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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    What is the recommended diet during pregnancy?

    I just found out I am pregnant and would like to take any necessary steps to ensure a healthy pregnancy. What are some healthy foods (including liquids and vitamins/supplements) I should consume?
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  • Joanne Turner

    Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist, Sports Dietitian

    Joanne Turner MSc, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Sports Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist.Joanne Turner is an award winning, accredited practising dietitian, sports dietitian and exercise physiologist, with a … View Profile

    Congratulaitions on your pregnancy!

    It is important to include a variety of foods to ensure you get all the essential nutrients, especially iron, calcium and folate during pregnancy. Adittional supplements may be needed, but it is best to speak to your docotor and dietitian regarding your individual needs as the need for supplements varies for every mother.

    A balnced diet  should include two serves of fruit with a regular piece being a serve and five serves of vegetables with ½ cup being a serve.

    To gain protein and essential minerals your need one to two serves a day  of lean meat or poultry, or vegetarian alternatives. One serve is eqaul to 80-120g Research has shown benefits of mothers consuming fish as a source of protein and healthy omega 3 fats, however it’s important to watch the mercury levels as well as two or three dairy serves such as a cup of reduced fat milk, yoghurt or 40g of cheese.

    To keep up your energy levels it’s good to include healthy Low GI carbs  such as oats, wholegrain cereals, pasta, noodles and legumes in each meal so your body knows it can nutritionally sustain a pregnancy.

    It is important to stay hydrated during pregnancy, the mother needs to excrete her own and the babies waste products and requires extra fluid intake to do so. Additional fluid is also required for the amniotic fluid and increased blood volume during pregnancy. Obviously fluid also needs to be replaced during breastfeeding. Water is the best source of fluid during pregnancy, other than dairy options.

    A topic many women do not talk about, constipation can be a common problem during and after pregnancy. It is recommended to have 30g of fibre per day. This can be achieved by having high fibre cereal for breakfast, fruit and vegetables within in snacks, including a large serving of salad or vegetables with lunch and evening meals, using high fibre grain and wholemeal breads, cereals and grains. Fibre supplements may also be required, ask your pharmacist or doctor for their recommendations.

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