Pregnancy isn’t the time to try and lose weight, or be obsessively worried about weight gain. Your main priority is providing nourishment for you and your child.
‘Eating for two’, however, is a common myth. We would all love to be able to eat extra slices of triple chocolate fudge cake every day in the name of pregnancy, but extra food is actually not necessary when pregnant until the second trimester. Even then, the body only requires an extra 1,400 kilojoules per day (approximately 330 calories), which is the equivalent of two pieces of toast with peanut butter. The third trimester requires a little more – an additional 1,900 kilojoules (approximately 450 calories), but still this is only the equivalent of two pieces of toast with peanut butter and a cup of milk.
Although you don’t require a lot of extra kilojoules though, your body DOES require more vitamins and minerals when pregnant. Iron, zinc, iodine and folate are particularly important as these built tissues such as organs, nerves and the brain, so it is best to ensure that you are having healthy foods that are packed full of vitamins and minerals to provide you and your baby with these extra requirements.
You can also manage morning sickness by eating smaller meals, more frequently. Smaller meals are also more manageable and prevent you from feeling too full.
If you can’t stomach certain foods due to morning sickness, this is ok. Don’t force yourself to eat the foods that make you sick, as this can create negative connotations surrounding that particular food which can last beyond pregnancy. It’s important that you re-try that food again during pregnancy however, because your taste and aversions do change throughout the nine months.
Also, plan and cook meals which can be portioned and frozen. Pregnancy can make you sooooo tired, and having meals ready to go in the freezer is a great way to ensure you have a proper meal after work rather than just reaching for the cereal or skipping dinner when you are too exhausted to cook.
Keep up your fruits, veggies, lean meats, legumes, whole grains and dairy (if tolerated).
In addition, carbohydrates are not only very important for providing you with the energy to get through the day, but also for building your immune system. During pregnancy, your immune system is suppressed, making you more susceptible to getting sick. Yep, this means that wholegrain sources of carbs such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, cous cous and noodles; quinoa, legumes, millet, barley and sweet potato are now your best friends!
And finally, if you are experiencing bad morning sickness, losing weight, or are struggling to keep food down, see your GP.