Written by Nourished Not Deprived Practitioners

I’m Pregnant?! Now What?!

So you’re pregnant…and now you’re thinking what the….should you be eating now? Well.. do not fret, your friendly neighbourhood Dietitians are here to the rescue! 

Pregnancy can be such an exciting, yet also confusing time, especially for our new mummas! If you are a new mumma to be, I’m sure your mind is racing with a million and one questions. ‘What can I eat? What should I avoid eating?!’ In this blog we will discuss all things pregnancy nutrition and hopefully put all of those worries at bay. 

If you are still unsure of what to eat during your pregnancy, reach out and we will be more than happy to assist! 

Where should you start and what are the basics of good pregnancy nutrition?

To keep it simple we want to create a good base with our diet (diet meaning what you eat). To start, we want to incorporate foods from all 5 food groups where possible and improve the frequency and variety of your diet. 

Our 5 food groups to focus on are our grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy and lean sources of protein. 

When pregnant, in the most simplistic form we want to aim to add VARIETY with incorporating these 5 food groups. You have probably heard of the term ‘eat the rainbow?’, this is something we want to focus on, especially now that you are growing a beautiful little baby! Creating REGULARLITY with VARIETY is also a great first step. Are you incorporating 3 main meals with regular snacks in between said meals? If not, starting here is a good idea. 

Fixating on how much energy (kilojoules/calories) you are consuming is not generally necessary unless medically inclined. 

What a day of eating could look like: 

Breakfast: Weet-bix with Milk & a Yogurt + Banana on the side 

Morning tea: Rice crackers & tinned tuna with light cheese 

Lunch: Chicken & Avocado toastie → Wholegrain Bread/Sourdough Bread & BBQ chicken breast, Avocado, Light cheese & Baby spinach

Afternoon tea: Handful of mixed nuts & a piece of fruit 

Dinner: Salmon & Couscous Salad – Salmon filet with Lettuce, Couscous, Cherry tomatoes, Red Onion, Feta & Dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard & honey) 

Dessert: Strawberries dipped in melted chocolate with a Chobani flip 

Please note that the amount in which you will eat varies GREATLY as all individuals require different amounts of food throughout their day. However this example can be used as a good baseline for you to figure out what works for you. 

FOOD/PREGNANCY FUN FACT: You have probably heard or even had people tell you ‘need to eat for two now that you are pregnant’? This isn’t exactly true, at least not for the first two trimesters anyway. For the first trimester energy needs barely increase, so feeling the need to increase your intake exponentially isn’t necessary. However if you are hungrier than normal then you of course want to listen to those cues and eat to accommodate them. Energy needs increase a lot more around the third trimester, so we recommend adding a few extra serves of grains and protein-rich foods per day. This could look like a few extra rice crackers as a snack, extra serve of toast at breakfast or adding more proteins at meals like eggs and meat. 

What nutrients should we focus on during pregnancy? 

The important part to remember here is its QUALITY over quantity my friends.

Protein 

– Protein is needed to grow maternal tissue and your baby. (1,5) 

– Sources of Protein include: 

  • Meat- Beef, Pork (choose lean options), Poultry 
  • Seafood- Salmon, Cod, Prawns, Sardines, Barramundi 
  • Animal products- Eggs, Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt 
  • Plant sources- Legumes, Tofu, Tempeh 

Iron 

– Women’s iron requirements in pregnancy increase as your baby needs these stores of iron to use after birth. During pregnancy your body will create more blood meaning more iron is needed. (1,5) 

– Sources or iron include: 

  • Haem iron – (red meats, poultry, eggs, fish) 
  • Non-haem iron (nuts, wholemeal pasta and bread, iron-fortified cereals, legumes, oats, fermented soy products (tofu) and dark leafy greens).

See our blog post on iron deficiency to read about iron and how to improve your stores! 

Iodine 

– Iodine is needed for the growth of your baby’s brain, nervous system and is responsible for a healthy thyroid (an organ that helps with growth and development). (1,5) This is important for your baby to develop their 5 senses (sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste). 

– Sources of Iodine include: 

  • Bread (contains iodised salt) 
  • Iodised salt 
  • Seafood 
  • Eggs 
  • Milk products 

Folate 

– Helps prevent neural tube defects of bub. (1,5) This defect can affect a baby’s spine and brain, and is something we seriously want to decrease the prevalence of.

– Sources of Folate include: 

  • Dark leafy veg (asparagus, lettuce, brussels sprouts, broccoli) 
  • Beans 
  • Peanuts 
  • Fruits and fruit juice (orange, papaya, banana) 
  • Wholegrains 
  • Eggs 

Now remember how we discussed VARIETY and REGULARITY before with those 5 food groups? If you are aiming to do that, you SHOULD be consuming the nutrients above. However, as we are humans who don’t enjoy ALL food types, you may be missing out on some of these important nutrients. This is where SUPPLEMENTATION can come in handy, which we will be discussing in our ‘’I’M PREGNANT?! PART 2’’ blog next week! 

As always, we hope you enjoyed the read and if you have any questions we would absolutely love to answer them so feel free to reach out to us here at Nourished so we can work out a way of eating that works best for you and your little bub!

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