We believe that we can only provide the best care if we get to know you well, and adjust our care to who you are.

Healthy eating during your pregnancy

Nowadays we know that a healthy lifestyle starts in the womb. Through the amniotic fluid babies taste what you eat.
The baby comes into contact with the fragrances and flavourings of your food, and they are considered safe by the baby. So what you eat during pregnancy will be easier for the child to accept as food later on! So eat healthy during your pregnancy: you will have more energy, you gain weight less quickly, you will have fewer pregnancy complaints and your child will tend to eat a healthy diet in the future.

What is important to do and know about food and eating when pregnant?

  • Take folic acid as soon as you are pregnant. Do this up to and including the 10th week of your pregnancy.
  • Use gloves when changing the cat-litter box or when you are working in the garden.
  • Smoking, alcohol and drug use have a bad influence on the development of your baby. Your pregnancy is the best reason ever for you and your partner to quit!
  • Medication can have a negative effect on the development of your baby. Contact the doctor or GP or pharmacy who prescribed the medication about this. Or discuss it with us.

Advice: do not smoke when you are pregnant. Do not let your partner smoke either. Do you find it difficult to quit?  Ella can help you, we have a dietician who is specialized in giving up smoking. If you ask the midwife or the assistant at Ella you can make an appointment.
Why is smoking bad during pregnancy? Toxic substances enter the baby and can cause cancer. They constrict the blood vessels in the umbilical cord and your baby receives less oxygen and less nutrition. The effect can be twice as likely to have a stillborn baby, premature birth, lung problems and a baby that is too small.

What can you eat during pregnancy?

A varied diet; dairy products, vegetables, fruits, brown bread, rice, potatoes, fish, meat or meat substitutes. Your growing baby needs all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients it can get. There are special vitamin tablets for pregnant women.

  • Limit the consumption of liver (products) to a small amount every six weeks. Liver (products) contain a lot of vitamin A.
  • Do not eat raw meat.
  • Do not eat foods that are made of raw milk; such as soft farm cheese and some soft French cheese (au lait cru).
  • Do not keep raw products such as vegetables, chicken, fish and meat for a long time, eat them fresh.
  • Have fresh, fatty fish twice a week (no prepackaged fish or raw herring).
  • Eat extra iron-rich foods such as dried apricots, nuts and dark green leafy vegetables.
  • Do not drink milk with meals, as milk hinders iron absorption.
  • Drink a lot to prevent hard stools (drink about 2 to 2.5 liters per day) and eat foods rich in fiber (brown bread, beans, grains and raw vegetables).
  • If you do not go outside a lot, let us know and we will keep a close eye on your vitamin D levels.

Click on the image to download a fact sheet (pdf) in English from the Dutch Nutrition Centre:

Weight gain and pregnancy

The baby takes from you or from your reserves what it needs. As a result, weight gain differs per person and some women even lose weight during pregnancy. As soon as you are pregnant, your sugar and fat metabolism slows down. This means that if you eat normally, you can still gain twice as much.
How much weight gain is healthy? This depends on your BMI (Body Mass Index). In general, we recommend the following schedule:

Normal BMI: 18-25, weight gain of 10-15 kg (1,6 - 2,4 stone)
Low BMI: <18, weight gain of 12-18 kg (1,9 - 2,8 stone)
High BMI: > 25, weight gain of 7-11 kg (1,1 - 1,7 stone)
High BMI: > 30, weight gain at most 6-7 kg (0,9 - 1,1 stone)
You can calculate your BMI here.

You pass on your eating and exercise habits to your child. Remember that as a parent you will soon be an example for your child. It is important for your child to grow up in a family in which there is enough healthy exercise. That is the best start you can give your child. Breastfeeding increases the resistance (in your baby) and reduces the risk of obesity for you and your baby.

Need help?

Do you start your pregnancy with a weight that is too high? Is it difficult for you to achieve a healthy diet? Talk about it with the midwife, we can help you to make a change. Our Dietician Yosta works at Bravocado.  You can consult her, also when you (and your partner) want to stop smoking.