Healthy lifestyle & pregnant
A healthy diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle at any time but is especially vital if you’re pregnant or planning a pregnancy. Eating healthily during pregnancy will help your baby to develop and grow. You do not need to go on a special diet, but it’s important to eat a variety of different foods every day to get the right balance of nutrients that you and your baby need.
Weight gain during pregnancy
During pregnancy it is important to continue to eat a healthy balanced diet. For women with a normal pre-pregnancy weight, a weight gain of 11-16 kg over the pregnancy is normal and an extra 200 calories per day in the last three months of pregnancy is advised. No extra calories are needed until that point.
Aim to eat a healthy diet (which everyone should be eating, not just pregnant women). This should include a variety of foods including:
- Starch-based foods (such as bread, cereals, potatoes, rice, and pasta).
- Fruit and vegetables (wash them well)
- Plenty of fibre, which can be found in wholegrain breads as well as fruit and vegetables.
- Protein foods such as meat, fish, pulses, chicken, etc, every day. Choose lean meat, cut the fat off red meat and the skin off chicken.
- Dairy foods, such as yoghurt, milk and cheese.
What is healthy eating?
Include foods with plenty of iron, calcium and folic acid – a growing baby needs these nutrients right from the start of the pregnancy. Iron is mainly found in red meat, pulses, dried fruit, green vegetables and fortified cereals. Dairy contains a lot of calcium, such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. (Low-fat milk, cheeses and yoghurts usually contain just as much calcium as the full-fat varieties.). Try to avoid adding fat and sugar.
Try to drink 1,5 – 2 liters of water a day and avoid drinking more than 1 or 2 cups of coffee (with caffeine) a day. Smoothies are healthy but also contain a lot of (natural) sugars, one glass a day is enough.
Exercise during pregnancy
It’s healthy to exercise daily for at least half an hour when you are pregnant. If you are used to exercise before pregnancy, you can often continue to do the same exercise as you are used to. However, high intensity training can become to demanding for your body; listen to your body and be a little extra careful not to get injured.
Oblique abdominal exercises can do no harm, they strengthen the muscles that support your abdomen. It is better to skip the exercises for the straight abdominal muscles. The opening between your abdominal wall can widen, which can permanently weaken your abdominal wall (diastasis recti).
Workouts for pregnant women
If you notice that the exercise you are doing gives you complaints, slow down or stop. Do you start exercising? Choose wisely with what sports you will start; there is a wide range of yoga, pilates, in/outdoor workouts for pregnant women in Amsterdam. You will find various leaflets about this in our waiting room.
Make sure you drink enough (water) during exercise. Swimming, cycling and fitness are sports that you can do very well until the end of pregnancy if it feels well for your body. Sports where you run the risk of hitting something against your stomach or sports where you can easily bump or fall with other people are advised to stop while pregnant (i.e. hockey, volleyball, skiing and football). Diving with oxygen tanks is also not recommended. The pressure under water affects your pregnancy. You also have a greater chance of decompression sickness.
Safe food & drinks during pregnancy
Try to drink 1,5 – 2,5 liters of water daily.
You can eat all variations of prepared eggs! Hard boiled, soft boiled, raw eggs in fresh mayonnaise etc. Of course you’d rather not catch the salmonella virus, however it can’t be passed on through the placenta so the baby stays safe.
You can eat all sorts of fish, also raw fish like sushi and haring. However, make sure the fish is fresh. Therefor only buy your fish at the fishmonger or sushi restaurant and eat it that same day.
FRUIT & VEGETABLES
It’s recommended to eat 200g of veggies and 2 pieces fruit a day. Vary between the sorts and wash them well
soft cheese made from pasteurised milk (all hard cheese are also safe to eat) gouda – cheddar – peccorino – manchego – parmezan cheese – etc.
Folic acid (vitamin B11) is a naturally occurring vitamin found in spinach, sprouts, broccoli, green beans and potatoes. Some breads and breakfast cereals are fortified with folic acid. Because of the substantial benefits of folic acid, some countries routinely fortify staple foods, such as wheat, corn flour or rice, with folic acid. You need a good supply of folic acid when you are pregnant to help with the development of the baby. If you take 0,4mg folic acid daily in early pregnancy you reduce the risk of having a baby born with a spinal cord problem such as spina bifida. You can buy folic acid tablets from pharmacies and drugstores.
Vitamin D is needed for growth and supplements are recommended for all pregnant women, breast-feeding women and breast-fed babies. The dose if you are pregnant or breast-feeding is 400 units (10 micrograms) daily. Some experts think that women who get little or no sunshine on their skin need a higher dose, such as 800 units (20 micrograms) daily. This is because most of the vitamin D that we get is made in the skin with the help of sunlight.
Food & drinks to avoid during pregnancy
SMOKING – ALCOHOL – DRUGS
soft unpasteurized / au lait cru cheese camembert – brie – roquefort – gorgonzola – etc. This can cause listeria which is a germ that usually doesn’t cause problems in non-pregnant people. However, pregnant women are more likely to become infected with listeria and it sometimes causes miscarriage, stillbirth or infections in the baby after birth. However not all soft cheese like camembert and brie are unpasteurized! Most of them are safe to eat. Check the packaging.
Note: goat’s milk is often unpasteurised, and goat’s milk products such as cheeses are often made from unpasteurised milk.
Don’t take any vitamin A supplements and don’t eat too much organ meat (i.e. liver or paté). If you have a healthy diet you will get enough vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can be harmful for the baby. So, avoid liver and liver products such as liver pâté and cod liver oil supplements.
RED RAW MEAT
Avoid eating raw red meat (steak – roast beef – ossenworst – filet americain – carpaccio – steak tartare) as this can contain toxoplasmosis. This parasite can cause complications in your pregnancy. It can be found in raw meat and on the droppings of young cats. So, only eat your meat cooked properly/’well-done’ and wear gloves when working in the garden or when cleaning the cat litter.
Avoid eating prepacked or vacuumed fish raw. However properly heated, it’s safe to eat.
coffee (max 1 cup a day)
tea (with theïne)
NB: Listeria can be found in more than unpasteurized cheeses. Also be careful with:
- Undercooked meats. This may occur in some pre-cooked meats and pre-prepared meals. Make sure all meat foods are cooked until piping hot.