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How to eat well in early pregnancy

eating whilst pregnant

Your growing baby depends on you for everything needed for healthy growth and development.

Enjoy a variety of foods. That way you will get all the nutrients and vitamins you need - and try to eat the following every day:

  1. At least five portions of vegetables and fruit– fresh, frozen, tinned and dried all count. This will give you vitamins, minerals and fibre. Remember that fruit juice counts as only one serving per day no matter how much you drink.
  2. Three or four portions of wholemeal bread, cereals or potatoes.
  3. Two portions of meat, poultry, fish, eggs or pulses (lentils, chickpeas etc).
  4. One pint of milk, some yoghurt, or hard cheese.
  5. 6-8 glasses of water, squashes or fruit teas.

Fibre

To help prevent constipation and piles, eat high-fibre foods. Fruit, vegetables, high fibre breakfast cereals, breads, prunes and figs are a good source of fibre.

Fats

Keep an eye on how much fat you eat. While some fat is essential, eating a lot of saturated fat is not good for you. Good sources are nuts, seeds, avocado, low-fat dairy products and sunflower oil. Try using olive oil, rich in mono-saturated fats, in salad dressings and cooking.

Salt

Say no to salt. We get all we need from every day foods such as bread and cereals. Savour the true flavour of foods by cutting down gradually on salt.

Vitamins

If you are a vegetarian talk to your midwife about whether you need to take any extra vitamins or mineral supplements.

You need 700 micrograms of vitamin A per day when you are pregnant. However, too much of the retinol type of vitamin A can harm your developing baby. Avoid liver, kidneys, cod liver oil and anything containing these products. They contain about 20 times your daily vitamin A needs per serving!

Safe levels of retinol are found in eggs, yoghurts, cheese and milk – these are good for you. Good sources of carotene, or pro-vitamin A, are carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, frozen vegetables, mango, apricots and dried fruits – it is safe to eat as much as you fancy! Always check with your GP or pharmacist before taking any supplement. A pregnancy supplement is ok, but avoid vitamin A supplements and general multivitamin tablets.

Eating little and often

In early pregnancy, several small meals a day are often easier to cope with than two or three large ones. Try these ideas, which will help you make every meal count in that they provide good nutrition for you and your growing baby:

  1. Well-cooked scrambled egg with grilled tomatoes.
  2. Wholemeal bagel with cucumber and yeast extract and small salad.
  3. Fruit salad with bio yogurt and a sprinkling of muesli.
  4. Sandwiches: try beef and horseradish, cheese and onion, canned salmon and chopped fresh dill, pilchards and a squeeze of lemon, ham and tomato, hard cheese and slices of Kiwi fruit.
  5. Slice of pizza with salad.
  6. Cheese, crackers and grapes.
  7. Hot chocolate with a wholemeal scone and jam.
  8. Ginger or digestive biscuits with cheese spread.
  9. A toasted sandwich with cheese, perhaps mozzarella and tomato.
  10. Mashed potatoes with Cheddar cheese plus some baked beans.
  11. Home-made soups with plenty of vegetables and pulses (peas, beans, lentils).
  12. Breadsticks and hummus.

And to drink...? Mix and match, orange juice, apple and mango juice, a glass of milk or fortified soya milk, sparkling water, tomato juice...

