Now that you’re eating for two (in terms of nutritional needs not quantity), you need to watch your intake of food and drink more conscientiously, to ensure that the developing fetus gets enough of the nutrients he or she needs. If you haven’t started, it is time to start eating nutritious and well-balanced meals. If morning sickness, heart burn or frequent hunger pangs are getting you down, try to eat 5-6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones.
Your daily diet should include food from the four main food groups:
Fruits & vegetables
Avoid boiling as this reduces the nutritional value
Green leafy vegetables like spinach are great for increasing your folate levels
Starchy carbohydrates including breads, pasta, rice and potatoes
Choose wholegrain whenever possible
These include lean meat, fish, eggs and pulses
Some red meats like beef and liver boost your iron levels
Oily fish like salmon are great for their Omega-3
All meat should be properly cooked before consumption (pass on the medium rare steaks for a while)
Calcium is important for bone-building – both for you and baby
These include milk, cheese and yoghurt
Don’t suddenly start eating proportions that make it seem like you are preparing for a marathon! Your body probably only needs 200-500 more calories that you would normally eat, and your appetite may fluctuate throughout the nine months, especially during the first trimester.
Do refrain from any sort of dieting during your pregnancy, as withholding certain foods from your body could harm you and your baby. Instead, keep to a balanced, wholesome diet, and try not to worry about losing the weight you are gaining. Remember that having a steady weight gain is a good sign that all is progressing well.
On the other hand, if you do gain weight too quickly or are overweight to begin with, your gynae will probably advise you on what foods to cut back on and what kinds of exercise you can do to keep fit. Here’s 10 ways to avoid gaining too much pregnancy weight!
By Dorothea Chow