Tips

With the right advice, pregnancy and motherhood can be a carefree experience.

Nutrition

You are about to begin the most beautiful nine months of your life, a time that you will remember forever. Beneath your own heart you are carrying the miracle of life, a tiny creature that during your pregnancy will be entirely dependent on you. Nothing in the world is more important than the health of your baby, so during this magical period you need to pay a little more attention than usual to ensuring a healthy, balanced diet.

Pregnancy brings a slightly increased requirement for specific nutrients. This does not of course mean that a pregnant woman has to eat for two. This "myth" repeated by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers is completely wrong: the body's energy needs do not increase until the second trimester of pregnancy, and even then by just 300–350 kcal. Pregnant women do need more vitamins A, D, C, B12 and folic acid. It is a good idea to start taking the last of these even before you get pregnant, and throughout the first three months of your pregnancy. In order to ensure the normal development of the foetus, the pregnant woman's body also needs minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium and iodine.

Generally speaking, a suitable diet for a mother-to-be does not differ significantly from standard guidelines for healthy eating. Be careful to eat regular and sufficiently frequent meals. This is the only way to ensure your baby a constant supply of energy and the nutrients they need for normal and healthy development. Every meal you skip and every excessive interval between meals deprives the little creature inside you of energy. Ideally you should eat a variety of seasonal food that is as local as possible. Avoid monotonous menus and make sure your body is getting enough water. Your diet should also include healthy fats containing soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. And don't forget carbohydrates, which supply the body with energy. Choose ones with a low glycaemic index. Proteins also play an important role during pregnancy, because they help ensure the normal development of the foetus.

Written by: Urška Pavčnik, author of the book Healthy Preggy.