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Best food and nutrition during pregnancy

Pregnancy Supplements and the Best Antenatal Foods

Looking for the Pregnancy Supplements? You’re pregnant, congratulations! If you’re looking to make the most of this beautiful time for both you and your babe in terms of your health and wellness you’ve probably started to look into the best foods to be eating during pregnancy and what pregnancy supplement might be helpful. Pregnant women do have different nutritional needs, so what do pregnant women require more of and what do they .need to be eating more of for optimal health and wellness for both mum and baby?

Pregnancy nutritional requirements

After pregnancy, women need to supplementMore calcium, folic acid, iron and protein. In the first trimester of pregnancy (the first 3 months), a pregnant woman needs the same calories as before pregnancy. In the middle and late stages of pregnancy (4-6 and 7-9 months), you only need to supplement 200-300 calories a day. Most of the aforementioned nutrients can be obtained through food, but if you lack a certain vitamin or have a special diet, you can also supplement it through nutrition. For example, if you are a vegetarian, you may not get enough vitamin B12 through your daily diet, or if you do not get enough iron from your food, you will be more prone to anemia. In addition, vitamin D is usually lacking in people, so your doctor may recommend that you supplement with vitamin D appropriately.


Folic acid, or vitamin B9, is an essential and crucial vitamin for the development of the baby’s brain and in the prevention of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord. It may be difficult to get enough folic acid through food so supplementation may be recommended by your doctor. For women who are trying to get pregnant, should take more folic acid by following your doctor’s advice.

Foods High in Folic Acid:

  • Beans
  • Citrus Fruits
  • Dark leafy green vegetables
  • Fortified or enriched cereals
  • Wholegrain breads, pastas, and noodles

Pregnancy Supplements – Calcium and Vitamin D

Calcium is very important for a pregnant woman because if she is not getting enough the calcium will be drawn from the mother’s stores in her own bones to be given to the baby which puts the new mother at risk of bone-related diseases like osteoporosis. Vitamin D is important too as it works with calcium to help develop bones and teeth.

Foods High in Calcium and Vitamin D :

  • Fortified milk and soy milk
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Sardines or salmon with bones
  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Mushrooms (vitamin D)


Pregnant women need more iron because they need more blood to oxygenate their babies. To promote iron absorption, pregnant women should also consume vitamin C when consuming iron-containing foods or supplements, as it improves the body's ability to absorb iron. If iron intake is insufficient during pregnancy, pregnant women may develop anemia and even lead to severe fatigue of the body and muscles.

Foods High in Iron :

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Tofu or soybean fermented food
  • Pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews
  • Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach)


Protein helps build and repair muscles and tissues and is important for the development of the baby’s organs, brain, and heart.

Foods High in Protein :

  • Red meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Tofu or soybean fermented food
  • Pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews
  • Dark leafy greens (kale, spinach)

Foods to Avoid if You’re Pregnant

This is a general guideline for what to avoid during pregnancy. If there is a food or supplement that you’re not sure about be sure to ask your doctor before consumption.


While not forbidden, pregnant women are generally advised to reduce their intake of caffeine as it is quickly absorbed into the placenta and the baby is not currently equipped to metabolize caffeine which may lead to a build-up and restrict fetal growth. Pregnant women are advised to limit their intake of caffeine to 2-3 cups per day.

High-Mercury Fish

Unfortunately, due to our oceans becoming more and more polluted, there are some types of fish that contain higher levels of mercury. Fish like tuna, mackerel, shark, and kingfish are high-mercury fish. High levels of mercury are extremely toxic to humans so it is advised that pregnant women severely restrict intake of high-mercury fish-types. Not all fish are considered high-mercury thankfully, and consumption of low-mercury fish is a good source of protein and omega-3s for the expecting mother and baby.

Undercooked or Raw Meat/Fish

Raw fish, especially shellfish, can cause a variety of infections. Pregnant women are 20 times more likely than the general population to contract diseases such as listeria. Even if a pregnant woman shows no signs or symptoms, Listeria may have passed from the mother to the uterus. Listeria can cause premature labor, miscarriage, and even stillbirth. Raw and processed meat can also cause various infections that can lead to stillbirth and severe neurological disorders.


Alcohol consumption can affect fetal development and increase the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. Because there is no clear safe amount of alcohol to drink, pregnant women are advised to avoid alcohol altogether.

Unpasteurized Food

Food and drink that is unpasteurized like raw dairy or juice increase the risk of the mother contracting Listeria, which as mentioned previously, pregnant women are extremely susceptible to.

Dong Quai

A popular Chinese remedy for menstrual cramps and high blood pressure, Dong Quai should be avoided by pregnant women as it may cause uterine contractions which raise the risk of a miscarriage.

Undercooked Eggs

Raw or undercooked eggs may contain salmonella, which can cause a gastrointestinal infection that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Severe cases can cause uterine spasm, leading to premature delivery or fetal death. Fully cooked and sterilized eggs are suitable for pregnant women.

Foods that commonly contain raw eggs :

  • Lightly scrambled eggs
  • Poached eggs
  • Hollandaise sauce
  • Homemade mayonnaise
  • Salad dressings
  • Homemade ice cream
  • Cake icing


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