During pregnancy, women are concerned with appetite changes, special precautions in food choices and preparation, weight gain, correct supplementation and health issues such as gestational diabetes. Our dietitians will be able to advise and support you in all these aspects. Typically, you would visit the dietitian every two to three months to check that everything is on track in terms of nutrition.
What to eat during pregnancy
Our dietitian will help you select the optimal foods and plan your daily meals, while eating the right number of calories at the right time and within the accepted guidelines:
- Women often overestimate how many calories they should be eating: 300 calories from the fourth month is the recommended increase in daily intake. To give an example, this is equivalent to a cup of milk with half a cup of unsweetened oats.
- Around 1,200mg of calcium daily is recommended, and there are plenty of options for this. An example: 1 cup of dairy or non-dairy fortified milk, 2 cups of dried beans, 3-4 cups of calcium-rich leafy vegetables, plus 60-90g of white pasteurized cheese or 200g of fortified tofu.
- If you aren’t able to get the recommended daily sun exposure of 10-15 minutes, you can get it through nutrition, for example, vitamin D-fortified foods, such as some local brands of milk in the UAE that provide 120% of RDA in 100ml of milk
- We will also give you detailed information regarding you iron intake, vitamin C, folic acid and other essential nutrients, as well as help you to select the best supplement to complement any gaps in your diet
What to avoid during pregnancy
In addition to advising you on what you should eat, our dietitian will also advise you on which foods you should be avoiding, for example:
- Foods that carry a high risk of contamination such as unwashed fruits and vegetables carrying traces of soil, or cooked meats cross-contaminated with unwashed surfaces, utensils or hands.
- Foods that are rich in caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola, and chocolates. In total, you should not consume more than 300mg of caffeine a day
- Processed foods that contain undesirable artificial sweeteners as these can cross the placenta and might remain in fetal tissues.
- Alcohol, as it has been linked to premature delivery and low birth weight in babies.
How to lose weight after pregnancy
Our dietitians can also help support you post-delivery. We have plans for losing weight properly without affecting your milk supply while breastfeeding. We will also be able to advise about foods and elements entering your milk, and which of these might disturb your baby, and which are soothing for both the baby and you.