7 Diet Tips for a Smooth Pregnancy

Maintaining a well-balanced and healthy diet during pregnancy is important for your wellbeing as well as the development of your baby. So what should you eat and avoid during pregnancy? We have listed down seven fundamental tips as a guide for you!

1. Don’t forget breakfast

Everyone knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is not good leaving your stomach empty as you will be light headed throughout the day. How do you plan an easy breakfast meal? You could always try fortified ready-to-eat or cooked breakfast cereals with fresh cut fruits. Fortified cereals have added nutrients, like calcium. You can also add in some flax seeds and pumpkin seeds as it contains healthy fats too. Such a delicious treat in one scoop of cereal. 

2. Eat foods with fiber

The benefits of eating foods with good fiber helps with your healthy gut microbiome thrive. You can choose a variety of vegetables and fruits, like carrots, cooked greens, bananas, and melon. Fruits also provide a wide range of health-boosting antioxidants, including flavonoids. Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables can also help with constipation during pregnancy. 

Constipation tends to start as early as progesterone levels rise, around the second to third month of pregnancy. It may get worse as pregnancy progresses and your uterus grows. Therefore eating more beans, whole grains and brown rice with sufficient fluid intake could help with your bowels problem.

3. Choose healthy snacks

Who says snacking is bad? Snacking can both be fun and healthy, it solely depends on what you choose to snack with. Try opting for a low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruit for some extra sweetness for your sweet tooth. Other than that, there is always the choice of whole grain crackers with fat-free or low-fat cheese that could be just the right touch when you are watching a movie or reading a book during the weekends. 

4. Take a prenatal vitamin with iron and folic acid every day

Supplements are an additional add on for a healthier diet to fill up the gap of nutrients and vitamins that are lacking from our body. It is also to take note that not all supplements are necessary, the benefits of giving them should outweigh the risk. That said, do not self-prescribe. Always take supplements only after discussing the safety and dosage with a doctor. 

It is hard to determine how much nutrients or vitamins you could gain by what you eat. It is advisable to take prenatal vitamins with iron and folic acid every day due to increased volume in blood by 30% during pregnancy, many women are commonly found to be iron deficient anemia during pregnancy. Besides that, folate requirements increase by so much during pregnancy that research has shown that taking folic acid supplements as early as during preconception can significantly reduce risk of defects in your baby’s brain and spine. Therefore, iron will help you and your little one produce sufficient red blood cells during pregnancy where else folic acid helps prevent birth defects. 

5. Eat up to 12 ounces a week (2 average meals) of fish or shellfish

You need to eat at least two average meals of fish or shellfish. The omega-3 fatty acids in many fish, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), also can promote your baby’s brain development. A three-ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards. Try to avoid fish and shellfish with high levels of mercury. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish. If you do fancy tuna, try to choose those canned light tuna. Common kinds of fish that are low in mercury include shrimp, salmon and catfish.

6. Stay away from soft cheeses and lunch meat

There are both good food and bad goods that might harm your pregnancy journey, unless it’s pasteurized, try to avoid some foods like soft cheese such as feta, brie and goat cheese. Uncooked or undercooked meats like sushi could also hurt your baby as some foods may contain harmful bacteria Listeria and parasites in them.You may enjoy some foods like hotdogs but it has to be well heated until it’s steaming hot. Similarly, with deli meat. If not, do avoid deli meats to prevent yourself from consuming bacteria that could harm you and your baby.

7. Limit caffeine and avoid alcohol

Whoever is a coffee lover should take a break from it during this period of time. Because caffeine is a stimulant, it increases your blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are not recommended during pregnancy. Caffeine also increases the frequency of urination. This causes a reduction in your body fluid levels and can lead to dehydration. Caffeine crosses the placenta to your baby and may affect his or her health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends restricting caffeine intake to reduce risk of pregnancy loss and low birth weight of your baby. Common recommendation is to keep it below 200mg per day, which is about one to two cups of coffee per day. Alternatively, you could try drinking decaffeinated coffee or tea. Choose water or seltzer instead of soda and sweetened drinks. 

Also, do not drink alcohol. Drinking alcohol, especially in the first three months of pregnancy, increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth and your baby having a low birthweight. Alcohol intake during pregnancy also poses a higher risk of your child having fetal alcohol spectrum disorder which has a range of lifelong physical, behavioural and intellectual disabilities. 

You can also make your own healthy tea at home. One of the examples would be red date tea for confinement that can actually benefit pregnant women too! Red dates help replenish and nourish your blood, thus improving blood circulation. This can lead to better liver and digestive function, balance of inner body energy (‘qi)’ and improved immunity.

Here’s to a better and healthier pregnancy that does not stop yourself from enjoying good food. You can still enjoy some foods you crave so long as it does not harm you or your body. So take good care of mummies and enjoy the delicious confinement food journey! Also, don’t forget to hop on to MumChecked to get the maternity or baby supplies that you might need. A convenient e-commerce web store with just a click away.

Good Nutrition Goes Beyond Pregnancy

Of course, eating well is not just for during pregnancy. After childbirth, it’s even more crucial for you to nourish your body with good nutrition to support your postpartum recovery and breastfeeding needs. Get yourself a well-balanced and nutritious confinement meal plan that is reviewed by a professional dietitian with Tian Wei Signature. 
We are an award-winning confinement food home delivery service that serves a wide range of fusion and traditional Chinese confinement food. The confinement food we serve are MSG-free, and packed with healing and lactogenic ingredients to boost your recovery and lactation. With our convenient lunch and dinner delivery service, you’ll receive warm and fresh confinement meals at your door, served in thermal flasks and biodegradable packaging.

Interested to learn more about our menu? Click the “Menu” button on top of this page to discover your full menu now!