Pregnancy

How what you eat during pregnancy has long lasting effects on your baby

You’ve heard of the phrase ‘you are what you eat’, now researchers are telling us ‘your baby is what you eat’.

You may have seen a new report by Dr Michael Mosley this morning confirming what us women, mothers and expectant women already know – that what you eat during pregnancy has an enormous affect on your baby for the rest of their life.

Dr Mosley’s research states that what a pregnant woman eats can have a profound effect for several generations too. His studied found that by maintaining a healthy varied diet, genes in the embryo can become more, or less active. All affecting your baby’s development.

Common sense? Do we really need to be told the obvious? I think sometimes we do, in particular when you have a ridiculously strong craving for a peanut butter milkshake or burger, eating healthy isn’t so easy to do when you’re pregnant.

Morning sickness and strong smells in pregnancy can see the food you usually love send you running for the nearest toilet, so how do you try and maintain a healthy diet?

Here are my top tips for eating well during pregnancy

  • A little of what you fancy does you good
  • You would rather eat a little of anything than nothing at all
  • On the contrary, ‘eating for two’ is unnecessary and will only lead to extra weight gain. The NICE Guidelines state you only need to consume 200 extra calories a day in your third trimester when your energy levels change
  • Dieting when pregnant can be dangerous for both you and your baby. Consult your midwife or local health practitioner if you are considering dieting
  • Try to incorporate a variety of different foods daily. This will ensure you get a good balance of vitamins and nutrients both you and your baby need
  • Eating plenty fruit and vegetables not only help keep you hydrated, they also provide essential vitamins and fibre – which can help with the not so friendly pregnancy symptom of constipation (not everyone has this though)
  • Just because you’re pregnant, doesn’t mean you should cut down on drinking water. Hydration when pregnant is super important. Dehydration can cause lots of nasty health problems to you and your baby
  • Try to get into the habit of drinking a large glass of milk every day. The calcium will help strengthen your baby’s developing bones, and support yours too while you carry your baby
  • Consult your midwife on which vitamins you may need to take during your pregnancy. Folic Acid is essential in the first trimester to reduce neural tube defects. Get into the habit of taking a folic acid supplement during conception. The recommended NHS dose is 400 micrograms daily
  • Your midwife or health visitor should have a list of what foods you should or shouldn’t be eating when pregnant. If in doubt, just give them a call
  • Keeping active and moderate exercise in pregnancy helps keep you healthy, happy (well, exercises releases happy endorphins) and gets you out and about in the fresh air

So basically, don’t worry mummy, a little bit of what you fancy in addition to eating a varied healthy diet can be good for you and your baby 🙂 xx

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One thought on “How what you eat during pregnancy has long lasting effects on your baby

  1. While this is ‘true’ it is also important to consider the underlying genetics. Unfortunately you are the product of your maternal grandmother’s diet, in addition to the environmental factors that you are exposed to as a growing embryo and foetus. So, ladies, you are somewhat off the hook. Sorry, granny, you aren’t!

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