So what should a pregnant woman eat?

A macronutrient balanced diet! Being pregnant is not a time to start cutting out on whole food groups, it's not a time for sugar free, paleo, low carb fad diets! 

Being pregnant is a wildly exciting time and your body is about to go through the "ringer". Creating another person is not easy work, it places huge demands on every aspect of a woman's body! Mentally, physically and anatomically. 

Being pregnant is a time for being kind to your self, as there will be some days where you may be so "over it". Yes it is ok to admit this! I for one can say I did not like being pregnant! I appreciate and love that my body did a miraculous thing but continuous vomiting is not my favourite way to spend 9 months! 

It is absolutely ok to occasionally enjoy a few treats, and give in to cravings, as we know many of our usual treats are off the list! Alcohol, caffeine (in large quantities) deli meats, soft cheeses and even left-overs. In allowing this I want you to listen to your body and what it's screaming out for. Perhaps it's oranges ? Lollies ? Bacon ? Cheesymite scrolls or even ice-cream and pickles? Each craving is your body telling you it's lacking in something. So give in to your cravings, but make sure it's not every day and speak to your nutritionist if they are getting "out of control". Cravings can only be dangerous when it's something like a craving for eating dirt or chalk as these can be signs of more serious deficiencies. 

All in all, during pregnancy a balanced diet which is made up of complex carbohydrates, proteins, fats and dairy products as well as fruits and vegetables is key! 

1) Carbohydrates

A pregnant woman should aim for carbohydrates in the form of complex carbohydrates. They help increase energy, control weight gain, nausea and constipation for the mother and provide folate, vitamin B, proteins and fibre for the baby. Foods such as sweet potato, brown rice, wholegrain breads and sourdough. 

 2) Proteins

Choose lean protein with each meal and in each snack. A serving of protein is equalto two small eggs,  half a cup dried beans, cooked lentils or split peas or a 100 gm of poultry, fish or lean meat.

Proteins have amino acids which build the human cells. They are as such very important for the foetus to develop and also prevent pre-eclampsia in the latter part of the pregnancy. Lean meats are iron-rich foods, that importantly help to oxygenate the blood of both mother and baby and assist energy production. 

 3) Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables. Let's aim for 2 and 5! Important sources of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals They give folate, calcium, iron and vitamin B, Vitamin C and many others necessary for feral development and growth and the health of mum.

If you are finding it hard to consume these (as a nutritionist I struggled with some veggies) I opted for a green smoothie to help get my serves up and get the job done! 

4) Fats

Fats are absolutely necessary for the baby’s development. Avocados, eggs, fish, organic butter, coconut oil, olive oils, nuts and seeds are all on the list and essential for babies brain development. This is also something I recommend in a good quality supplement as I think it is so crucial, with a tonne of research to back it up. Now is not the time to cut fat out of the diet. Good fats are also great for reducing the chance of getting stretch marks as it helps keep the skin hydrated (the Vitamin C in fruits and veggies also help by assisting collagen production). 

Avoiding foods that are processed, high is sodium, sugar, preservatives and nasty hydrogenated fats is essential. Cutting down on biscuits, chips, lollies and sodas is essential. Yes every now and then your body may NEED a Gaytime, have it, enjoy it and then make sure you don't give in to this craving errrrryday! 

Enjoy being pregnant (where possible) don't eat for two! Eat seasonally, locally and organic where possible. Drink 2 litres per day and stay active! 

Get along to see your nutritionist and make sure you are on the best vitamins and minerals for the extra demands being pregnant takes on your body! 

And have a Gaytime when you need one! 

For more information head to download a diet sheet for Pregnancy here.