Dr Glenda McLaren
Obstetrician & Gynaecologist

Diet Tips During Pregnancy

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Essential Diet Tips For A Healthy Mom And Baby

As you embark on the incredible adventure of motherhood, we understand that taking care of yourself and your growing baby is of utmost importance. One vital aspect of a healthy pregnancy is maintaining a well-balanced diet. Below are some diet tips to help you along your way. The Bloom team looks forward to supporting you with further advice on diet and nutrition throughout your pregnancy.

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Diet tips During Pregnancy

There are a number of foods that should be avoided in pregnancy due to the risk of Listeria. Foods to avoid include cold meats, pâté, sushi, soft cheese, soft serve ice cream and unpasteurised dairy foods. For more information see Food Standards Australia.

It is important to have a diet rich in iron during pregnancy. Red meat, green vegetables and mushrooms are all rich sources of iron. Your iron levels will be checked during pregnancy and if you are deficient in iron or you are vegetarian, an iron supplement may be necessary. Fefol®, FGF® or Ferrograd C® are all excellent supplements taken once per day with orange juice. If you are constipated, Spatone Liquid® is a good iron supplement to take.

Antenatal Iron

 

Fish is a rich source of omega three and iodine which is necessary in pregnancy. It is important to be aware of the mercury content of certain fish. If you are unable to tolerate fish in your diet a fish oil supplement may be of benefit. For more information see here.

A healthy balanced diet can be supplemented by a multivitamin in pregnancy to ensure you are getting the minimum daily allowance of all the essential vitamins and minerals for your baby.
There are a number of commercially available pregnancy multivitamin preparations which you can buy over the counter.
See you pharmacist to check which one is best for you. It is important that the supplement you take is safe for pregnancy.

Vitamin D is necessary for maintaining strong muscles, bones and teeth. It also helps your body to absorb calcium. Vitamin D is contained in some foods, namely sardines, mackerel, eggs, margarine and milk. Many pregnant women are deficient in Vitamin D due to the expanded plasma volume of pregnancy and our limited sun exposure as we work indoors.
Most of our Vitamin D comes from the sun and it is recommended to have a few minutes exposure every day.  A simple blood test can determine if you are deficient in Vitamin D and a Vitamin D supplement will be recommended if you are.

Iodine is an important nutrient needed to make Thyroid hormones, which are essential to ensure the normal development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. The NH&MRC recommends that all pregnant women take 220ug of iodine per day and breast-feeding women should have 270ug iodine per day.

The following general food safety tips will help you have a healthy pregnancy:

  • Thoroughly wash all fruit and vegetables before eating
  • Wash hands and chopping boards after cutting up raw foods
  • Cook all meat thoroughly
  • Avoid eating foods left out of the fridge for some time
  • Ensure salads are freshly prepared and well washed
  • Make sure cold foods are stored below 5 degrees C
  • Don’t refreeze food once it has been thawed
  • Make sure hot foods are cooked above 60 degrees C
  • Reheat leftovers to above 74 degrees for at least 2 minutes before eating
  • Eat any leftovers within 24 hours

More Food Handling Information.

Your oral health is very important especially with all the hormonal changes of pregnancy. It is important to see your dentist for regular check-ups during pregnancy and to clean your teeth regularly as gingivitis or inflammation of the gums is common.

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