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Worldwide studies have shown that even with a good diet, extra nutrients may be necessary before and

during pregnancy. Vitabiotics Pregnacare® and Pregnacare® Plus have been carefully developed to help safeguard dietary requirements, from the start of trying to conceive, during all of pregnancy and up until the end of breastfeeding.
Pregnacare® includes the recommended level of 400mcg folic acid, plus essential vitamins and minerals vital for mother and baby and is suitable before conception, for all of pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. Pregnacare® Plus provides a special dual pack combining the original Pregnacare® tablet with a special omega-3 DHA capsule for even greater care. The comprehensive multivitamin tablet delivers essential nutrients for pregnancy including the recommended level of 400mcg folic acid. The additional omega-3 capsule provides a rich source of the important fatty acids, Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) plus Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) for healthy fetal brain and eye development and the omega-3 fatty acid Arachidonic Acid (AA).
Original prenatal tablets Dual pack with Omega-3

Also available:

of pregnancy & nutrition
This guide has been developed by UK Dietitian, Angie Jefferson BSc. RD. RPHNutr. in conjunction with Vitabiotics Pregnacare®, the UK’s number one pregnancy supplement. A quick and practical guide to looking after you and your baby during preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.


Pregnacare® Breast-feeding

Pregnacare® Conception

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For further information
contact Vitabiotics Ltd, 1 Apsley Way, London NW2 7HF telephone 020 8955 2645 email pregnacare@vitabiotics.com visit www.pregnacare.com
This material is supported by
While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information contained in this guide is accurate and reliable, this is intended as a guide only and not a substitute for advice from a health professional. Please note Vitabiotics cannot guarantee the reliability of facts obtained from other third party information sources. BRPRGTKA5AZWL1

all the important answers for mums-to-be

Good luck and enjoy every minute. However. 2 “ “ ! Message from Angie Jefferson In addition to eating a healthy diet. dried fruit. I worked on this guide whilst I was pregnant so the information provided has been very important to me. In addition to eating well it is also important to take care of yourself in other ways. This practical guide is designed to help you understand what these nutritional needs are. for all of pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding.with the nutrition required every day. swordfish and marlin. and even then. Give up smoking. and it passes sooner than you think. it is important not to fall into the trap of ‘eating for two’ as your need for extra calories only really increases during the third trimester of pregnancy. to eat well and to pamper yourself – after all nothing is more special than bringing a new life into the world. rich in vitamins and minerals: • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least 5 portions each day) to boost vitamin and • Choose iron rich protein foods such as lean meats. 3 . whilst you do need a diet that is packed with nutrients.4mg) folic acid supplement and choose foods rich in folates to protect against neural tube defects from before conception until at least the twelfth week of pregnancy (see page 8). how they change and the best foods to choose during preconception. pregnancy and breastfeeding. particularly those known to be at risk during pregnancy e. sardines etc. Additionally: • Take a 400mcg (0. calcium and iron. • Avoid too much vitamin A. If there is a history of food allergy or allergic disorders such as asthma or eczema in mother. mercury content mineral intakes. Pregnacare® Plus also includes an additional omega-3 capsule for fetal brain and eye development. but you do need to choose a diet that is healthy. Consultant BSc. fortified breakfast cereals etc. What you eat and drink can make a difference to both female and male fertility and the basics are the same for both mothers and dads-to-be: • Consume a balanced and varied diet. You don’t need a special diet during pregnancy. It is also a good time to ensure your intake of micronutrients are increased. such as Vitabiotics Pregnacare® Conception or Pregnacare® Plus. so your diet should reflect this. The overwhelming volume of information that you are given whilst pregnant can be confusing and this complete. so take the time to enjoy your changing body. whether it be with household chores or at work. low fat milk & yoghurts etc. such as ensuring adequate rest and relaxation time and keeping fit and active. • Avoid shark. • • • • Avoid or limit alcohol. Male partners may also choose to take a supplement specifically designed for male and reproductive health such as Vitabiotics Wellman® Conception.g. Every woman’s experience of pregnancy is different. • Take a daily supplement of vitamin D. • Try to include one portion of oily fish each week e. mackerel. RPHNutr. beans and lentils. trout. vitamins and minerals. women are advised to avoid peanuts and products containing these during pregnancy and breastfeeding to reduce the risk of peanut allergy in the newborn. not by a great deal.welcome introduction Pregnancy is an exciting time and a special journey to producing a new life. plus the vitamins and minerals vital for mother and baby and are suitable for conception. • Have more alcohol free days. Also take a look at the Do’s and Don’ts section on pages 4-5 for additional guidance on specific food choices. Pregnancy is demanding. but practical guide should make it easier for your ninemonth journey to motherhood. and limit tuna (fresh and canned) due to high • Include low fat dairy foods every day for extra calcium e. balanced and full of the extra vitamins and minerals that you and your baby needs. Becoming pregnant what to eat when you are planning to conceive Making the decision to plan for a pregnancy is an ideal time for you and your partner to review your diet and lifestyle and make changes in order to achieve optimal health before conception. salmon. RD. dad or brothers and sisters. some women also choose to take a one-a-day multivitamin and mineral that is specifically designed for preconception and pregnancy. Achieve an ideal body weight. folic acid. It is also a time when what you eat and drink becomes more important as you are providing two people . both physically and emotionally so don’t be afraid to ask those around you for extra help and support. As your baby grows his/her nutritional requirements will change. Pregnancy specific supplements contain the recommended level of 400mcg folic acid.yourself and the growing baby . eggs.g. Be active on most days. • Choose healthier snacks such as fruit.g.

sardines and trout. hot chocolate. including vegetable pâté. or high levels of certain nutrients or substances they contain. allergy • Only drink pasteurised or UHT milk. This also applies before conception and during breastfeeding. epilepsy. blindness. as they Vitamin A may contain large amounts vitamin A. there are certain precautions that should be taken to safeguard the baby’s well-being.5 cups of coffee or 4 cups of tea combined in any one day. This is because raw shellfish might contain harmful Food bacteria and viruses that cause food poisoning. 5 . such as Brie. S T S L S S S T • Don’t eat liver or liver products such as liver pâté or liver sausage. after going to the toilet and before eating. • Don’t eat raw shellfish. asthma. • Don’t have more than two portions of oily fish a week. • Wash fruit. etc) if mother. If you smoke it’s important to give up as soon as possible as this can be very harmful to your baby.g. • Avoid alcohol. The Department of Health advice is to avoid alcohol Alcohol if pregnant or trying to conceive. vegetables and salads thoroughly. In rare cases this can cause brain damage. Avoid supplements containing vitamin A – check the label. affects the baby’s growth and development Poor growth and low birth weight S L T 4 Salmonella: a common cause of food poisoning which can cause severe symptoms during pregnancy and can lead to miscarriage and stillbirth. However if you do choose to drink. T. such as Stilton or Danish blue. Betacarotene is safe. and mould-ripened soft cheeses. This means no more than 2. dad or any previous children have a history of hayfever. either because of the way they are produced. • Limit caffeine to no more than 200mg/day. This includes partners too. However shellfish that is part of a hot meal and has been thoroughly cooked is fine. Risk of L toxicity Do’s • Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly so that there is no trace of pink or blood. Don’ts Some foods pose a particular risk during pregnancy. • Make sure eggs are thoroughly cooked until the whites and yolks are solid. Reduces risk of • Don’t eat any type of pâté. as passive smoking can be just as dangerous to the unborn baby. Oily fish includes High levels of salmon. • Don’t eat peanuts and foods containing peanut products (e. ! • Don’t Smoke. Toxoplasmosis: an infection caused by a tiny parasite that is found in soil and cat faeces. eczema or other allergies. Listeria: a bacteria which causes mild tummy upsets or flu like symptoms. and avoid foods containing raw and undercooked eggs like fresh mayonnaise. do not drink more than 1-2 units of alcohol once or twice a week and do not get drunk. and wash all surfaces and utensils after preparing raw meat. even pre-packaged types that are washed and ready to eat.Do’s and Don’ts of Diet during Pregnancy In addition to eating a wide variety of foods. Do however include one portion every week for important omega-3’s. Can also lead to miscarriage and stillbirth. High levels of mercury • Make sure that raw foods are stored separately from ready-to-eat foods to reduce the risk of food poisoning. Your immune system tends to be slightly less effective during pregnancy leaving you more vulnerable to tummy bugs and upsets so extra care is needed. Don’t drink unpasteurised goat’s or sheep’s milk or eat their milk products. than 2 servings fresh or 4 small cans) because the mercury levels in these fish is high and can damage the baby’s developing nervous system. Camembert. boil it first. If only raw or green-top milk is available. and don’t forget that cola. chocolate bars and energy drinks also contain caffeine. Speak to your GP or midwife for help and support in smoking cessation for both parents. peanut Peanut butter. contaminants • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling any food. and blue varieties. some snacks. peanut oil. marlin and swordfish and limit tuna intake (no more • Reheat ready-to-eat poultry and cooked chilled meals thoroughly and ensure that these are piping hot before they are eaten. The foods below are best avoided during pregnancy. poisoning • Wear gloves when gardening or changing the cat’s litter tray. which could harm the baby. mackerel. Also use a separate chopping board for raw meats. Follow some well established do’s and don’ts for food and food preparation. miscarriage and stillbirth. uncooked cheesecake and mousse. • Don’t eat shark.

