Pregnancy and birth is a nerve-wracking time even when things go perfectly. You want to eliminate any further worries by preparing and looking after your body and that of your child as it forms inside you. A low birth weight can cause anxiety and worry for parents, even though babies weighing as low as a solitary pound (450 grams) have survived. You can do your best to make sure yours is a healthy weight by following these simple steps.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- A wide variety of food
- Professional advice
Eat healthily with whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Eat starchy foods like pasta and potatoes and try and increase the variety of your diet. If you’re hoping to be told to bulk up on foods traditionally associated with weight gain then think again. Don’t go out and eat battered sausages and chips four times a day.
Drink whole milk and don’t be afraid to treat yourself because you need an increase of everything during pregnancy – including fats and proteins. However, being pregnant doesn’t give you a free ticket to gorge on junk food. Eat only small portions of these treats. The old rule of everything in moderation should get you through most of your pregnancy and if you develop cravings for chocolate spread on sardines then go for it.
Try specialist vitamins. Although you may be able to get the right amount of vitamins from your diet, many women choose to take vitamin supplements to boost their levels of things like folic acid. There are a wide variety of brands selling specialised vitamins for pregnant women, so pick one and make sure to take them as advised.
Make sure you know what foods to avoid during pregnancy, because there are plenty you should avoid to ensure an optimum birth-weight and good all-round health. These include raw or undercooked meat , liver, some kinds of cheese, some kinds of fish (including raw shellfish and sushi), peanuts, unpasteurised milk and caffeine. It also goes without saying that you should not drink alcohol above set guidelines or smoke while pregnant.
Tips and warnings
- If you have specific dietary requirements talk to your doctor as soon as you become pregnant so they can advise on a more personalised diet.
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