eating in pregnancy
Eating in balance for you and your baby
the Mediterranean way
We have put together our favourite foodie tips, recipes and meal plans to support you through these
crazy nine months of change. These are just a guide, written by our in-house nutritional therapist and
nutritional chef, Alice. If you are worried about anything, it is best to speak to your GP.
you find out the news
you start feeling sick
you need to keep it hush
You must remember you are not alone
So here’s how the story may go. You find out your pregnant (whoop!), and chances are you are feeling
pretty funky, probably a little bit, or a lot, sick – but you can’t tell anyone to get any help or sympathy!
That first month, when you have so much going on, and have to pretend nothing is going on, can be one
of the hardest times during pregnancy. But those weeks do pass. Sadly there is no magic cure to stop you
feeling nauseous, but take heed in the fact that it happens to most new mums and it is a very normal
part of what is going on. What we can do is give you some ideas on what to eat to support you and your
baby during those exciting and frankly, exhausting weeks.
Grow a baby - The therapeutic value of the Mediterranean diet
Being pregnant doesn't mean going on a special grow-a-baby diet, it is important to eat a balanced diet with a wide variety of foods in order to pack in all those nutrients.
It is best to get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, but in pregnancy, you need to take special pregnancy supplements to ensure you and the baby get everything you need. Check with your GP which ones you need, and pick them up at the chemist or health food shop.
It has been shown that women who frequently eat Mediterranean-style foods before pregnancy have significantly reduced risk for pregnancy complications, such as pre-eclampsia.
Following a Mediterranean approach to eating is fantastic during pregnancy. Filled with different sources of protein, good fats, wholegrains and nutrients and fibre from fresh fruit and veg, not only are there delicious recipes to help with cravings and low energy, but the diet has proven to support health and longevity. We have written lots more on fantastic foods from the Mediterranean food pyramid to add to your daily and weekly meal plan.
eating in morning sickness
Whilst food isn’t a magic bullet, it certainly can help.
We work with lots of mummies to be who have all gone through some pretty tough months of feeling sick; from that rumbling nauseous feeling most of the day, to full blown, not leaving the bathroom all morning – morning sickness. Scientists aren’t sure exactly what makes it happen, and why some women suffer this more strongly than others. Research has shown a possible link in the increase in hormones, while others think it is a protective mechanism as you have a heightened sense of smell, and we often use smell to tell us if a food is safe or not. Below are some foodie tips and tricks that we have gathered from our Piccolo mums.
Start each morning eating a little something
Keep a packet of oatcakes by your bed and have a few bites when you wake up. Having something simple lining your tummy first thing can sometimes help fight off those first feelings of nausea.
Eat simple, protein-rich foods
such as nuts and seeds, eggs and pulses like lentils. Try to avoid rich, spicy, acidic, fatty or fried foods that might trigger nausea.
Limit drinks during meals
If you're finding it hard to keep fluids down, limit drinks during mealtimes. Instead, keep a bottle of water next to you and take small sips throughout the day. Try flavouring your water with mint, lemon or cucumber as this can also help hold nausea at bay. Keeping up your general liquid intake is important during pregnancy.
Add mint, ginger & lemon to your meals
Strong flavours of mint, ginger and lemon are thought to help with nausea. Adding these to boiling water (or using flavoured teabags), cold water or using things like mints, ginger or lemon biscuits can also help.
Smell mint & lemon
Even smelling mint or lemon can calm your tummy. Keep a bottle of spearmint oil or peppermints in your bag so you can have a mint or smell mint whenever you are out and about or feeling poorly.
eating in pregnancy
the definitive list of can have and can’t
You have probably already been given a list of foods to avoid in pregnancy. This is because these foods
can cause food poisoning, and the possible presence of bacteria, chemicals or parasites in these foods
which could harm your baby.
Click below for our table to print out on what you can and can’t eat during pregnancy and why
read more about eating in pregnancy