Eat more fibre rich foods such as wholegrain breads and pasta. If you never eat oily fish speak to your midwife about taking a pregnancy supplement which contains omega-3.Healthy Eating during Ten basics of Healthy Eating for Pregnancy 1 2 3 4 5 6 Base every meal on starchy foods like bread. fish. Get active and try to maintain a healthy weight. for both you and the baby. Don’t skip breakfast. Breakfast provides a vital boost to energy and nutrient levels. These foods are also great sources of iron. but also prepares the body for birth. yoghurts etc • Protein foods . bread or vegetable sticks. yams and breakfast cereals. fruit and vegetables to help prevent constipation and piles. currant buns. vitamins and minerals. other cereals & potatoes 7 8 Milk & Dairy foods Foods containing fat and sugar The picture above gives you an indication of balance in terms of the quantities of each food group required. Dairy foods are a major source of calcium. sardines. help you feel full and satisfied. pasta. so make sure you get every day off to a great start for you and your baby. Eat plenty of dairy foods such as milk. EPA and DHA) which are essential for development of the eyes and brain. chapatis. Equally. pulses. Fresh. Being active not only helps to moderate weight gain. The average pregnancy weight gain is 10-12 kilograms or 22-28lbs. Choose low fat varieties when you can.meat. Gaining too much weight can affect your health and blood pressure. dried and juiced all count. brown rice. Choose foods rich in protein such as lean meat. low-fat yoghurts. Healthier snack choices include: malt loaf. one of which should be oily. beans and nuts. important for the mother’s and baby’s teeth and bones. A healthy balanced diet includes a wide range of foods from 5 different food groups: • Starchy carbohydrate foods . breakfast cereals. Make snacks nutritious. fruit smoothies and fruit. wholegrain or high fibre breakfast cereals. fish. beans. breakfast cereals. such as Vitabiotics Pregnacare® Plus. carbohydrates. Meat. and combat fatigue. rice. rice and potatoes etc • Fruit and vegetables • Dairy foods – milk. Drink plenty of water and other fluids. Pregnant women dehydrate more quickly than normal so drinking plenty of water and other fluids is important. poultry. They can also be a good source of fibre. fish & alternatives 9 10 6 7 . These provide energy for you and for the baby to grow.bread. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables. canned. pilchards etc and are important for supplying the baby with long-chain fatty acids (AA. nuts etc • Foods containing fat and sugar Fruit & Vegetables Bread. You need to be eating more fruit and vegetables and starchy carbohydrate foods. moderate amounts of dairy and protein foods and just a few fatty and sugary foods. Pregnancy Healthy eating during pregnancy is no different to healthy eating at any other time – it’s just particularly important to ensure that you are eating enough of the essential nutrients. trout. Aim for a wide variety and at least 5 servings every day. cheese. especially when exercising or if the weather is hot. eggs. Aim for two portions of fish each week. Snacking is common during pregnancy. However too many indulgent snacks can result in excessive weight gain. it’s important to avoid dieting when pregnant as this can limit the baby’s nutrition. milky drinks. chicken. cheese and yoghurts. frozen. such as protein. potatoes. Oily fish includes salmon.

cheeses. 8 . Most cases resolve by the end of the first trimester but women who are severely affected should speak to their midwife for advice on how to cope with this troublesome problem. I’ve been feeling sick all day . All pregnant and breastfeeding women in the UK should take a 10mcg vitamin D supplement daily. spring greens. beef or yeast extract. kale. Particular concerns/times Women should take a 400mcg folic acid supplement from the time contraception stops and until at least the twelfth week of pregnancy and also choose foods rich in folates. Development of healthy bones and teeth for the baby – prevention of rickets. no. zinc. For many women intakes of magnesium. For many women nausea and sickness are at their worst in the mornings hence the name morning sickness. Rich sources Black eye beans.g. We don’t really know why food cravings or aversions occur. baked beans. Therefore intake of this is not usually advised until towards the end of pregnancy. but it can indeed be ‘any time of day sickness’. Why is this? Raspberry leaf tea is thought to have a stimulating effect on the womb. Many women choose to take a pregnancy specific multivitamin and mineral supplement. beans. Prevention of anaemia in the mother and healthy growth of the baby. Eating spicy food close to a due date may cause tummy upsets but that is as close to bringing on labour as you might get. many women are at risk of not meeting the increased vitamin and mineral requirements during pregnancy. some yoghurts and breakfast cereals. fortified breakfast cereals and white bread. dried fruit. Healthy bones and teeth for mother and baby. Calcium 700mg 1⁄2 women eat too little. Is this true? No. All meat. Main source is sunlight. eggs and full fat dairy products. especially red meat.why is it called morning sickness? The cause of morning sickness is thought to be due to the rise in hormone levels during pregnancy. kidney. Anaemia is common during pregnancy affecting both the mother’s and baby’s wellbeing. fortified soya milk and soya products. I’ve been having strong food cravings – does this mean I am deficient in something? Cravings or aversions to food vary between women and even between pregnancies in the same woman. pilchards and sardines. which is not good for you or the baby. the odd extra slice of bread or one or two healthy snacks each day. Also added to margarines. Also added to some soft grain breads and breakfast cereals. Falling for the myth of eating for two is likely to result in excessive weight gain. erratic eating pattern. such as coal or matches then it is important to discuss this with your midwife.Vulnerable Vitamins & Minerals The vitamins and minerals where the risk of deficiency is most likely are: What & how much you need per day Role in pregnancy Normal growth and development.8mg 8 out of 10 women eat too little. broccoli and green beans. Taking the correct amount can reduce the risk of having a baby with Spina Bifida by 40%. 2 in 5 women enter pregnancy iron deficient. but they are likely to be caused by hormonal changes to taste and smell rather than any specific deficiencies for vitamins or minerals. For many women food cravings or aversions are unlikely to be harmful but if the craving is for unusual foods. This occurs for several reasons including. The body becomes more energy efficient during pregnancy in order to meet the increased energy needs so you only need to eat slightly more e. copper & potassium are also below ideal levels. helping to induce contractions. Also found in oily types of fish. Milk. 3⁄4 women fail to eat enough from diet and over half do not take a folic acid supplement prior to confirmation of pregnancy. such as Vitabiotics Pregnacare® or Pregnacare® Plus in order to boost dietary intake and ensure that the baby is receiving everything that he or she needs. almonds and hard tap water. eggs. can I eat twice as much as before? In short. granary bread. added to white bread. iodine. Whether raspberry leaf tea helps with labour still requires further research. Eating spicy food will bring on labour. nuts and seeds. canned fish e. Folic Acid 400mcg supplement plus 300mcg from food. I love herbal teas but have been advised to avoid raspberry tea until the end of my pregnancy. generally after 36 weeks. Many people in the UK consume a diet which contains lower than ideal levels of vitamins and minerals. So if you enjoy spicy foods you are safe to carry on eating these throughout the whole of pregnancy. lack of balanced diet and poor food choices. hectic lifestyle. spinach. yoghurt. 9 Vitamin D 10 mcg Up to 100% of women fail to consume sufficient amounts from their diets. Most of the baby’s calcium is laid down in bones during the 3rd trimester. Common Dietary Myths Now that I’m eating for two. low fruit and vegetable intake. beans and baked beans. as there have been few studies in this area. As a result of this. brussels sprouts.g. chick peas. Iron 14.