Comments

Hi Ladies I am 5 weeks 5days pregnant with my first child i had a touch of heart burn for 2 - 3 days last week but other than that no sign of morning sickness touch wood i dont have it bad in weeks to come. when should morning sickness kick in ?
hi im 41 with 5 children and just found out im 5 weeks pregnant. I have also got the runs is this normal :) x
Hi ladies. I am 10 weeks and have not had any sickness whats over and am eating very well . I was worried at first but the doc said not every woman gets sickness and that I'm just lucky. Can't wait for scan just to actually feel like something happening.
I am 10 weeks pregnant and have had no sickness whatsover. I was a little worried but my doctor said its no cause for concern as its not certain that every woman will get it. I'm eating well and am hungry all the time. The only symptoms I have are massive sore boobs and tiredness which is passing now. Can't wait for the scan
I am 10 weeks pregnant and have had no sickness whatsover. I was a little worried but my doctor said its no cause for concern as its not certain that every woman will get it. I'm eating well and am hungry all the time. The only symptoms I have are massive sore boobs and tiredness which is passing now. Can't wait for the scan
hi ladies i am 6 weeks today and i am having to battle with constant tiredness and nausea i drink various different fruit teas in a morning ginger, lemon and peppermint and camomile i find that this helps a lot but i am waking because of it on the morning and its just awful - one of my friend advised to get up slowly and sniff root ginger to get rid off the nausea so both of these things are worth a go.
hi im 8 weeks pregnant and im handeling it really well but nasea starts at night but i just ignore and start eating a little bit off food which my appatite has gone to , i just top it up for bbys sake
hi kelly as far as i know 3-4 weeks from conception is classed as 6-7 weeks pregnant as they count the full cycle... i'm on my 3rd baby at 12weeks and i find if i have bad sickness non caffeinated and no aspartame fizzy drinks flat help my tummy and give me energy and toast is good, mostly plain or witn butter x
to the person who keeps bringing up her food and is scared of misscarriage. i am too. i already have a little girl but before her i had a misscarriage and after her i had one too. both around 7-8 weeks, im only 6 weeks and 2 days so far but im terrified. as for the food you could try hard boiled sweets to sooth the sickness or crackers or ginger biscuits. also if its that bad the doctors may prescribe anti sickness tablets x
Hi just found out that I am pregnant. Me and husband are over the moon. A bit worried has I had a radioactive scan about 2 wks ago, around the time of conception i'm about 5 wks gone. Morning sickness has kicked in, boiled sweets help me. Fingers crossed baby should be fine.
Yeast extract and cucumber ? was the author pregnant ?
Hey this is my second pregnancy. My first pregnancy I had a miscarriage and I'm worried that now I am at 7 weeks I might have another one. Me and my partner are over the moon but we the getting worried because I can't seem to keep any foods down and I am losing weight. Is it normal to feel this way?? I have read that trying to eat toast helps but everytime I do it comes back up again. Does anyone have any ideas of what I could do.
Hi everyone...im 8 weeks pragnant..and im having terrable morning sickness..not able to do any kind of word..just sleeping for d whole day...n I cant even drink a glass of water..can any body help me out...plz plz..
Hi everyone...im 8 weeks pragnant..and im having terrable morning sickness..not able to do any kind of word..just sleeping for d whole day...n I cant even drink a glass of water..can any body help me out...plz plz..
Hi ladies, i am 10weeks and 2days pregnant with my third child. I hve had minimal sickness, sypmtoms are very different with this pregnancy, constantly feeling nausea, running to the loo to wee, and i have lost my appetite, where i can go the whole day without food, is anyone else experiencing this...any advice pls?
Hi I'm around 6/7 weeks my 2nd baby and the morning sickness is just too much the only thing I can keep down is chocolate and I'm feeling weak cos I aint drinking tea nomore I used to have three sugars in it so that used to give me energy anyone got any ideas to help with morning sickness please
Hi Ladies, i am in 9 weeks now, this is my first baby. i was having a terrible sickness all over the day, but my midwife advised me to buy Sea Band and sometimes it is called Travel Band ( you can find it in Boots or superdrugs , it costs 8.15 ).....and it works pretty good, i am so happy with the results, i still suffer sometimes from the nausea but it is not even close to the condition i have before getting these bands
hi everyone im rima this is my first baby and at the moment i cant put anything near my mouth especially chicken the smell, taste even the thought of chicken makes me want to gag im around 10 weeks pregnant
