Nutrition while pregnant: A quick guide

Nutrition while pregnant: A quick guide

Nutrition while pregnant: A quick guide

Pregnancy can be taxing, not only in terms of carrying a child but also in terms of the affects it can have on your body and which that last past baby’s birthday. Those nine months is the one time that you should be very aware of what you eat and drink, and how it affects the both of you.

Eating for two?

In terms of quantity, no. For the first two trimesters no additional kilojoules (calories) are needed, and only around 880 kilojoules (200 calories) per day extra are required during the third trimester.

In terms of quality, yes. Your vitamin and mineral needs literally does double. You don’t have to eat more in terms of kilojoules, but you have to make the kilojoules count by making sensible and healthy food choices.

Dietary must-haves

  • Protein – it builds new body cells and can protect you against hypertension and ecclampsia
  • Fibre – it prevents and relieves constipation
  • Calcium – all the calcium needed to build your baby’s bones has to come from your diet. Vitamin D will enable your body to absorb calcium from food
  • Iron – 27 mg is needed daily to make sufficient red blood cells for you and the baby. Low iron stores could lead to anaemia with symptoms of tiredness, poor concentration and weakness. Good iron sources are meat, leafy green vegetables
  • A good prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement that includes folic acid – folic acid plays a vital role in the formation of the baby’s nervous system. The supplement does not replace a good diet, but will support your diet in ensuring you and the baby both get all the nutrients you need
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables – help ensure you get all the nutrients needed for your baby’s health and your own
  • Six to eight glasses of water (tea, coffee, juice and other drinks excluded) – hydration keeps your skin healthy and will curb constipation and swelling.

Recommended daily servings during pregnancy

  • Fats and sweets used sparingly
  • 3 servings of protein
  • 2 – 4 servings of fruit
  • 4 servings of dairy
  • 4+ servings of vegetables
  • 6 – 11 servings of breads and grains

Our Employee Wellbeing Programme (EWP) is available 24 hours a day if you want to know more about nutrition during pregnancy. Call us on the EWP number or email us at
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