming them throughout the day is better than consuming huge meals that overload your digestive system and make you feel bloated. For example, eat a small portion of food, wait 20 to 30 minutes, then take some liquid.
- Switch to lactose-free products because some women have reported becoming lactose-intolerant during pregnancy.
Heartburn, acid indigestion
Acid indigestion and heart burn are common during pregnancy. Try the following tips 62 for some relief.
- Avoid intake of reflux-inducing foods or substances like greasy and spicy foods, tomatoes, highly acidic citrus products and carbonated drinks.
- Eat small meals regularly to avoid overloading your digestive system.
- Make postural changes, such as raising the head of the bed.
- Avoid eating within three hours of going to bed at night.
- Take an antacid supplement containing calcium carbonate that can be used during pregnancy.
Hormonal change during pregnancy can give you constipation. Few things you can do to help prevent constipation. These include:
- Eat plenty of high-fibre foods you can tolerate like cereals and dried fruits.
- Drink plenty of water to help flush out your system.
- Exercise regularly – a gentle walk at the start of the day may be helpful.
Important vitamins and minerals for pregnancy support