Pregnancy diets

Essential advice and top tips on all things health-related

Dietary dos and don’ts

Go for it… A pregnant woman should consume a healthy, varied diet from all food groups, including at least three fruits and four servings of vegetables daily, explains Christina Doublichevicche, nutritionist at Health Bay Polyclinic. ‘In addition, she needs 1,300mg of calcium daily as well as extra iron, so should have at least three servings of dairy every day and several servings of iron-rich foods like green leafy vegetables, beans and meat.’ She adds; ‘You don’t actually need much fat – no more than 30 per cent of your calorie intake and this should be of the unsaturated variety like peanut butter, avocados and oily fish.’ In terms of liquids, Christina recommends lots of water, at least two cups of milk (or yoghurt) and herbal tea in moderation.

Avoid… ‘To avoid infection, don’t eat raw meat and fish, aged cheeses and unpasteurised milk,’ says Christina. She also advises avoiding fizzy drinks as they’re loaded with sugar or artificial alternatives, both of which affect your blood sugar level, weight and hydration.

Limit… ‘Try to limit your intake of fruit juices. It is much better to eat fruit, so you get the fibre,’ says Christina. ‘Also limit your intake of caffeine: 200mg is a safe amount (two mugs of instant coffee or tea, one mug of filter coffee) and never go over 300mg.’

Tip! ‘Combine vitamin C with any protein intake, like an orange salad with your steak,’ says Christina. ‘The vitamin C will help you absorb the much-needed iron more effectively.’

3 fixes for... morning sickness

Many women who suffer from severe morning sickness can lose a lot of weight during the first trimester, explains Christina. ‘As long as the baby is growing well, try not to worry. Just nibble the bits and pieces you can tolerate.’

1 Relaxation techniques
Author of bestselling childbirth preparation program HypBirth, Lori Dorman (she’s attended over 1,100 births as a birth doula) has put together this Earth Mama Morning Sickness Relief CD, offering guided chill-out techniques to alleviate some of the symptoms of morning sickness. Dhs78, Blossom Mother & Child

2 Herbal supplements
With a blend of ginger and B-6 (to reduce nausea and boost the immune system), as well as essential pregnancy nutrients like red raspberry leaf and folic acid, these obstetrician-recommended all-natural Mommy’s Bliss Morning Sickness Magic supplements are designed to curb queasiness. Dhs94 (60 capsules), Blossom Mother & Child

3 Eat dry stuff
‘Reduce sauces or gravies on food and snack on dry crackers, cereal or salted biscuits. Bananas are also good for sickness thanks to their high mineral and sugar content,’ says Christina.

Help for heartburn!

Q: I’m at the beginning of my third trimester and I’ve got dreadful heartburn. Help!

A: To help keep the belly burn at bay, Healthbay Polyclinic’s nutritionist Christina Doublichevicche recommends avoiding typical triggers such as spicy and high-fat foods. ‘Instead of three meals a day, try eating small, frequent meals. Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and avoid liquids with meals,’ she says.

Try… a cup of Earth Mama Heartburn Tea either following or between meals. This 100 per cent organic herbal tea blends spearment and chamomile to help soothe the fire. Dhs145, Blossom Mother & Child

Did you Know?

a glass of milk could help protect your unborn baby from multiple sclerosis later in life, according to scientists in Boston who conducted a study on women whose mums had drunk milk during pregnancy. It’s thought the key is vitamin D.

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