Last updated on Jun 11th, 2021 at 08:41 pm

Having a healthy body and heart will keep you strong, positive and energised, making it easier for you to cope with the big life changes of pregnancy and the birth of your baby.

It doesn’t have to be tough with these simple changes in your diet:

1. Eat your rainbow colours

At least five portions of different types of fruit and vegetables a day helps you get a range of nutrients and anti-oxidants. Chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for a portion of fresh fruit.

2. Have a fish dish

Fish is an excellent source of protein and contains vitamins and minerals. It’s recommended that we eat at least two portions of fish per week, including one serving of oily fish. Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, and non-oily fish like haddock, plaice and coley.
Pregnant women should avoid eating fish that contains mercury. Mercury is a toxin and eating fish that contains high levels of mercury can be dangerous to everyone’s health, but especially for pregnant women and their babies. Exposure to high levels of mercury during pregnancy can affect your unborn baby’s brain and nervous system development. Mercury concentrated in the baby’s brain and nervous system can cause problems with language, motor and cognitive skills, so it’s important to avoid eating predatory fish like tuna, sword fish and shark.

3. Saturated is overrated

You need to include some fat in your diet. There are two types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can escalate the volume of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease. Try to reduce your saturated fat intake, and select foods that comprise unsaturated fats instead, such as vegetable oils and avocados.

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4. Move more

According to a recent study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine, women who maintain exercise throughout their pregnancies manage to keep their weight in check and improve their overall fitness. Walking is the one workout all pregnant women can enjoy, no matter what your fitness level. If you haven’t previously been active, it’s one of the easier ways to start exercising and it’s a safe activity to continue with throughout all nine months of your pregnancy. Before starting any exercise routine, you should clear it with your doctor first.

5. Hydrate

You need to drink about 1.6 to 2 litres of water every day to avoid dehydration. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. Avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugars. Water infused with freshly cut fruit like lemon, mint, cucumber or strawberries is healthy and still appetizing.