Eating well during pregnancy and beyond is extremely important to yours and your baby’s health. Please see our drop-down guides below for some advice from our maternity and dietetic teams.

As expectant mums there is a lot of new information to take on board. Everyone has an opinion on food, nutrition and lifestyle which makes this topic especially confusing.

For common myth busters see: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/pregnancy-faqs/

Note: Be aware that information on the internet is not always evidenced based. It is advised to speak with your GP or a health care  professional regarding any questions or queries you may have.

There are certain vitamins that are important to take prior to conception to help to give your baby the best start.

Want to know more? Click on the following links: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Pregnancy.pdf

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/FolicAcid.pdf

During pregnancy you should be able to enjoy a varied diet.

However, there are a few foods that you may need to avoid or take care with to prevent harm to yourself and your baby.

Click on the following links for more on this:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/foods-to-avoid-pregnant/

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Pregnancy.pdf

It can be difficult to enjoy your food whilst experiencing some pregnancy related symptoms.

For ideas on what to eat when you have symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, morning sickness or a change in bowel habit, check out the following websites:

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/signs-and-symptoms-pregnancy/

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Pregnancy.pdf

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/fluid.pdf

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/wholegrains.pdf

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/fibrefoodfactsheet.pdf

Important: If you feel you are not managing with your symptoms, please speak to your GP or midwife.

Healthy eating can be simple if you know how.

For hints on healthy eating, food labelling and practical money and time saving tips, visit:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/HealthyEating.pdf

https://www.nhs.uk/change4life/food-facts/food-labels

Diet can play a big role in managing diabetes that occurs in pregnancy and it can be difficult to know what to eat. This type of diabetes is called Gestational Diabetes.

For tips for eating well after being diagnosed with this, have a look at the links below:

https://www.diabetes.org.uk/diabetes-the-basics/gestational-diabetes

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/gestational-diabetes/treatment/

Important: Ask your consultant or midwife if you would like to see a dietitian for more individual advice.

Breastfeeding:

When breastfeeding, you might wonder what you need to eat.

Have a look at this guide for helpful advice : https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/breastfeeding.pdf

There is a lot of help available to support you on your breastfeeding journey. This website is a good place to start: https://www.laleche.org.uk/

Bottle feeding

There are a few things to think about when preparing a bottle feed to keep your baby safe and healthy.

For tips on preparing bottle feeds see: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/bottle-feeding-advice/

Losing weight if you are overweight can help improve your fertility and reduce risk of complications during pregnancy and labour.

For more information see: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/overweight-pregnant/

It is advised that you lose weight to help prepare for your pregnancy if you are overweight or obese.

For more advice see:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/start-the-nhs-weight-loss-plan/

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/Want2LoseWeight.pdf

https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/portionsizesfoodfactsheet.pdf

For current guidelines on managing your weight during pregnancy see: https://www.nice.org.uk/Guidance/PH27

There are some conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (also known as PCOS), Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and Coeliac Disease that may affect your ability to get pregnant, if they are not managed well.

These conditions often require more specific dietary advice. A dietitian is a registered health professional that can support you with dietary advice specific to you.  Please speak to  your Consultant, GP or Midwife if you think seeing a dietitian may help you.

For more information on health conditions and fertility:

PCOS: https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/pcos.pdf

Coeliac Disease: https://www.coeliac.org.uk/coeliac-disease/associated-conditions-and-complications/fertility-problems/

Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2):  https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/life-with-diabetes/pregnancy