Dr Suresh John is an Obstetrician practicing at Mitcham Private, Waverley Private and Knox Private Hospitals. Dr John is an expert in dealing with diet requirements during pregnancy. Read below to see a few tips about diet during pregnancy, or if you have any further concerns and would like to make an appointment to chat with us, please click HERE.
Eating healthy, nutrient dense food is one of the best things you can do to ensure that your body remains healthy and free of disease. If you are pregnant, a healthy diet is an absolute must to ensure that you and your baby get the essential nutrients needed.
A pregnant woman requires higher levels of iron, calcium and protein compared to a woman who is not expecting. Below is a breakdown of each of these nutrients and why they are so important, and a few food sources that you can get each of these from.
Pregnant women need around 28mg of iron every day. This amount is around twice the level needed by women who are not pregnant. The higher levels of iron are needed to increase the production of blood, which in turn will assist with delivering more oxygen to your baby in the womb. If you aren’t eating enough iron, you can suffer from anaemia, this condition results in added fatigue and give you an increased risk of infection.
Good food sources for Iron:
- Collard greens
- Dried apricots, prunes, raisins, figs
- Brussel sprouts
- Red meat (well cooked, not rare or medium rare)
- Diced potatoes
- Iron enriched cereals
Of course there are many other sources of iron through diet, this list just give you a good idea of some of the food sources that you can obtain good levels of iron from.
Calcium is one of the key nutrients that is used to build your baby’s bones and teeth. Getting enough calcium in your diet whilst you are pregnant is extremely important for the development of your baby. Sufficient calcium intake is also very important for your body, because if you don’t consume sufficient levels of calcium, the minerals will be drawn from the stores in your bones to provide for the additional needs of your baby during pregnancy. A significant amount of dairy products on the market also have added vitamin D, which is also a vital nutrient for developing bones and teeth.
Goof food sources for Calcium:
- Leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, turnip greens)
- Some cheese (swiss, mozzarella, cheddar) Avoid raw milk cheeses such as feta, brie, camembert and blue cheese.
Pregnant women must ensure they are eating sufficient amounts of protein. Protein is a very important “builder” nutrient for pregnant women. Protein helps with building skin, hair, muscles and more for you and your baby.
Goof food sources for Protein:
- Chicken Eggs
- Cooked fish (salmon, Pollock, sardines, trout, shrimp, tune) Fish needs to be low mercury
- Pasteurised cows milk
- Legumes (black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, split peas)
- Nuts & Seeds (peanuts, walnuts, cashews, almonds, chia, flax, pumpkin seeds)
Of course the list of good foods you can eat is very extensive. The nutrient requirements are also far more than just the 3 we have discussed above. For an extensive list of diet requirements and things to look out for, you can visit the Better Health Channel website.