NutritionPregnancyPregnancy health


This first trimester is the time when your baby will grow and develop at a dramatic rate, but this is also when he or she is at their most vulnerable – so take good care of yourself.

You have the best incentive ever to eat healthily now. By including a wide variety of fresh, wholesome foods, you will be giving your baby the best start in life. The aim prior to pregnancy and during the first trimester is on growing a healthy placenta and making sure you are getting the right nutrients for your baby’s developing organs. The healthier the placenta, the better the exchange of nutrients and oxygen. In the early weeks, it can take a while to get used to your body’s growing nutritional demands, and you might assume that you need a significantly higher calorie intake. In fact, you don’t need any extra in the first trimester; it only rises to around 400 more in the third. Your body’s use of calories becomes more efficient in pregnancy, so calorie counting is not helpful – your appetite should be your best guide to how much food you need.

You should aim for 4-6 portions of complex carbohydrates a day. One portion is the equivalent of two slices of wholemeal bread or 140g potatoes or 4tbs cooked rice or 6tbs cooked pasta. Aim for 5 portions of fruit and vegetables and 3 portions of dairy products. One portion of dairy products is the equivalent of 200ml milk or 40g cheese or 150g yoghurt. Include 2 or 3 portions of protein a day; one portion of protein is the equivalent of 85g of meat, 115g fish or 140g cooked lentils. Finally, oils, fats and sugars should be less than 30% of your daily intake.

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