Should I eat differently during my pregnancy?
Now, during pregnancy, it is especially important that you eat a balanced diet. So that you and your baby get all the nutrients you both need.
If you suspect that you have not always eaten healthy, it is even more important to start with it in your pregnancy. Enjoy nutritious and balanced food. Your daily meals should include all major food groups as recommended by the German Nutrition Society (DGE):
- Fruit and vegetables: Try to eat fruits and vegetables five times a day – be it fresh, frozen, dried or as a fresh squeezed juice or as a homemade smoothie.
- Food with carbon hydrates (starch): This group includes bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. The base should always be made from whole grain if possible.
- High protein foods: These include, in particular, lean meats, chicken, fish, eggs and legumes such as peas, beans and lentils. Meat including sausage and eggs should come two or three times on the table. Try to eat fish once or twice a week, whether fresh, frozen or canned, as long as it is not raw. Choose a fatty sea fish like salmon, herring or mackerel, because it contains important omega-3 fatty acids and iodine.
- Dairy products: Milk, cheese and yoghurt belong to this group – they all contain a lot of protein and calcium. Eat three servings of it daily, such as a slice of cheese, a yoghurt and a glass of milk.
Especially iron and folic acid are important in pregnancy and you have a higher need than usual. Ask your doctor if you should take these substances with a dietary supplement.
Do I have to eat more during pregnancy?
Your body works more efficiently during pregnancy and makes more of the energy it gains from food. That’s why you do not need extra calories in the first six months of your pregnancy. Only in the last trimester do you actually need about 200 calories more per day.
This corresponds approximately to:
- a wholegrain toast with a slice of cheese
- Two 100g yogurts with fresh fruits
- a 100 g piece of plum cake with shortcrust pastry (without cream)
Listen to your body, then you know how much you have to eat. Your appetite will not always be the same:
- In the first few weeks of your pregnancy, you may not have much appetite and do not feel like eating whole meals, especially if you suffer from nausea.
- In the middle of your pregnancy (in the second trimester), your appetite will probably be the same as before your pregnancy, maybe a little bit bigger.
- The closer your maternity leave comes, the bigger your prescription will be. If you experience heartburn or feeling bloated after meals, frequent, smaller meals are probably right for you.
The most important rule of thumb is: eat when hungry. If you then eat balanced and varied foods, you will steadily increase, which is a good sign that your baby is developing well.
Are there any foods that I should not eat as a pregnant woman?
There are actually foods that are not completely safe for your baby. These foods are not dangerous in themselves, but they could be contaminated with bacteria and parasites, for example. Therefore, you should completely abstain or restrict consumption:
- Cheese with a white moldy bark like Brie and Camembert and blue cheese like Stilton, Gorgonzola or Roquefort. These cheeses may contain Listeria bacteria that harm your baby.
- Raw seafood like oysters or sushi if you were not frozen before preparing.
- Shark, swordfish or Merlin. These fish species contain so much naturally occurring mercury that they can be dangerous. For this reason, the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) advise pregnant and lactating women to refrain from consuming fish that may be more heavily contaminated with mercury. These include tuna as a fresh variant and canned tuna. Also halibut, eel, pike, catfish and monkfish are not recommended. The consumption of tuna should be very restrictive because of the mercury or completely renounce it.
- Liver and liver products such as liver sausage may contain greater amounts of retinol (animal vitamin A, see above).
How can I grow in a healthy way?
It is best if you gain even weight. At the end of your pregnancy you will probably weigh between 10 and 12.5 kg more. Towards the end you gain more speed than at the beginning.
However, please remember that your weight gain depends on many factors and varies from mother to mother. Just focus on a diet containing starchy carbohydrates, legumes, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, milk and dairy products, and low fat or sugary foods.
How often should I eat every day?
Even if you are not hungry, your baby may be hungry. That’s why you should eat regularly. And if regular meals caused by morning or constant nausea, loss of appetite, heartburn, or indigestion are difficult, then instead try to eat a lot of small snacks. Digesting a snack five to six times a day can be easier on your body than three large meals.
May I sin too?
You do not have to give up your favorite meal right now because you’re pregnant now. Nevertheless, foods rich in fat and sugar and very salty foods and snacks should not be the main ingredient of your diet.
You can also have a snack, but try a banana before plastering a pack of chips and eat a fruit sorbet instead of a cream ice cream. Still, you do not have to feel guilty about eating a piece of cake – just enjoy every bite!
Here is our nutritional companion through pregnancy, which helps you trimester by trim to eat a healthy diet.
May I diet during pregnancy?
A diet during pregnancy can harm both you and your child. Some diets attack the body’s nutrient stores and you lose iron, folic acid and other important vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind that your weight gain is one of the best signals that your baby is developing well and you are experiencing a healthy pregnancy!
If you are overweight, you can change your diet. Leave away foods that contain a lot of fat or sugar and exercise. But before you change your diet or increase your exercise time, you should talk to your family doctor.