milk or fruit juice every time you feed the baby. Getting back into shape Don’t forget that you need to drink extra fluids. restricting your food intake will restrict the baby’s food intake. If you are breastfeeding. especially during the first few weeks. Alcohol and caffeine both pass into breast milk so continue to limit your intake of these.Breast milk is the best choice for your new baby. If you are unsure ask your midwife or health visitor about these. Not only are you providing your baby with vitamins and minerals. 10 11 ! . eating little and often will help to keep energy levels up. And if friends offer to help. At your 6-week check. If you are breastfeeding. it is a great idea to ask them to bring round a freshly cooked meal that you can simply re-heat. sardines etc). however your energy needs will be higher so you may need to include regular snacks in addition to meals if breastfeeding. Low-fat. All of the high-risk foods that were off limits during pregnancy can now make a welcome return to your diet such as soft and blue cheeses. Therefore. helping to prepare them for weaning. trout. it will make you dehydrated and leave you feeling tired and headachy. Try to remember to drink an extra glass of water. but you will also be replacing those lost during pregnancy so it is important to continue eating a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals. don’t forget that after 9 months with very little you will probably be very susceptible to the effects of alcohol and caffeine. It is as important to eat a healthy balanced diet and to keep well hydrated as it was during the pregnancy. It provides all of the nutrients the baby will need as well as extra immunity. it’s essential to balance maintaining energy levels and the stamina to keep going with any attempts to lose weight. In the first year the baby will triple its weight and double in length. or pop into the freezer for another day. starting with some gentle exercise. However some babies may be sensitive to highly spiced or strong tasting foods so if you notice that certain foods upset the baby then it’s best to avoid them. You may want to take a calcium supplement such as Vitabiotics Osteocare®. The best way to approach getting back into shape is to take it slowly. your GP will tell you if it is okay to resume normal activities such as swimming. high-fibre foods and healthy snacks such as fresh fruit will stave off hunger. If you are tired and lacking sleep. However if you avoided peanuts during pregnancy due to allergy risk you should continue to avoid these while breastfeeding. so not surprisingly the nutritional demands of breastfeeding are quite high. fruit and vegetables. Also try to continue eating oily fish once each week (such as salmon. The basics of healthy eating after birth remain exactly the same as during your pregnancy. Don’t forget the importance of pelvic floor exercise for sexual health and to avoid urinary incontinence. now is not the time to diet. and if you are not breastfeeding. What you eat and drink will pass all sorts of flavours in your milk to your baby. aerobics etc. such as a short daily walk combined with a healthy balanced diet that is low in fat with a mix of protein. It is particularly important to eat plenty of calcium rich foods whilst breastfeeding as your requirements increase by an extra 500mg per day (equivalent to needing an extra pint of milk every day). Feeding a new baby (whether by breast or bottle) can be exhausting in terms of disturbed nights and loss of sleep. While not drinking enough is unlikely to affect the amount of milk that you produce. and/or choose foods that have added omega-3’s such as some types of milk or eggs as these are important for the baby’s growing brain. However giving birth is an exhausting experience and the following weeks of sleepless nights will take their toll on even the most energetic of women. carbohydrates. so try to make sure you get all of the help and support you need in order to get adequate rest during the day. alcohol and caffeine still needs to be limited. soft-boiled eggs. & breastfeeding Diet after birth after the baby is born Most women are keen to get back into shape after pregnancy and once again wear their normal jeans and other clothes. Many women choose to continue taking a one-a-day multivitamin and mineral supplement that is suitable for breastfeeding in order to boost their diet and for peace of mind that they are supplying the baby with everything they need. liver etc as the baby is no longer at risk and your immune system will be returning to normal. It also helps your body return to normal after the birth and utilise the extra body fat stored during pregnancy. so be patient.

It is important that pregnant women eat an iron-rich diet as the production of red blood cells increases to the fetus and placenta. Iron rich foods include red meats. eczema or asthma are advised to avoid peanuts and products containing peanuts to reduce risk of peanut allergy in the newborn. advice and reassurance as well as monitoring. Complications include miscarriage. larger or cider. there are certain situations where a doctor may advise a low dose of aspirin during pregnancy. Antenatal care aims to monitor and promote the wellbeing of a mother and her developing baby. It is used to detect chromosome abnormalities in the unborn child that may cause Down syndrome or other congenital problems. If you are taking aspirin before pregnancy for a specific medical condition then you should speak to your GP or midwife as early as possible for advice on whether this should continue. particularly those that are spicy. or a pub measure of spirit. health visitors and doctors provide information.(4): CD007065 13 . effects on fetal growth. fizzy or acidic. Women who are pregnant should avoid drinking alcohol. It covers everything from flatulence and weight gain to cravings and vitamin supplements. This A-Z of pregnancy provides all of the important answers for mums-to-be. antacid A substance which counteracts stomach acidity that is used as a treatment for heartburn in pregnant women. 1 Dowswell T. Remember to always follow your doctor’s advice. dried fruits. In amniocentesis. A unit is half a pint of standard strength beer. During pregnancy anaemia is quite common because the demands for iron change. allergies Pregnant women with a family history of nut and food allergies. Heartburn occurs as a result of increased abdominal pressure.1 Symptoms are often exacerbated by lying down. Midwives. relaxation of the gastro-oesophageal sphincter due to pregnancy hormones and altered gastrointestinal function. 12 ! ! aspirin Aspirin is generally not considered safe to take during pregnancy as regular use may cause problems for both you and your baby. Neilson JP (2008) Interventions for Heartburn in pregnancy Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008 Oct 8. However. Also avoid eating just before bedtime and spicy or fatty foods and try to limit the use of antacids. antenatal care Antenatal care means ‘care before birth’. should drink no more than 1 to 2 units of alcohol once or twice a week. a sample of the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus is removed and analysed. a is for alcohol There is no agreed safe intake of alcohol during pregnancy. fortified breakfast cereals. screening and treatment where necessary. fatty. This test is performed from week 15 of pregnancy onwards. however those who chose to drink before and during pregnancy. bleeding problems for you or the baby and heart or lung related problems in a newborn baby. Routine blood tests are carried out during pregnancy to check if women need iron supplements. anaemia Anaemia is characterised by a low level of a substance called haemoglobin in red blood cells. amniocentesis Amniocentesis is one of several diagnostic tests that can be carried out during pregnancy. pulses and bread.A to Z of pregnancy Now that you are pregnant you are sure to have lots of questions about the journey to motherhood. or by certain foods.5 units. Symptoms will often be less severe with small frequent meals and snacks rather than larger meals. A glass of wine is about two units and alcopops are about 1.