Hey ladies, just wanted to share this bit of advice for those who are struggling with morning sickness or those who are not keen on eating loads of fruit/veg. Make a smoothie every couple of days, you can easily get 5+ pieces of fruit in 1 glass if you blend it. Im struggling with morning sickness at the mo and have completely lost my appetite so this is a good way of making sure you and baby get the nutrients you need with out over facing yourself x
at the moment i am sick every day i have completely gone off tea and moved on to hot chocolate but keeing food down id really hard i try for the baby but theres no point because im sick straight away im only in the 7th week didnt think it would hit me like it has so soon
Hi ladies i have just found out i am around 3 weeks preg been on implant for a year and now decided to have baby but a little worried as i have read a lot about the implant thinning the womb out and causing a lot of misscarriges is anybody else just come off the implant and fell preg or know of anyone whos ok?
i can t drink water , don't like fruit , no veg , just rubbish food , im in 7 week , i don't know what to do ??????
i been feeling terribly sick i have gone of everything but i force food down my throat for the sake of the baby.whatever i eat i feel sick and when i dont eat and am hungry i feel even more sick i have gone off my tea which i loved.
Seriously gone off milk.... Tea, Coffee, mushrooms, cant stand the smell of fish 11 +4 so at least the first trimester almost over with. I really miss my hot drinks tho. :(
Hi! I'm Shelly, I'm 6 wks 5 days with my fifth pregnancy, first beautiful boy died of a heart condition at 4 1/2 months, 2nd and 3rd beautiful boys are now nine and seven and fourth little poppet was a missed miscarraige in March this year. So am understandably a mixture of very excited and scared too. Also terrible morning sickness that I never had with the boys, all day long, was nearly admitted for a drip yesterday but given Stemitil which seems to be working, although reluctant to take it I couldn't even keep water down so felt there was no choice. Am 37 and wondered if the feeling so sick was because I'm older now?
Hi Helly, I know what you mean, I am also 11 weeks today, have my scan on the 6th July, maybe I will feel more relaxed because at the moment I am a bit paranoid I will lose it, I have not had any sickness...except yesterday when I got home from work and was sick. I have no cravings just aversions, and my need to pee has got less. I am also in my 40's and this is my first pregnancy.
Hi I'm 11 weeks pregnant with my third child and I'm 41 yrs old. Never had sickness only slight aversion to certain smells. Worried because I'm not having many pregnancy syptoms other than needing to pee frequently and the obvious lack of a period. Can't relax until I see my first scan next week!
Hi I'm 11 weeks pregnant with my third child and I'm 41 yrs old. Never had sickness only slight aversion to certain smells. Worried because I'm not having many pregnancy syptoms other than needing to pee frequently and the obvious lack of a period. Can't relax until I see my first scan next week!
hi ladies im nearly 6 weeks pregnant with my first baby and have been very lucky so far only slight waves of sickness and have been a bit sleepy but im struggling with the constipation part of pregnancy and am waking up in the middle of night needing the loo but not going then having belly ache :( what is the best thing to take to relieve this iv tried lots of water, strolls and lots of fruit and veg but not really easing
I am 7 weeks pregnant with my first baby and for the last few weeks have been feeling nauseous 24/7 as well as feeling starving hungry at the same time! I'm struggling to deal with it as i'm also extremely tired all of the time and all I want to do is sleep. I have my first midwife appointment in a couple of days so hopefully she can give me some tips :) Good luck all
hey I'm new to this but I struggle with eating as my morning sickness is so random when my stomach actually holds food down I find my self eating so much I'm also struggling to eat healthy I'm not a good cook I eat fruit and veg but I know I'm not eating no where near enough HELP! X
Hiya Guys&Girls First Off All Congrats :)) Here Goes Im New To All This Just Found Out A Few Weeks Ago Im Pregant With My First Im 28 & Cud Be Up To 10/12 Weeks Gone ,I Have An App Nxt Week To Get My Scan Date. I Have Mixed Emotions Very Happy But Also Very Scared , I Have Only Just Gettin The Folic Acid Off My Doctor But When I Have Red About Them There Ment 2 Be Takin Up Until 12 Weeks Im Worried Ive Started Takin Them Way To Late. my Eatin Diet Isnt Very Good Either As I Carnt Cook To Save My Life Lol So Think Im Not Gettin What My Body & Baby Needs. Any Help Or Answer Would Be Very Grateful - Many Thanks :) xx
Hi i am 7 weeks pregnant with my first bubba and so far so good. No morning sickness and no major tiredness. Apart from my boobs feeling like watermelons and very sore ones at that i seem to feel ok, well apart from wanting to eat ALL the time, i am constatly hungry lol, nothing like my friends have described their first trimester, i am a little worried that this is all going to change soon but at the moment i will enjoy not feeling ill. I am also going to get back to the gym tonight. Does anyone else feel like this?
