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EARLY LIFE NUTRITION

Pregnancy Facts or Fiction

You should eat for two while pregnant

Fiction! Actually the additional calories requirement for a health pregnancy is only around 300 - 400 kcal and these extra calories are only needed from the second trimester onwards. However, dietary requirements for certain vitamins and minerals increase. Thist therefore means the focus should be on increasing fruits and vegetables, lean protein, dairy and fish while reducing intake of simple sugars and saturated fats, so instead of eating for two … think for two – FACT!

All fish should be avoided while pregnant

Fiction! Actually, the experts recommend that you eat at least two portions of fresh fish per week and one of these should be oily. Some fish are not recommended during pregnancy and these include swordfish, shark and marlin. Also, it is advisable to limit canned tuna consumption to two portions per week due to the mercury content.

Exercise should be avoided during pregnancy

Complete Fiction! In fact, in most cases, regular gentle forms of exercise (walking, swimming, yoga and pilates) are actually recommended during pregnancy to help maintain a healthy weight unless there is some medical reason not to. Before starting any exercise regime, talk to your healthcare professional.

Gaining less weight during pregnancy will make your delivery easier?

Fiction! Mothers who do not gain enough weight during pregnancy could be placing their babies at risk for complications such as premature birth, which can cause lung and heart problems. Furthermore, aiming to be a healthy weight before becoming pregnant is important as underweight and overweight both pose risks as discussed above.

You should avoid unpasteurized dairy products while pregnant?

Fact! Raw milk, and unpasteurised soft cheeses such as feta, brie, camembert and stilton should be avoided. These items may contain pathogenic bacteria normally killed during the pasteurization process. The food label will state whether the product has been pasteurised.

A glass of wine a day is okay!

Fiction! Most experts recommend that alcohol should be completely avoided during pregnancy due to the potential risks it might present to the developing foetus as alcohol can cross the placenta. Excessive alcohol during pregnancy has been directly implicated with the development of feotal alcohol syndrome which results in permanent cognitive impairment.

Finally… Morning sickness only occurs in the morning …

Fiction! It's fairly safe to say that, for anyone who has experienced the perils of morning sickness, you probably already knew this...