they sometimes separate along the centre seam.4kg or 7. But breastfeeding may not be possible or preferable for all women and the decision to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby should be based on your comfort level with breastfeeding as well as your lifestyle. commercially prepared infant formulas are a good alternative and will meet your baby’s nutritional needs. For mothers who are unable to breastfeed or who decide not to. Therefore consuming a healthy balanced diet is important whilst breastfeeding.9 (overweight) 30 or more (Obese) 14 Recommended Weight Gain 12.5-18kg (28-40lbs) 11.9 (normal weight) 25-29. This movement can cause considerable discomfort on either side of the lower back. strain or other injury. After child birth some women may experience bowel problems. A and D. For women who have had inadequate intakes of nutrients during pregnancy. These two parallel sheets of muscles run from the rib cage to the pubic bone.b is for The average pregnancy weight gain is 10-12 kilograms or 22-28lbs.5 (underweight) 18. B12. and its composition reflects the nutritional status of the mother and the diet she is eating. Careful lifting and carrying during pregnancy are important to prevent injury. the uterus becomes heavier and changes the woman’s centre of gravity. As the uterus expands. bowel movements Constipation (difficulty passing bowel movements) is common in pregnancy due to hormones slowing the gut and the physical pressures of the baby. back pain Back pain experienced by pregnant women is caused by the ligaments between the pelvic bones softening and joints loosening in preparation for the baby’s passage through the pelvis. which can make back pain worse.and perhaps without being aware of it . During the second trimester.women begin to adjust their posture and the way in which they move. Generally women gain 4 to 6 pounds during the first trimester and 1 pound a week during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters. Gaining too much weight can affect your health and blood pressure. The separation of the muscles along the front of the abdomen during pregnancy may also contribute to back pain during pregnancy.5kg (15-25lbs) 6kgs (15lbs) or less 15 . These compensations can result in back pain.5-16kg (25-35lbs) 7-11. An adequate fibre and fluid intake should help with this. folate. Eating plenty of fibre and drinking adequate amounts of fluid may help to alleviate this. See below table: Pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index Less than 18. bloating The sensation of bloating occurs during pregnancy because of hormones that slow your digestion and the pressure of your growing uterus on your stomach and intestines. Although there’s no right or wrong choice. often with walking. body mass index Body mass index is a measure of weight in relation to height. vitamins B6. breast milk is the ideal form of nutrition for newborns. BMI = weight kg/(height m)2. birth weight Average birth weight in the UK is 3. bottle feeding The decision to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby is a very personal one. Some women choose to take a multivitamin and mineral supplement that is specifically designed for pregnancy and breastfeeding. poor dietary intake may impact on breast milk composition resulting in a reduced content of calcium.5 – 24. Gradually . and especially when going up and down stairs. It is calculated using the following equation.5lbs. Your body mass index is a good indicator of your recommended weight gain during pregnancy. breastfeeding Breast milk provides complete nutrition for the first 6 months of life.

grapefruit. Cold remedies can relieve symptoms so that you feel better. it is fine to simply ‘tough it out’ if you don’t want to take any medications. calcium requirements may be higher. you should eat plenty of vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges. Prentice A Heumann KG et al (1995) Effect of calcium absorption efficiency of lactating women accustomed to low calcium intakes. higher levels of progesterone slows the activity of the digestive tract. coffee and chocolate and is also added to some soft drinks and ‘energy’ drinks. The majority of over-the-counter cold remedies are not recommended during pregnancy. 3 17 . considerably higher than the 700mg/day required during pregnancy. The Stationery Office.5 cups of instant coffee (75mg each) • or 2 cups of brewed coffee (100mg each) Or 4 cups of tea (50mg each) Don’t forget the caffeine found in chocolate and some soft/ ’energy’ drinks too.3 For younger women and adolescents. The recommended increase in energy intake for pregnant women in the UK is just 200kcal per day during the third trimester. most often focused on dietary changes to increase fibre and fluid intake. the physical impact of pregnancy. calorie intake Energy needs during pregnancy only rise slightly because the body undergoes adaptations allowing increased energy needs to be met from only a very small increase in calorie intake. Except for treating fever. powders or cough mixtures) during pregnancy as most are not recommended. Coughs and colds are usually caused by viruses.3 citrus fruit In order to help your body absorb and effectively use iron and other nutrients from your food.g. can provide additional levels of calcium. A calcium supplement. If you are struggling with constipation speak to your midwife or GP. Always check with the pharmacist before taking any cold remedy (including tablets. who are still developing their own bone mass. such as Vitabiotics’ Osteocare®. Am J Clin Nutr 62: 1188-1192 Department of Health (1991) Dietary reference values for food energy and nutrient for the United Kingdom.c is for common cold Some women may find themselves more vulnerable to colds while pregnant as the immune system is working hard and may be less effective than usual. lemons and tomatoes. cravings Food cravings are common during pregnancy and are defined as ‘a compulsive urge for a food for which there was no previous excessive desire’. There is no harm in indulging a craving as long as it is eaten in moderation and alongside a healthy and balanced diet. so must run their course. which do not benefit from antibiotics.2 Recommended intake for calcium during lactation is 1250mg/day. dietary changes and reduced levels of physical activity. and where necessary the use of faecal bulking agents. Caffeine occurs naturally in tea. or even miscarriage. caffeine intake should be limited to no more than 200mg a day because high levels of caffeine can result in low birth weight. tangerines. Calcium loss to breast milk has been estimated to be around 300-400mg/day. caffeine Whilst pregnant. calcium Calcium intake during breastfeeding is particularly important in respect to the long-term consequences on maternal bone health. constipation Constipation is a common problem during pregnancy and is caused by a combination of hormone changes e. capsules. crackers To alleviate nausea try eating crackers before getting out of bed in the morning. but it won’t make you get better any faster. 16 Fairweather-Tait S. increase moderate activity (which aides digestion and movement of food and residues along the digestive tract). Alleviation of constipation often requires a combination of approaches. 2 coffee Coffee contains caffeine so whilst pregnant limit daily intakes to no more than: • Two mugs of instant coffee (100mg each) • or 2.

