Pregnancy is usually a happy, exciting time for expectant Mums, their partners, family and friends. However, it's perfectly natural to have a few concerns, such as what dietary advice may be needed to help keep you and your baby healthy.
What to eat
"Eating for two" is a popular phrase. But it isn't essential to eat twice as much. In fact, too much weight gain has the potential to cause problems later in pregnancy. For women with a normal pre-pregnancy weight, a 10-14 kg weight gain during pregnancy is associated with the lowest risk of pregnancy complications, according to the WHO1.
A healthy diet is advisable from the start. Include foods with lots of iron, calcium and folic acid, which babies need from the very beginning. And getting the right balance of protein, starch-based food, vegetables and fruit is important.
Foods to look out for
Fish can provide some of your protein, and two portions are recommend each week - including one portion of oily fish. However, it’s advised that you should avoid raw fish and uncooked shellfish, as well as certain types of fish that can contain high mercury levels, such as swordfish. You may find that this helpful guide will give you the specific information you'll need about these food groups.
While hard cheeses, like cheddar, are OK, there are others to be wary of - soft cheeses such as brie, for example. Pâté and some egg products are also not advisable. So here's is another useful link for further details on these foods together with other useful dietary hints.2
Heartburn and indigestion in pregnancy
Some foods are notable for being associated with heartburn and indigestion, such as spicy foods. So you could be doing yourself a great favour by avoiding this type of cuisine. Although, even without such food triggers, heartburn and, to a certain extent, indigestion, are commonly experienced during pregnancy. There are two main reasons why:
- The surge in the hormone progesterone causes muscles to relax. This includes the ring of muscle (sphincter) at the entrance to your stomach. When this relaxes, stomach acids can pass up into the food pipe (oesophagus) and cause heartburn
- In later pregnancy, your baby physically puts pressure on your digestive tract, which can push acid up into your food pipe
In fact, nearly three quarters of all pregnant women suffer heartburn and indigestion by the third trimester.
Treating heartburn and indigestion in pregnancy
The good news is that help is at hand should you experience heartburn and indigestion symptoms when pregnant.
During pregnancy women are often worried about taking medications, as they don’t want to risk ingesting anything that could potentially be transferred to the baby. Gaviscon Double Strength Liquid is suitable to use during pregnancy however, as it isn’t absorbed into your blood stream and doesn't need to be in order to provide effective relief.
Gaviscon Double Strength Liquid forms a raft over the stomach contents and helps keep stomach acid in place, providing fast and effective relief.
Whether it's dietary help, or advice about any medications you've been taking regularly before becoming pregnant, your doctor or pharmacist will be only too glad to help. But, if you're unsure, always discuss diet and medication (including mineral and vitamin supplements) with them as soon as you know you are pregnant. Pregnancy is a special time, so enjoy it to the full.
All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. Gaviscon for Heartburn & Indigestion. Always read the label. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist. Medicines can affect the unborn baby. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine during pregnancy.