I know everyone says, ‘there’s no need to eat for two’ but I feel cravings for food all the time, I eat healthy meals and fairly healthy portion sizes, which hasn’t changed since I became pregnant. I’m in 2nd semester and just want to know how much I can eat and how I can help with the cravings?
During pregnancy expectant mothers only need around 200 extra calories during their third trimester. This is equivalent to a small bowl of porridge and milk, a small sandwich or around 30g of mixed nuts. Cravings are normal during pregnancy but it’s also important to eat healthy foods and to avoid putting on too much weight. If you’re finding you’re hungry, make sure you stick to a structured routine around mealtimes and include some healthy snacks during the day when you’re most likely to feel hunger or cravings. Good snack ideas include cheese and crackers, vegetable sticks and dips, plain yoghurt and fruit, handful of nuts and seeds, baked beans on toast or a small soup with a wholemeal roll. Ensure you’re getting plenty of fluids throughout the day and keeping well hydrated too. Choose protein and fibre rich foods at mealtimes and snacks to help you feel fuller for longer – this includes wholemeal varieties, plenty of vegetables and foods like beans and lentils which add bulk to meals, without the extra calories.
I am a vegetarian and I don’t eat fish or eggs and am worrying about my baby’s development. Do I need to take a supplement for Vitamin D and Omega-3? I currently take a Pregnacare supplement.
During pregnancy eating a healthy diet is essential for mother and baby’s health. However you may also need to take some extra supplements and the Department of Health recommends that all pregnant women take a supplement containing vitamin D and folic acid.
Throughout pregnancy 10 micrograms of vitamin D each day is recommended and ideally you should also carry on taking this during breastfeeding once your baby is born.
400 micrograms of folic acid are also recommended each day but these should ideally be taken as soon as possible after you realise you are pregnant (or even when you first start trying for a baby) and up until you are 12 weeks pregnant.
Check your current supplement, which should contain the recommended levels of nutrients during pregnancy, plus some additional ones. If you are concerned about levels of Omega-3 in your diet and feel you may be lacking, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor about this. Your GP may recommend you opt for a supplement that also contains Omega-3 (such as Pregnacare plus). Make sure you don’t take more than one supplement during pregnancy, unless advised to by your GP.
If you have any pregnancy questions, feel free to send them my way and I’ll do my best to answer them.
See this link for more information on recommendations around nutrition during pregnancy.