4 diabetes The combination of diabetes and pregnancy increases risk of complications for both the mother and baby. amniotic fluids and additional body fat.d is for dehydration Consume a glass of water.diabetes. work and leisure activity levels. Never limit fluid intake to avoid frequent trips to the toilet . The energy costs are not equally distributed throughout pregnancy. Avoid dishes that may contain raw eggs such as fresh mayonnaise. an increase in energy expenditure is required to maintain these tissues and carry out physical activities at a higher body weight. which may be the result of increased blood flow to the gums caused by pregnancy hormones. If you do feel hungry during labour stick to slow releasing carbohydrates that are lighter on the digestive system and will provide you with energy throughout your contractions. the actual increase in energy for the diet needed is quite low as the body adapts to the increased energy needs of pregnancy. protein. milk or fruit juice in addition to usual fluid intake every time breast feeding occurs. It’s always wise to take good care of your teeth . dental care Pregnancy can exacerbate dental problems. Extra energy is needed for fetal growth and development and for extra maternal tissues such as the placenta. but don’t forget to drink regularly to avoid dehydration.dehydration can lead to premature contractions and can contribute to fatigue and dizziness.uk/diabetes-and-pregnancy.lack of Energy requirements during pregnancy will vary from woman to woman according to pre-pregnancy body weight. as energy needs during pregnancy only rise slightly.brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush after meals. energy . e is for eggs dairy products Pregnant and breastfeeding women are encouraged to eat moderate amounts of dairy foods such as milk and cheese which contain calcium. This is because the body undergoes adaptations allowing increased energy needs to be met from only a very small increase in calorie intake. In addition. The increased metabolism during pregnancy leaves women more vulnerable to dehydration so an adequate fluid intake is important. Also floss regularly as this will help to protect your gums. to help prevent cavities and gingivitis. diarrhoea Most often. Gingivitis (an inflammation of the gums) is a common problem. vitamin D and zinc. The recommended increase in energy intake for pregnant women in the UK is just 200Kcals during the third trimester. However.html accessed 23rd June 2009 19 . However if accompanied by a fever or vomiting and if it persists for more than 24 hours you may wish to speak to your midwife or GP to eliminate other causes such as salmonella. especially when it is hot or when exercising. such as premature birth. Let your body tell you whether to eat.co. Pregnant women should only eat eggs that have been thoroughly cooked to reduce the risk of salmonella. eating during labour Hospital policies on eating during labour vary. Severe morning sickness can also lead to dehydration so monitor fluid intake if this occurs. or at least twice a day.predominantly increased levels of progesterone.4 For women with diabetes. diarrhoea in pregnancy is a result of changing hormone levels . eating for two! Falling for the myth of needing to eat for two is likely to result in excessive amounts of weight gain. 18 Diabetes UK 2009 see: http://www. It may be a good idea to try to eat a meal during early labour to help keep up your strength. Gestational diabetes occurs in around 3-5% of pregnancies and all women are routinely monitored during pregnancy for increasing glucose levels and specialist advice and monitoring are offered to women who show signs of gestational diabetes. the risk of complications can be considerably reduced with optimal control of diabetes from the time of conception – this includes healthy eating and nutrition. It can lead to bleeding gums and has been associated with complications of pregnancy. mousse and uncooked cheesecakes. with energy needs being far higher during the second and third trimesters because the bulk of new tissues are laid down as protein or fat in these periods.

your BP tends to return to normal during the last few weeks of pregnancy. such as progesterone cause the smooth muscles around your body including your gastrointestinal tract to become relaxed. mackerel. sprouts and asparagus as well as fizzy drinks. or because of the high levels of certain nutrients or substances they contain. shellfish that is part of a hot meal that has been thoroughly cooked is fine. mercury can harm a baby’s developing nervous system. The most common aversions appear to be to tea. but don’t have more than two portions of oily fish a week. However whilst pregnant avoid eating shark. This is because of the levels of mercury in these fish. and chew food thoroughly. either because of the way they are produced. Instead.4kg or 7. eggs. Drink from a glass. eat several small meals throughout the day. fried foods. Tips for avoiding wind during pregnancy • • • • • Don’t eat big meals. and don’t gulp your drinks. which relaxes the walls of your blood vessels. If this does happen. sardines and trout. alcohol. Limit fizzy drinks. which causes burping and flatulence.f is for feeling faint Feeling faint when you stand for too long or get up quickly is caused by low blood pressure (BP). including vegetable pâtés. Avoid lying on your back as pregnancy progresses. But remember that eating fish is good for your health and the development of your baby.5lbs food aversions Food aversions are ‘a definite revulsion against food and drink not previously disliked’. However. broccoli. The pregnancy hormone progesterone. Limit your fluid intake during meals (but don’t forget to make up for it between meals).co. Consider practicing yoga for relaxation and good breathing techniques. • • • Exercise. reducing risk of premature delivery and low birth weight. foods to avoid Some foods pose a particular risk during pregnancy. The foods most likely to cause wind include beans. Even a brisk walk can help your sluggish digestive tract.uk 21 . not a bottle or a straw. Don’t smoke (this is a habit you should break before getting pregnant). Oily fish includes tuna (see above for advice regarding fresh and canned tuna). Take your time eating. and mould-ripened soft cheese because of the risk of listeria infection. fetal growth No of weeks 20 (days) 4 8 12 16 20 25 30-31 40 fish Fish is a great source of protein and oily types provide omega-3 fatty acids. Avoid raw shellfish because it may contain harmful bacteria and viruses that cause poisoning. and on occasion sweet foods in later pregnancy. (Some people tend to swallow more air when they’re excited or anxious if they’re prone to hyperventilating). marlin and swordfish and limit the amount of tuna you eat to no more than two tuna steaks a week (weighing about 140g cooked or 170g raw) or four medium-size cans of tuna a week (with a drained weight of about 140g per can).6kg (3lbs 5oz) The average newborn weighs 3.5 folic acid Women are currently advised to take a 400mcg folic acid supplement prior to conception and for at least the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. especially after a big meal. At high levels. stillbirth or severe illness in the newborn. 5 flatulence The average person passes wind 14 times a day and this can increase during pregnancy because increased levels of hormones. Although listeria is a very rare disease. Don’t talk while you’re eating. This also applies during breastfeeding. it is important that you eat a balanced diet so simply cut back on the foods that cause you the most discomfort. but the benefits of folic acid supplementation extend throughout the whole of pregnancy. This relaxation process slows down your digestive processes.babycentre. 20 www. however. it is important to take special precautions during pregnancy because even mild forms of the illness can lead to miscarriage. Size of fetus A pinhead A grain of rice A tomato A pear A grapefruit 20cm long and looks like a tiny newborn Baby now weighs 450g (1lb) Baby is around 24cm long and weighs around 1. so you should still aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week. including one portion of oily fish. turn onto your side and the faint feeling will quickly pass. Vitabiotics Pregnacare® and Pregnacare® Plus include 400mcg folic acid as well as other important vitamins and minerals vital for mother and baby. The following foods are best avoided during pregnancy: All types of pâté. causes low blood pressure. However. the growing uterus becomes increasingly heavy and if you are on your back it presses on a very large blood vessel and reduces the flow of blood to the brain and makes you feel faint. coffee. Try to have one.

Oily fish includes tuna (see above for advice regarding fresh and canned tuna). ginger An alternative remedy for the relief of morning sickness. as well as an evening snack. Most gastroentestinal infections in pregnancy only require rehydration and fetal monitoring. Formula comes in powder form. Avoid shark. so you should still aim to eat at least two portions of fish a week. Avoid cod liver oil supplements or any supplements containing vitamin A. canned. Fresh. some snacks. others in tins with resealable lids. mercury can harm a baby’s developing nervous system. This also applies during breastfeeding. Babies may be at a higher risk of developing a nut allergy if the baby’s father. Some also include long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPs) which are believed to boost brain development. dried and juiced all count (although juice can only be counted as 1 serving each day no matter how much is drunk). frozen. Don’t have more than two portions of oily fish a week. including one portion of oily fish. etc. marlin and swordfish and limit the amount of tuna you eat to no more than two tuna steaks a week (weighing about 140g cooked or 170g raw) or four medium-size cans of tuna a week (with a drained weight of about 140g per can). Careful monitoring of food intake. If symptoms are severe or last longer than 24 hours speak to your GP or midwife. mackerel. Formula contains elements essential to your baby’s health such as fat.) if the baby’s mother or father or any previous children have a history of hay fever. peanut oil.g. Even the containers and packaging could sway your choice. formula milk Formula milks are most commonly made from cow’s milk and are designed to be as much like breast milk as possible. blood glucose testing and urinary ketone testing are required. Avoid raw shellfish because it may contain harmful bacteria and viruses that cause poisoning. which affects 3-5% of pregnancies and occurs due to the additional demands of the growing baby. peanut butter. Always speak to your health visitor or GP before using a formula made from soya. goats or sheep’s milk to check these are suitable for your baby. vitamins and minerals. some are sold in resealable bags. At high levels. 22 23 . or ready made in cartons. glucose screening It is important that pregnant women with diabetes have their blood glucose monitored regularly to ensure optimal care for both themselves and the growing baby. Each time you visit your GP or midwife they will check your urine for sugar and may take a blood test as well. eczema or other allergies. sardines and trout. fruit & vegetables Current advice is to aim for at least 5 servings of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. brothers or sisters have certain allergic conditions such as hay fever. But remember that eating fish is good for your health and the development of your baby. Dietary advice is to consume regular carbohydrate containing meals and snacks. However shellfish that is part of a hot meal that has been thoroughly cooked is fine. gestational diabetes Gestational diabetes is diabetes of pregnancy. Avoid peanuts and foods containing peanut products (e. which has been shown to work in a number of studies. Too much vitamin A can harm the baby. protein. carbohydrate. asthma. asthma and/or eczema. but ready-to-drink cartons are ideal for outings or emergencies. g is for gastroenteritis The immune system works hard during pregnancy leaving you more vulnerable to tummy bugs and gastroentestinal infections such as listeria and salmonella. This is because of the mercury contained in these fish.Do not eat liver or liver products such as liver pâté or liver sausage. If you have a tummy upset it is important to remain well hydrated by sipping constantly at diluted squash or water. There are many formulas to choose from and which you choose depends on your preference. Tins or boxes of powdered formula are the most economical. as they contain high levels of vitamin A. regular weighing.

