Optimising Nutrition for Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time where there are evolving nutritional requirements throughout each trimester alongside common side effects of pregnancy. A baby receives all of it nutrients from its mother while in utero. With a better understanding of your nutritional needs during the stages of pregnancy, we can build a plan to ensure that both mother and baby’s nutritional demands are met during pregnancy.
Early pregnancy can be a challenging time for many women due to nausea, vomiting, constipation, cravings or fatigue. In addition, there are the food safety in pregnancy guidelines which, depending on your pre-pregnancy diet, may now be restricting some of your “go-to” foods. On announcing your pregnancy, many women feel they receive conflicting and sometimes unwanted dietary advice from well-meaning family and friends. Whichever trimester you are in, we can support you through the nutritional challenges you’re experiencing and help you to decipher fact from fiction to optimise nutrition for both yourself and for baby.
Constipation is common during pregnancy, a dietetic assessment can help identify if you are meeting your nutritional needs, and if fibre or fluid modification would be beneficial to improve your bowel and gut function during pregnancy.
Many pregnant people are confused with the food safety during pregnancy guidelines, they have friends or family or even the internet providing conflicting information. Let’s focus on what you CAN eat. We do a thorough dietary assessment and can provide evidence based information regarding the risks and recommendations for food safety during pregnancy.
Nausea and Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy (NVP) is common and often one of the early symptoms during pregnancy. Often it is referred to as “morning sickness” but a lot of pregnant women will tell you it can affect them at any time of day. Nausea and vomiting can frequently be managed with dietary changes. NVP is different to hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) which is characterised by dehydration, electrolyte disturbances, unintentional weight loss and severe nausea and vomiting. Let us work with you to help manage the symptoms of NVP during pregnancy.
What can I eat?
On announcing your pregnancy, many women feel they receive conflicting and sometimes unwanted dietary advice from well-meaning family and friends. Dietary aversions and cravings can get in the way of a person’s usual diet. We can work with you to assess your medical, lifestyle and diet history to provide recommendations to optimise your pregnancy nutrition outcomes.
Weight gain in pregnancy
Weight gain in pregnancy is a normal part of most pregnancies, but it can also be an area that many pregnant women feel quite concerned about. We work with women from early pregnancy to help them understand their evolving nutrition requirements throughout each trimester and recommended weight gain at each stage of pregnancy. We don’t recommend aiming for weight loss during pregnancy, and early dietetic input can help many women ensure their gestation weight gain is within the range recommended by their lead maternity carer.
Diabetes during pregnancy or gestational diabetes dietetic care is provided within your local District Health Board (DHB) and is offered free of charge. For women who have previously had gestational diabetes, they are likely to develop gestational diabetes in a subsequent pregnancy, however usually dietetic care funded by the DHB is not available until Diabetes in Pregnancy is confirmed. We provide dietetic care to women who are at risk or have had previous gestational diabetes that has not yet been diagnosed in their current pregnancy. We can also provide postnatal dietetic care after delivery to improve post natal HbA1c and reduce the longer term risks of developing Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
If you confused about which supplements you should be taking during pregnancy then it’s a good idea to book in with a pregnancy dietitian who can assess your diet and individual needs and then provide individualised diet and supplement recommendations.
Twins and Triplet pregnancies
The nutrition requirements and weight gain recommendations for twin and higher order multiples are higher compared to a singleton pregnancy. Our specialist pregnancy dietitian can guide you regarding nutrition supplements, weight gain recommendations alongside navigating challenges such as nausea and vomiting, reflux and feeling full (early satiety) as your babies grow and put pressure on your stomach.
Vegan and vegetarian diets
When following a vegan or vegetarian diet, it can be challenging to meet nutritional requirements in pregnancy. Vegan and vegetarian diets may require additional planning to ensure the diet is adequate during pregnancy. A dietetic consultation and analysis of food records can be very beneficial to individually tailor supplement recommendations to cover the nutritional gaps.
Book a consultation and find out how to ensure you meet your evolving maternal nutrition needs