In general, try to eat healthily during pregnancy. It’s tempting to think you need to eat a lot more to feed the baby while it’s growing. During the first trimester your calorie intake should be normal. During the second trimester your calorie intake should increase by 300 calories per day – hardly anything! During the third trimester you can up your intake by 500 calories per day.
There are some important things to avoid while pregnant. I have listed these below and try to explain why they are best avoided.
Avoid mould ripened cheeses such as Brie and Camembert and blue cheeses such as Stilton. They contain more moisture than hard cheeses and are an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to grow.
Raw eggs can contain salmonella.
Caffeine can result in low birth weight and can increase the likelihood of miscarriage, so stick to no more than 200mg per day.
Fish oil supplements and some fish contain a lot of mercury. This can affect the baby’s developing nervous system. For this reason avoid shark, swordfish or marlin. Also avoid having more than two portions of oily fish per week, such as salmon, trout, mackerel and herring as they contain pollutants such as dioxins and PCBs.
Avoid shellfish. Never eat raw shellfish as they can contain harmful bacteria.
Game can contain high levels of lead due to the shot. However Venison and other large game sold in supermarkets is usually farmed and contains either low, or no lead.
Pate can contain listeria.
Liver or liver pate or haggis may contain a lot of Vitamin A. Too much can harm your baby.
Avoid raw or undercooked meat. Cold cured meats such as salami, parma ham and pepperoni are sometimes not cooked, just cured or fermented instead. There is a risk they contain toxoplasmosis-causing parasites. Check the packaging to find out if the meat is ready to eat or needs cooking. The risk can be reduced by freezing for 4 days before eating as this kills any parasites.
You will likely be told about numerous other foods you should for should not eat. Let us know if you have any queries. We’re always happy to help.