as there have been few studies in this area. Neilson JP (2008) Interventions for Heartburn in pregnancy Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2008 Oct 8. allowing stomach acid to rise into the lower oesophagus sometimes resulting in a severe burning sensation. fruit and vegetables. (‘essential hypertension’). affecting up to three-quarters of pregnancies. the basis of heartburn during pregnancy. poor posture or changes in your vision. high blood pressure High blood pressure can indicate a potentially serious condition called pre-eclampsia and is routinely tested during pregnancy. even if you have worn gloves Women often feel the need to eat more frequently during pregnancy. and can start as early as the first trimester. helping to induce contractions.h is for • Before and after handling any food. low-fat yoghurts. Keep these as treats and try to choose healthier everyday snack choices such as: malt loaf. Heartburn occurs as a result of increased abdominal pressure and the relaxation of the gastrooesophageal sphincter due to pregnancy hormones. particularly those that are spicy.7 The discomfort can be severe and sustained and symptoms are often exacerbated by lying down. but is generally worst in the third trimester. or by certain foods.(4): CD007065 25 .healthystart. fizzy or acidic. your GP can prescribe tablets to keep it under control during pregnancy and this won’t affect your baby in any way. Some women may find milk and yoghurt soothing. milky drinks or fruit smoothies and fruit including fresh. Fruit & Vegetables Bread. in the early days to help combat morning sickness. crisps and chocolate may result in too much weight being gained during pregnancy. hummus and bread or vegetable sticks. 6 7 24 www. is very common.nhs. especially raw meat • After going to the toilet You may qualify if you’re pregnant and/or have at least one child under five years old and if your family receives any of the following: • Child Tax Credit (but not Working Tax Credit with an annual family income of £13. currant buns. breakfast cereals. fish & alternatives Foods containing fat and sugar Raspberry leaf tea is thought to have a stimulating effect on the womb. tinned in juice or dried such as raisins or apricots. other cereals.910 or less) • Income Support • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance hand washing To prevent illnesses always wash your hands: You can apply for these vouchers once you are at least 10 weeks pregnant. Whether raspberry leaf tea helps with labour still needs further research. Therefore intake of this is not usually advised until the late stages of pregnancy. These headaches may be aggravated because of stress. An increase in headaches during the first trimester is believed to be caused by the surge of hormones along with an increase in the blood volume circulating throughout your body. fish and dairy products. generally after 36 weeks. healthy eating voucher You may be entitled to free milk.6 healthy snacks • Before eating • After handling cats or kittens or their litter • After gardening. other cereals & potatoes herbal tea Milk & Dairy foods Meat. headache Headaches are a common discomfort and may occur at anytime during pregnancy but tend to be most common during the first and third trimesters. fatty. healthy eating The healthy eating wheel is a pictorial representation of the five food groups and the amounts of each that should be consumed. The diagram opposite illustrates that diet should be focused on bread. Foods that are high in fat and sugar should be eaten less often and be considered treats. • Lack of sleep • Low blood sugar • Dehydration • Caffeine withdrawal • Stress (too many changes) A severe persistent headache during pregnancy may indicate raised blood pressure so always speak to your midwife or GP if this occurs. You’ll need to complete an application form and get it signed by your midwife or other health professional to confirm the baby’s expected delivery date. infant formula and vitamins under the Healthy Start scheme.uk Dowswell T. sandwiches or pitta bread with low fat fillings. However eating too many indulgent snacks such as cakes. Symptoms will often be less severe if small frequent meals and snacks are consumed rather than larger infrequent meals. biscuits. If you have pre-existing high blood pressure. potatoes and fruit and vegetables with smaller amounts of meat. but the most common remedy is antacids. due to altered blood sugar control and to meet the energy demands of the growing baby. Other causes of headaches during pregnancy may involve one or more of the following: heartburn Gastro-oesophageal reflux.

Palmer DG. The problem might also be gastric reflux. leg cramps. Try to eat slowly and allow time to digest food before rushing around. ! juice Drinking juice is another way to make sure you get the recommended intake of eight glasses of water per day. Eat many small meals throughout the day instead of a few large ones. occurring in about 1 in 30. Not eating just before bedtime and avoiding stress. may also prevent discomfort. unpasteurised cheeses and any type of pâté. It is a very rare disease. j influenza Influenza hardly ever causes birth defects. Also remember to wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly and re-heat ready meals or pre-cooked foods until they are piping hot. You might want to try peppermint tea. your GP or midwife will advise you to take iron supplements. Mild jaundice (yellow colouration of skin and eyes) can also occur in this condition. get up and go into another room. Eads J (2000) Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy: a critical review. iron The demand for iron during pregnancy is high and pregnant women can become iron deficient. However it is important to reduce the risk by avoiding soft cheeses made with mould or a rind. as they contain high levels of vitamin A. when possible. Read a magazine or listen to music until drowsy. l 8 is for listeria A bacterium that during pregnancy can cause miscarriage. such as fruit or vegetables or a glass of fruit juice. J Perinat Neonatal Nursing 14: 39-51 liver Do not eat liver or liver products such as liver pâté or liver sausage. Worrying about your lack of sleep will only compound the problem so try the following methods to get a good night’s sleep. Sleeping with your head elevated may also help. You can also try a pre-bed relaxation technique such as progressive muscle relaxation or guided imagery. Both the itching and the jaundice occur because during pregnancy the liver becomes up to 30 times less efficient at getting rid of bile (a greenish-yellow fluid that is partly a waste product. make sure your room is a comfortable temperature for sleeping. then get back in to bed. Try to have some food or drink containing vitamin C.000 births in the UK. If the iron level in your blood becomes low (anaemia). with any iron-rich meals to help your body absorb the iron. spicy and acidic foods and fizzy drinks. This symptom can be due to a condition called intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP). you may feel even more ill than usual. bread and fortified breakfast cereals. Keeping something in your stomach is the best way to prevent it. Also before you get into bed. 26 27 . stillbirth or severe illness in the newborn.8 insomnia Many women suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems during pregnancy and most often it is caused by not being able to get comfortable. pulses. Start winding down before climbing into bed by taking a warm bath or get your partner to give you a massage. so make sure you eat plenty of iron-rich foods. is for jaundice Some pregnant women experience severe itching during the third trimester of pregnancy. Too much vitamin A can harm the baby. which can help calm the GI tract. Antacids can also help some people. Good sources of iron include: red meat. If you are concerned speak to your midwife or GP. Is it dark and quiet enough? Heavy or dark-coloured curtains can help keep out unwanted light. Some women find certain foods make indigestion worse such as fatty. and sound machines can help mask the drone of traffic with white noise. excitement and anxiousness about the baby’s arrival. Vitamin C requirements increase in pregnancy so a glass of fresh juice also helps to top this up.i is for indigestion The hormones of pregnancy relax the sphincter between the stomach and the oesophagus. However if you get the flu while you’re pregnant. and partly used to digest fat). which may cause indigestion. If you aren’t asleep within 20 to 30 minutes after getting into bed. frequent trips to the bathroom. Always speak to your midwife or GP if concerned about itching as this should be investigated to eliminate ICP.

