Should I eat more during pregnancy ?
The answer is no! In fact, the body adapts during pregnancy*, this is why it is pointless to eat more or to take supplements systematically, unless your doctor thinks it is necessary. Instead it is a matter of being more aware of what you are eating and making sure that you fulfil all your new nutritional requirements and even incorporating one or two snacks. Snacks allow you to avoid large meals and help prevent nausea and also help improve your digestion, whilst ensuring that you don’t feel hungry and don’t just constantly graze.**
EXPERT ADVICE: nutritional advice during pregnancy, zoom on vitamin B9
During pregnancy, vitamin B9 intake, also referred to as folic acid or folates, must increase from 300 mg per day to 400 µg in food.
To ensure that you are getting enough, you can carry on eating liver, nutritional yeast, egg yolk, shallots and soya protein, which are all naturally rich in folic acid, as well as certain foods with added vitamin B9 (cereals or biscuits).***
A folic acid supplement may be prescribed by the healthcare professional monitoring your pregnancy. The primary aim of this supplement is to reduce the risk of anomalies in neural tube closing (spina bifida).
Which foods does a balanced diet include ?
Which foods does a balanced diet include?
Let’s go over a little check-list for a balanced diet:
- 5 fruit and vegetables a day
- 1 carbohydrate at each meal (grains, pulses, bread, pasta…)
- Dairy products (cheese and/or yoghurt): 3 times a day
- Protein (meat, fish or egg): 1 or 2 times a day
- As much still water or herbal tea as you like
Remember to keep your diet as varied as possible.
Our tips :
– Have a big breakfast, or, if you are suffering from morning sickness, divide your food intake over a small breakfast and a snack at about 10 AM if necessary
– Avoid missing meals
EXPERT ADVICE: how much weight gain is normal over these 9 months?
Balanced weight gain for a relaxed pregnancy: yes, but how much weight?
Don’t compare how many kilos you have gained with how many your friends, sisters-in-law etc. gained: the “ideal” weigh gain during pregnancy is based on your Body Mass Index (BMI) before your pregnancy. This is calculated by dividing your weight in kg by your height in metres squared. For a so-called “normal” BMI (between 18.5 and 25), the ideal would be to gain between 9kg and 12kg, bearing in mind that in general you will gain less weight at the beginning of a pregnancy and on average 2kg/month during the 3rd trimester. Weight gain is specific to each individual, so talk about it with your gynaecologist or midwife.
How can I protect myself against toxoplasmosis, listeriosis or salmonellosis ?
During pregnancy, risks associated with diet need to be taken into consideration in order to avoid these illnesses and the impact that they can have on the health of your baby.
This means that you need to wait 9 months before you can start eating any of the following again:
- raw or smoked meat, fish, shellfish and crustaceans (carpaccio, tartar, sushi…),
- certain kinds of fish with a high mercury content (swordfish, whiting, siki…),
- cured meats (rillettes, pâté, foie gras, raw ham, cured sausage, liver mousse…),
- unpasteurised cheeses.
Rest assured, you can continue to enjoy cooked ham, well-cooked meat and fish, pasteurised, rindless cheese, hard-boiled eggs or omelette, cooked crustacean.