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Eating the right diet during pregnancy is key to maintaining your own health whilst your body is busy doing amazing things and supports the healthy development of your baby, giving them the best possible start in life. From the moment the egg is fertilised, the embryo begins to develop rapidly. By week five of forty, the spinal cord, brain, heart and other organs are already forming.
Some foods are important to avoid because of the potential for harm to your developing baby and there tends to be a great deal of emphasis in this area. There is often far less focus on the nutritious foods that are important to eat during pregnancy, so in this weeks blog, we are going to focus solely on some of the wonderful stuff you can and should be eating to look after yourself and your growing baby.
Water is a crucial element of any healthy diet, helping to energise muscles, protect skin, support kidney function and maintain a normal bowel function. Guidelines suggest that we drink between eight and ten small glasses of water each day.
Pregnant women are more likely to suffer with urinary tract infections and haemorrhoids, (often caused by constipation), but often these conditions can be avoided by drinking the recommended daily amount of water.
Vitamin B6 can provide wonderful relief from pregnancy nausea, making sweet potatoes, which are high in this particular B vitamin a great hit for the large percentage of women who suffer with nausea in the early stages of their pregnancy.
Sweet potatoes are also an excellent source of carbohydrates and many other nutrients including vitamins A, C and K, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, making this versatile vegetable a great all rounder.
The avocado pear is literally loaded with goodness, containing healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins A, C, E and K, folate, iron and potassium along with average amounts of many other nutrients. Enjoy some avocado in your salads or try making a simple guacamole dip by combining avocado, limejuice, onion, coriander, garlic and a little chilli to taste.
Loaded with healthy omega 3 fats, along with plenty of iron and fibre, a handful of walnuts provide a highly nutritious snack for you and your growing baby. As with all other nuts, the calorie content is high, so once again moderation is key.
Enjoy walnuts on their own as a tasty snack or add to your salads and other dishes.
Rich in vitamin C, which promotes the production of collagen and increases skin elasticity, raspberries provide wonderful nutrition for your skin during pregnancy and can help you to avoid stretch marks.
They are an excellent source of fibre and contain a wealth of other nutrients including vitamin K, iron, folate, niacin and zinc. Enjoy them in your smoothies, with yoghurt, rolled oats or as a tasty snack on their own!
Cheese is such a rich source of protein, calcium and B vitamins, all of which are wonderful for both mother and baby, so whilst it is import and to avoid types of cheese that are made from unpasteurised milks, there are still plenty of other great cheeses you can enjoy.
It is a common misconception that pregnant women should avoid soft cheeses altogether, but there are a variety of pasteurised soft cheeses in fact that are safe.
If in doubt, give it a miss just in case, but otherwise enjoy it!
Spinach & Kale
Use a handful of either in your salads, smoothies and stir-fries to boost your intake of essential folate. Both of these greens are also great sources of vitamin A, iron and magnesium among many other nutrients.
Are You Hankering For What You Cannot Have?
It is human nature! You may not have touched it in several years, then the moment you know that you cannot eat it you suddenly have an overwhelming craving for a little pâté or something else that is off limits. You might even find that foods you have never liked for your entire adult life are suddenly all you want the moment you are advised to avoid them.
Try substituting pâté with a suitable alternative, for example hummus or some tapenade, or satisfy your craving for Camembert with a delicious pasteurised cheese instead. There are lots of yummy foods that will satisfy your cravings whilst supporting your health and your baby’s development so try to focus on them. Besides, those 40 weeks will fly by before you know it!
If you’re thinking about whether or not to employ a maternity nurse to help you care for your baby and you then why not take a look at the range of services that we provide here at Eden. We’re always happy to answer any questions and are very flexible with regards to meeting our clients needs whilst offering experienced, qualified candidates for all positions.
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