This is to avoid other types of food poisoning from meat (Salmonella. If you often or consistently feel blue. hCG is produced after implantation takes place and continues to increase until about the 12th week of your pregnancy. The only nutrient whole milk contains that skimmed milk doesn’t is fat. however one fifth of women experience nausea and vomiting for a much longer period of time. Always wash hands thoroughly after touching raw meat and keep raw meat away from meat that is already cooked. mood swings It is quite common to have fluctuating moods and emotions during pregnancy. or eat a variety of other calcium rich foods such as yoghurt. Most cases spontaneously resolve by the end of the third month of pregnancy. excess stomach acids and fatigue. you may fall into this category and it would be wise to consult your GP. and calcium-fortified orange juice. They also help repair and maintain cells and tissues. • A combination of the changes in the body . You can get most of the vitamins and minerals you need from a healthy diet. However breastfeeding is not a reliable form of contraception so don’t rely on this if you want to avoid unexpected surprises! morning sickness It is estimated that approximately 80 percent of pregnant women experience discomfort from the nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy. much of your moodiness is simply due to the fact that pregnancy is a time of tremendous change. Make sure that raw foods are stored separately from ready-to-eat foods. vomiting and dehydration) which requires specialist care. Although progesterone and oestrogen are thought to be partly responsible. If you have a baby who sleeps through the night from an early age. Eating crackers or ginger biscuits before getting out of bed in the morning also helps some women. menstrual cycle Breastfeeding delays your period. at which point the levels of hCG start to decrease. your period will be likely to return sooner — typically in three to eight months. folic acid and calcium from food and many choose to take a prenatal vitamin every day. A small number may develop hyperemesis gravidarum (severe nausea. Campylobacter and E. cottage cheese. Meat provides protein and iron but make sure you cook all meat thoroughly so that there is no trace of pink or blood and wash all surfaces and utensils after preparing raw meat. The best approach to morning sickness is to eat plain carbohydrate foods frequently. Some women also experience a migraine for the first time when you are pregnant. To get adequate amounts of calcium and vitamin D during pregnancy. 29 . If you are at all concerned about morning sickness speak to your GP or Midwife for advice.m meat is for milk There’s no need to switch from skimmed or semi skimmed milk to whole milk. This will help to avoid infection with Toxoplasma. day and night. However women may find it difficult to get enough iron. the most popular being: migraine If you are prone to getting migraines you may experience stronger headaches or you may find that they diminish whilst pregnant. • The build-up of hCG (human chorionic gonadotopin) in your system. And while fat is important during pregnancy. Wash down surfaces and utensils after use. the longer it will be before you get your period again. Common triggers may include but are not limited to: • Stress • Chocolate • Cheese • • • • • 28 • Coffee • Weather • Hormones • Relaxation such as meditation or yoga • You may need to consult your GP about the best form of pain relief medication for your migraines. Common home remedies for migraine headaches include: Applying a cold towel to your head Taking a cold shower Taking a nap Exercise Biofeedback (ask your doctor) • Increased stress and emotion levels. Also make sure you use a separate chopping board for raw meats. About 10 percent of expectant women battle mild to moderate depression throughout their pregnancies. which is usually when morning sickness ceases. There are a great deal of theories on why women suffer from morning sickness during pregnancy. minerals Minerals help your body use the energy provided by foods for both yourself and your baby. which may cause toxoplasmosis. otherwise there is a risk of contamination.rapidly increasing oestrogen levels. The same applies if you’re supplementing with formula. Morning sickness does not affect the baby as long as you eat a well balanced diet and avoid dehydration by drinking lots of fluids. it can take up to a year before your period returns. In other words. drink four 8-ounce glasses (32 ounces) of skimmed milk each day. which can actually occur at any time of the day.coli 0157). which can harm the baby. the more often your baby nurses. you’re probably getting enough unless you’re consciously eating a low-fat diet. Some studies have found a slight correlation between migraines and hormones. If you’re breastfeeding exclusively. an enhanced sense of smell.

9 Duley L. and in severe cases may cause miscarriage or premature labour. In addition all meat. Issue 4. Prolactin is stimulated by suckling and so frequent feeding on demand will help to get milk supply established in the early weeks.9 placenta The tissue that connects the mother and fetus and transports nourishment and takes away waste. More than two thirds of the salt in our diets comes from pre-packaged and processed foods. including vegetable because it can contain listeria. Meher S (2005) Altered Dietary salt for preventing pre-eclampsia and its complications Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2005. Piles are best prevented by eating a high fibre diet accompanied by plenty of fluid. The penis does not come into contact with the fetus during sex. Only buy from a reputable source and ensure that it is kept thoroughly chilled and never eat if beyond its use before date.g. and cause an infection. 30 31 . Art. douching. There’s also a thick mucus plug that seals the cervix and helps guard against infection. s is for salmonella Salmonella is the most common cause of food poisoning in the UK. salt intake Most of us consume too much salt.g. and especially poultry should be thoroughly cooked.CD005548. you should wait at least 6 weeks after birth before having sex. No. sex Because your body doesn’t change that much in the first trimester. many women find that sex becomes uncomfortable as their bodies get larger. Always store uncooked and cooked meats separately and check that all meats are cooked thoroughly (with no signs of pink or blood) before eating. Many expectant mothers find that their desire for sex fluctuates during certain stages in the pregnancy.1002/14651858. piles Piles (haemorrhoids) are a common problem for pregnant women and are caused by the weight of the uterus pressing on major blood vessels. Limited evidence from one systematic review found no significant difference in the risk of pre-eclampsia with a low salt diet compared with a normal diet. especially the site where the placenta was attached. Also. fresh mayonnaise. is susceptible to infection. DOI: 10. sex can pretty much continue as it has in the past. Special care with food hygiene should be taken especially around raw and cooked meats e. which in the long term can have negative effects on blood pressure. Henderson-Smart DJ. It is therefore safe to continue having sex throughout the whole of pregnancy. During this healing phase the lining of the uterus. Therefore pregnant women are advised to avoid any foods containing raw or partially cooked eggs e. Sex. The foods most likely to be responsible for causing salmonella are raw eggs or undercooked poultry. sex is considered safe during all stages of pregnancy. and anything placed in the vagina may introduce bacteria. tampons. If you’re having a normal pregnancy. Pâté made from any type of liver should also be avoided due to its high vitamin A content. Your baby is fully protected by the amniotic sac (a thin-walled bag that holds the fetus and surrounding fluid) and the strong muscles of the uterus. In addition progesterone relaxes the veins allowing the swelling to increase. This leads to a pooling of blood and ultimately causes the veins to enlarge and swell. prolactin The hormone that signals to the breasts to produce milk for the baby. Handle ready cooked poultry with care. and they need time to heal. The uterus and cervix undergo significant changes during the process of delivering a baby. poultry Poultry is a food that unless properly handled can carry an increased risk of salmonella.p is for pâté Avoid all types of pâté. wash hands thoroughly with soap after handling raw meat and use a separate chopping board for raw and cooked meat products. mousse etc. After the baby is born Generally.: CD005548.

