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Guide to Eating Well During Pregnancy and After Giving Birth

Aug09-Guide to Eating Well During Pregnancy and After Giving Birth

Being healthy is important at every stage in life but even more so during a pregnancy. By eating well during pregnancy, your baby will be able to grow and develop.

The secret to eating well

Eating well is fairly simple, provided you eat a varied and balanced diet that includes all the necessary vitamins and minerals vital for your baby's development. Despite 'eating for two' you don't actually need to eat a lot more – although you may feel hungrier.

Eat a bigger breakfast and this will also help you to combat snacking – especially snacking on foods that are high in sugar.

What should you eat?

Eating well during pregnancy is easy once you have the right advice. If you're unsure, then speak to your doctor or midwife.

- Fruits and Vegetables

Try to include plenty of fruits and vegetables as these are high in vitamins and fibre, and are a great source of energy. Eating five portions of fruit and vegetables a day is standard advice from the doctor, but during a pregnancy there is more reason than ever to try and include this in your diet. It doesn't matter how you eat those portions, whether they're frozen, juiced, dried or fresh.

- Carbohydrates

Foods rich in starch are a vital source of energy, fibre and vitamins. These types of food are great because they don't contain too many calories but are still very satisfying and so they should take up about a third of all the food you eat.

- Protein

If eating well during pregnancy is a top priority then ensure there is a good source of protein within your diet, including fish, eggs, meat, poultry and nuts.

When it comes to eating meat, ensure that you stay away from liver and choose lean meat. Don't add any extra oil or fat when you're cooking and remember to remove the skin from poultry.

- Alcohol

Alcohol is a big no-go zone whilst you’re pregnant as the intake of alcoholic beverages can cause developmental issues during pregnancy and puts your child at higher risk of physical defects, learning disabilities or emotional issues.

- Chocolate

Despite your intentions for eating well during pregnancy, there’s no denying those cravings. It can be hard to resist the junk food but it is strongly advised that you do as foods high in sugar only provide a temporary lift from the cravings.

Alternatively, if you do succumb to the cravings (which is no bad thing), then indulge yourself with some good-quality dark chocolate which can help to improve your mood.

- Superfoods

Eating the right superfoods is the best way to keep your body healthy.

When it comes to breastfeeding, blueberries are a great for providing the necessary vitamins you need as well as enough carbs to keep your energy levels up.

Swapping white rice for brown rice is another great option for eating well and will help you to feel more energetic.

Whole-wheat bread is another great dietary choice for providing the crucial folic acid to your baby during the early stages of pregnancy. Being mindful of the fact that folic acid is pretty important for breastfeeding mums too, means that whole-wheat bread should become a staple part of your diet for a while and will also be a great source for iron and fibre.

Resources:
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/healthy-pregnancy-diet.aspx 
http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/breast-feeding-diet#1 
http://www.babycenter.com/0_best-foods-for-new-moms-mood-boosters_1458835.bc 
http://www.babycenter.com/pregnancy-eating-well

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