The real pregnancy diet rules

April 26, 2018
Pregnancy, Your Health is Their Health

Every pregnancy is different. Some women crave chocolate with their first child and then can’t fathom the thought of sugar when carrying their second. Some women exclaim lethargy from day dot, and some feel like they are bouncing off trampolines of energy for nine months. No matter who you are, what you crave, or how you are feeling, there is one thing that is certain – a balanced and healthy diet is important for your health during pregnancy.

The wonders of the web are saturated with convoluted and often contradictory advice on what is best to eat and what to avoid while pregnant. From differing peer advice, to controversial go-to guides, staying healthy whilst pregnant can seem overwhelming and complicated, but it need not be.

By simply adopting a holistic approach to health and abiding by a healthy eating routine, the changes you should make to your diet to support your growing little one, need not seem like such a drastic change to your lifestyle.

When pregnant, the body is a constant sea of turning tides, and during this time the body is actually changing to make absorbing nutrients and storing vital minerals easier. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to eat for two, the importance lies in what you put in to your mouth to nourish your own body, which in turn will nourish theirs.

In addition to a healthy and balanced diet, probiotics can support general health and wellbeing by encouraging good bacterial diversity in your gastrointestinal tract.

Trimester One

Also known as the “dreaded morning sickness phase,” the first trimester of any pregnancy is often documented as the hardest. While it may seem difficult to smell, digest, or even keep certain foods down, consuming particular food groups can help minimise the effects of morning sickness.

Eating small amounts, more regularly is a great way to not overwhelm your changing body. Each meal should include complex carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes or wholegrain crackers with hummus to help support sustained energy.

It is common to turn to comfort food when on the first trimester hormone rollercoaster. Fatty foods are hard for the body to digest in the first trimester so while they may seem comforting, the instant gratification is rarely worth the end result.

Folic acid is an important vitamin to be taken prior to conception and up until 12 weeks of gestation to help assist in the baby’s development. A diet packed with folate rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, spinach, cabbage and broccoli can assist in folate supplementation. 

Trimester Two

By the fourth month of pregnancy, a baby’s senses are developing, they are reacting to their environment and your hormones and senses are heightening like crazy.

Heightened hormones and senses can lead to the much talked about cravings that co-align with this trimester. While it may seem impossible to put that spoon full of ice cream down (and yes, you definitely need that 4am pizza) there are ways to balance out the unhealthy by simply adopting a holistic approach to your diet.

A weekly diet throughout the second trimester should incorporate good fats and oils, such as fish at least twice a week. A pregnant body naturally needs iron and eating lean meats like chicken can provide an additional source of iron. 

Probiotic rich foods such as sauerkraut or taking probiotics supplements can assist in maintaining the beneficial bacteria within your digestive tract and support your bowel health.

Trimester Three

Indigestion is a common problem in the late stages of pregnancy. Unlike trimester two, foods that are high in fat and even certain spices can leave you uncomfortable.

Vitamin C in the form of citrus fruit and yellow, red and orange vegetables is a helpful dietary addition during pregnancy, particularly in trimester 3.

No matter who you are or the symptoms you are feeling, it’s important to maintain adequate vitamin and nutrient intake during pregnancy.

Probiotics can be a good adjunct to a healthy, balanced diet to support your immune system health, digestive health and general health and wellbeing.

Life-Space Probiotic for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding contains Lactobacillus rhamnosus HN001 which may assist in reducing the prevalence of eczema in young children with a family history, when taken during pregnancy, breastfeeding and in the first two years of life

There are no official rules to follow that will set you up for a cruisy pregnancy, and there are no certain guidelines for doing it right. One thing to remember however, is that we care for those we love best when we look after ourselves first and a nutritious, balanced diet is a great place to start!

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