Diet and Exercise in Pregnancy

A nutritious diet is the foundation of a healthy pregnancy. Avoiding unhealthy eating habits such as skipping breakfast, foods high in sugar and fat, as well as alcohol while focusing on nutritious foods can greatly affect the outcome of your pregnancy.

 

Proper weight gain is also very important, low pre-pregnant weight and inadequate weight gain during pregnancy care contributing factors in intra-uterine growth, retardation and low birth weight. Alternatively, gaining too much weight can also cause problems especially if the woman's pre-pregnancy weight falls into the obese category.

Exercise

Keeping a regular exercise schedule can be extremely beneficial throughout your pregnancy. Unless you are in a high risk category that prohibits you from exercising, moderate physical activity (about 30 minutes per day) can improve your energy levels, keep your muscles toned, increase endurance, improve your sleep, prevent constipation, and reduce back aches, and much more.

 

Whether it's aerobics, pelvic toning, or yoga, do a variety of exercises to keep you motivated. Or ask us at QBaby for an exercise regimen that's right for you.

 

Healthy diet tips

Eat the proper amount of kilojoules. The developing foetus only needs about 1,250 kj per day in the first and second trimester, and only slightly more in the final trimester. The idea of eating for two is not strictly correct, it is about nutrients for two. Eat three to four servings of protein daily. Animal and non-animal sources for a total of 60-75 grams daily. Protein is essential for a growing baby.

 

Drink plenty of water. Ideally eight glasses per day (2 litres). Your water requirements increase as your baby is growing.

 

Eat two servings of vitamin c rich fruits and vegetables. Reduce high salt foods. Eating too many very salty foods, such as potato crisps and pickles, can cause water retention which can contribute to high blood supply.

 

Eat iron rich foods daily for an increasing blood supply. Eat four servings of calcium rich foods daily, dairy and non-dairy sources. Your baby needs calcium to grow healthy bones, teeth, muscles and nervous system. Eat three servings of green leafy vegetables and yellow fruits and vegetables. These are high in beta-carotene, a nutrient vital for cell growth as well as healthy skin, bones, and eyes. Eat at least six servings of whole grains and legumes daily. These are a good source of fibre and nutrients such as B vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals.

 

Reduce trans-fatty acids. These are artificially created fats found often in processed foods.

 

Avoid alcohol and tobacco. No amount is considered safe during pregnancy.

 

Take prenatal vitamins and minerals. Even with the best intentions, getting all the nutrients you need for your growing baby can be difficult with diet alone. Prenatal nutrients ensure you are getting all of the essentials.

Contact our QBaby Naturopaths for individualised advice on pregnancy exercise and diet.