The Importance of good nutrition during Pregnancy
Good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle are central to the Clinic’s overall approach to all aspects of reproductive planning.
Research shows that what you eat (and what you don’t eat) during pregnancy can have a profound effect, not only on how healthy and enjoyable a pregnancy you have, but on the health and development of your baby for his or her whole life. Your baby depends on you for all the nutrients required for healthy growth and development, so it obviously makes sense to eat as many of the foods that are best for him or her at each particular stage and to avoid the ones that are not.
Good nutritional planning can reduce the likelihood of complications arising for mothers-to-be too, such as hypertension or gestational diabetes. And it can help to reduce common problems like pregnancy sickness, heartburn and constipation, as well as helping to improve your energy levels.
A nutritional consultation with us provides an in-depth assessment of your individual status taking into account the specific, and changing, nutritional requirements for each of your baby’s key developmental stages. Blood sugar and acid/alkaline balance, protein intake, “good” carbohydrates and weight management are all discussed with a particular emphasis on those foods that are best avoided during pregnancy.
We develop an individual plan of action with you for each stage of pregnancy. We look particularly at the following important aspects of nutrition:
- Quality not quantity: explaining the importance of a nutrient rich diet, rather than ‘eating for two’
- Building iron and calcium stores
- Folic acid supplementation and folate-rich diet
- Strengthening the immune system
- Dos and don’ts: alcohol, caffeine, food poisoning and safety etc.
- Exercise advice
- Weight management (up or down if necessary) without ‘dieting’
- Maintaining iron and calcium stores
- Anaemia and advice on iron supplementation
- Essential fatty acids; the importance of ‘good’ fats
- Protein and fluids
- Energy foods
- Herbal teas
Preparing for Labour
- Carbohydrates and energy nutrients
- Nutrients to prepare you specifically for labour
- Energy giving snacks to keep you going
It is just as important to make sure that you maintain a healthy and nutritious diet of the right kinds of foods during the weeks and months following the birth. If you are breast-feeding, you’ll need additional calories and a good fluid intake too. Omega 3 is an important nutrient throughout pregnancy as the growing foetus uses the mother’s stores for brain, eye and cell development often leaving the mother deficient lading to dry skin and cognitive and concentration lapses.