which is a bacterium (germ) that can lead to pre-term birth. miscarriage. and many babies seem to prefer a variety of flavour in breast milk. varied diet. say the US researchers in the Journal of Obstetric. • Darkening of existing moles. Wholegrain versions are especially nutritious and the fibre helps to prevent constipation. It can happen at any time. soft cheese Mould ripened soft cheeses. 97 per cent of pregnant women have difficulties getting to sleep or staying asleep. Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing. As you get bigger. but can be found on any part of body). you may need to get up in the night to use the bathroom. sleeping According to one study. or your baby seems upset or irritable. shiny and flattened. Leg cramps are also a common complaint. pasta and potatoes are carbohydrates and are satisfying. for all sorts of reasons. Anaemia may also develop in pregnancy if there is an insufficient intake of iron. it’s unlikely that eating spicy food will affect your baby. The key is to stick to a healthy. Your body’s ‘thermostat’ can seem permanently set to ‘over-heat’. Make sure you brush your teeth with a soft brush and gently use dental floss at least twice a day (after every meal if you can). and avoid foods that make you feel uncomfortable. If you are unsure – stick to a hard cheese. • Melasma: brown. anxiety and poor diet. but your gums should get back to normal soon after your baby’s birth. In early and late pregnancy in particular. tiredness A variety of factors can cause tiredness during early pregnancy. The risk of listeria is much higher with soft mould-ripened cheeses (such as Brie and Camembert) or pâté. then opt for a milder diet until he or she is slightly older. or the breasts after breastfeeding. Combat symptoms by eating a well balanced diet and resting as and when you can. Go by trial and error. • Striae gravidarum (stretch marks of pregnancy): red lines or bands that can appear on the • • • • abdomen during pregnancy. clearly defined patches on the face. Backache can also keep you awake. including insomnia. wakefulness. rice. which you shouldn’t eat during pregnancy. Sleep problems are very common during pregnancy. Veins near the skin can become more obvious. You may find it too hot for bedcovers. starchy food Starchy foods including bread. Although a tiny fraction of what you ingest is transferred into your milk supply. such as Brie and Camembert. These should therefore be avoided during pregnancy. Women from parts of the world where spicy dishes are the cultural norm don’t make big changes to their diet when they become pregnant or are nursing.skin The most common skin changes in pregnancy are: spicy food It’s fine to eat spicy or hot food whilst pregnant or nursing. finding a comfortable position to sleep can be difficult. Problems in the study group of 127 women ranged from restlessness. so include one at every meal and choose a starchy food over fatty and sugary snacks wherever possible. t is for teeth & gums The combined effect of increased blood supply and pregnancy hormones can make your gums very soft and spongy. typically on the cheekbones and forehead. They may bleed when you brush your teeth. If you suffer from heartburn after you’ve eaten a fiery curry. • Linea nigra: a dark line that appears on the abdomen. In the UK. as long as you feel fine while you’re eating it. particularly when lying down. You may also experience ‘restless legs syndrome’ which isn’t uncommon and is exactly what it sounds like: jerking or twitching of the legs. we don’t advise women to avoid these products because the risk is very low. paying particular attention to the area where your teeth meet your gums. smooth. may contain Listeria. Gum problems can occur throughout pregnancy. or eat something hard like an apple. making you feel fuller for longer and providing you with energy. However it is fine to eat other soft cheeses such as cream cheese. Acne can worsen. and tiredness in the day and suddenly waking up. As they are bulky you are less likely to overeat and gain weight on starchy foods. An increase in the number of skin tags (small. 33 32 . and/or flu-like symptoms. Two studies have shown that the infants of mothers who eat garlic tend to feed for a longer time. ricotta or cottage cheese. • Darkening of the nipples and external genitals (pubic area). Varicose (swollen) veins can appear on the legs. running straight down from the umbilicus (belly button). smoked meat Some countries advise pregnant women not to eat cold meats or smoked fish because of the risk of listeria. but then wake up feeling cold. harmless skin outgrowths that occur especially on the neck. Eating garlic may even be beneficial to breastfeeding. which later become white. Also see your dentist regularly and make sure that he knows that you are pregnant.

but women who are pregnant need to take extra care to get enough of the nutrients more easily supplied in non-vegetarian diets. Wishing you a healthy and happy pregnancy.u v is for vitamins A risk of deficiency is most likely for: Folic Acid is involved in a wide range of metabolic reactions. spontaneous abortion and stillbirths. 10 Vitamin D plays an essential role in calcium homeostasis and the mineralisation of bones and teeth. 34 weight loss after pregnancy Just as it’s best to put on weight slowly and steadily during your pregnancy. especially when exercising or if the weather is hot. vitamin supplements Many women choose to take a comprehensive pregnancy specific multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. London NW2 7HF Tel 020 8955 2645 or e mail pregnancy@vitabiotics. There is also the option of oral vitamin K and parents will be informed of their choices. A general rule for weight loss is to aim for around 1lb per week. (Cunningham et al.8mg/day 700mg/day during pregnancy and 1200mg/day while breastfeeding underweight Women who are severely underweight during pregnancy and who are not eating enough are more likely to have a baby that is small and weak at birth. Foods most commonly carrying this infection are poultry and unpasteurised milk. There are many health benefits to vegetarian diets. Vitabiotics Pregnacare® is the prenatal multivitamin brand midwives and health visitors recommend most. which they don’t receive in breast milk. D and folic acid. If you are breastfeeding you should not follow a weight reducing diet as this may restrict the nutrition provided to baby. unpasteurised milk Campylobacter is another common cause of food poisoning in the UK. Infections during pregnancy have been associated with premature birth. 1989:611). Pregnant women dehydrate more quickly than normal and so drinking plenty of water and other fluids is important. For more information visit http://www. Calcium for the development of bones and teeth. and this can have serious long-term effects on their health. The rationale for this is that newborns are born with a deficiency of vitamin K. This leads to a decrease in vitamin K-dependent blood coagulation factors. cell division and the synthesis of new tissues.uk is for vegetables Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables (at least 5 portions each day) to boost vitamin and mineral intakes whilst pregnant. vitamin K injection for baby An injection of vitamin K is offered to newborn babies to help prevent a serious disorder called vitamin K deficiency bleeding.com 35 . zinc. you need to be slow and steady in losing weight after your pregnancy. 400mcg supplement plus 300mcg from food/day 10 mcg/day 14. 1 Apsley Way. It might not sound much. water intake Drink plenty of water and other fluids. but it quickly adds up and gives the body the chance to recover and skin to gradually shrink back to pre-pregnancy size. The Healthy Start scheme helps low income families by providing vouchers for free fresh food and basic vitamin supplements with vitamin C.healthystart.10 By six months of age. making some newborns more susceptible to haemorrhage in the first several days of life until vitamin K is manufactured in their systems. For further information please contact: Vitabiotics Ltd. they usually build up their own supply. w is for vegetarian diet Pregnant women who are vegetarian can still enjoy a carefully planned vegetarian diet. and vitamin B12. especially protein. Always ensure that any milk and cheeses consumed during pregnancy are pasteurised. Iron for blood formation. such as Vitabiotics Pregnacare® or Pregnacare® Plus in order to safeguard dietary intake and ensure that the baby is receiving everything that he or she needs.nhs. iron.

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