Food & drink during pregnancy

Keep you and your baby safe and healthy. A rule of thumb is to avoid food that is raw or uncooked (like cured meat), dirty (like unwashed vegetables), contains mercury (like tuna) or poison (like alcohol and tobacco).

When you first become pregnant and go to your first check, your midwife will check the percentage of red blood cells in your blood and tell you whether you need vitamin or iron supplements. If you have healthy eating habits, you can continue your normal diet, with the restrictions that apply for pregnancy. You do not need to eat for two or eat special foods. Healthy food means a varied diet with vegetables and fruit.

Drink water as your main source of hydration. Juice is fine in small amounts, but it has a lot of sugar. You normally get enough vitamins when you eat normal food. It is important to get sufficient vitamin A and vitamin D. It's best to get vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, but you need to take a folic acid supplement as well, to make sure you get everything you need.

Cheese

It's fine to eat hard cheeses, not soft ones. The reason for this is the potential risk of Listeria. If you heat the cheese it becomes less of a risk.

Meat

Meat should be well done, this is to avoid toxoplasmosis. This paracite dies on high temperature. Cured meat should also be cooked before eaten by a pregnant woman.

Sugar

You might be eating for two individuals when you are pregnant, but that doesn't mean that you should double the amount. When you are pregnant you digest sugar in a different way, and some develop gestational diabetes. One way to avoid unnecessary sugar is to drink water instead of juice or soda.

Eat and drink plenty of:

Vegetables

Fruits

Water

Nuts and seeds

Beans and lentils

Eat and drink some of:

Meat

Fish

Dairy products

Juice

Smoothies

Bread

Stay away from:

Alcohol

Soft unpasteurized cheese

Cured meat

Uncooked meat and fish

Unwashed salad and vegetables

Ice cubes in restaurants

Tuna fish

Safe to eat sushi when pregnant?

Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, selenium and iodine which all play an important role in the development of your baby’s brain and central nervous system. Eating fish two to three times a week is beneficial for both you and the baby. But is it safe to eat sushi? According to the NHS, it's usually safe to eat sushi and other dishes made with raw fish when you're pregnant, but you may need to make sure that it's been frozen first. You should also limit the amount of some types of fish while pregnant, such as tuna.