hi mums and mums to be. I'm thabby and am around 11weeks pregnant with my third child. I can't eat, can't sleep and can't do anything in the house at all. Whatever little i eat, i throw up within minutes and when its time to sleep i jus find myself struggling to breathe well. Its as if am pregnant for the first time, never felt so pained......
hey im 5-6 weeks with my first and finding it hard to deal wiv feeling sick...i never want to eat anything but iv found that watery foods like grapes and melon are easier to swallow and go down a lot easier than anything else...iv got the constant feeling of being hungry but sick at the same time and my breasts are incredibly sore atm x
hi i am 8 weeks and a half now and this is my first baby..:) i dont feel like eating much and my nose is become very sensitive to all kinds of smell..currently i am liking only the smell of my perfume..lol..hope this is normal as i have read most posts here on bounty...any advise for me would be great as i am still waiting for my letter appointment from the infirmary no scans so far...! good luck all...:)
Hi everyone am Karen. This is my 1st time on here, I'm 8 weeks pregnant with my 1st child and really struggling with all the morning sickness, sore boobs and tiredness, I carnt stomach to eat anything till about 1 or 2 in the afternoon which I know isn't good. Has anyone got any tips please.
Am finding it very hard to eat often as the morning sickness really puts me off my food. I have also learnt that some foods make my morning sickness worse.
Finding it hard to keep a balanced diet a the moment seem to be attracted to junk food and eating at strange times sometimes I don't even feel hungry yet know I have to eat something - hopefully trying some of the above will put me right :)
hi im claire and im almost 9 weeks pregnant with my second child my little boy is 11 months old so its going to be a little daunting having 2 babies under 2 especially as my partner works long hours and regular nights but i am very excited as both my children were planned and so far everything is going perfect i just thought i would share my great news with other mummies and mums to be x
Hi my names Grace. I've not long found out that I'm having a baby. I'm roughly around 6-7 weeks. I've not yet felt the sicky feeling. Is this normal? Also always so tired. Any advice is great.
Hi my names Grace. I've not long found out that I'm having a baby. I'm roughly around 6-7 weeks. I've not yet felt the sicky feeling. Is this normal? Also always so tired. Any advice is great.
Hi, I'm Mel. I'm 8 weeks pregnant with my second child. My daughter will be 9 next month so there's a big gap... I don't remember feeling like this at all! I am constantly exhausted and out of breath and have absolutely no appetite. I've had terrible nausea and bought some travel bands on the weekend. They're AMAZING. I am looking for some good DVD's on breathing and relaxation techniques that I can start practising ASAP. Can anyone recommend any?
hi there, i am 6 weeks pregnant today and just found this site i already love it, and hope to meet newly expecting mums-to-be :)
hi i have recently fond out i am expecting i think i am around 4/5 weeks i am arranging appointments at doctors and with the midwife but i am really scared and very cautious please can anyone help me with any advice to keep me and the baby safe healthy and well
hi im 22 just found out im 6 weeks pregnant with my second child, my first just turned 4 in march he's really excited to be a big brother :), can any one help i am soo scared about the labour, i cant sleep at night worrying about it on my first the nurses made me have an epidural and it made it so hard to c to my baby after because of the back pain i could'nt move propelry for about 10 day's, is the second labour really easier. Does anyone no how to avoid having an epidural plz plz help?
hi im 22 just found out im 6 weeks pregnant with my second child, my first just turned 4 in march he's really excited to be a big brother :), can any one help i am soo scared about the labour, i cant sleep at night worrying about it on my first the nurses made me have an epidural and it made it so hard to c to my baby after because of the back pain i could'nt move propelry for about 10 day's, is the second labour really easier. Does anyone no how to avoid having an epidural plz plz help?
Oh wow i'm 6 weeks pregnant with my second child. I am over the moon. My first child will be 10 in June so everything feels soooo new again.
found out im 5 weeks + 3 days pregnant by scan and over the moon this is my second time my other child is 11 years old so big gap but all happy just worried that now i know i hope nothing happens
Just found out I'm expecting my second child I'm nearly 4 weeks I'm getting slot of pulling and stretching in my groin area and some back ache and my breasts feel tender,is this normal so early on in pregnancy?