Why eat a balanced diet?
Good for your baby
It’s up to you to provide the nutrients your baby needs to grow. The nutrients in a balanced diet help your baby develop healthy organs and a healthy birth weight – plus a strong defence system to protect against illness after birth. If your diet is lacking, it might have long-lasting effects on your baby’s health.
Good for you
You also need to eat well for your own sake. If your pregnancy diet does not provide enough nutrients for your baby, they will be drawn from your own body, leaving you deficient. Eating well can also help you minimise minor problems, such as heartburn, constipation, fatigue and mood swings. It can also help prevent infections and most importantly give you the energy and strength you need to get through labour.
Concerned about putting on weight?
Don’t be. Weight gain during pregnancy is normal, and your doctor will monitor you to make sure it’s on track. Depending on your pre-pregnancy weight, you need to gain about 11-16 kg to sustain your pregnancy and give birth without complications. To give you an idea: if you are an adult woman of healthy weight and average activity levels, you won’t need to change your eating habits during the first trimester however you need to consume an extra 1400kJ per day during your 2nd trimester and an additional 1900Kj/day during your third trimester.
Perhaps you’re concerned about the effect of dietary restrictions on your baby (vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, etc.) or you’d like some help to plan your diet. If so, consult your doctor or a qualified dietitian or nutritionist, who may prescribe supplements to avoid deficiencies.
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