Pearl obstetrics | gynaecology

Healthy eating & drinking in pregnancy

  • healthy eating
    Healthy eating & drinking
    Your food & drink intake "programs" your baby, which will make a healthy difference for it's entire life.

Healthy eating & drinking in pregnancy

Discuss healthy weight during pregnancy with your obstetrician.

Choose food wisely and exercise (mild-moderate) regularly to improve your health and fitness. There is evidence to suggest exercise improves overall pregnancy outcome. In pregnancy, we don’t want you to lose weight, 8-12kg weight gain would be a normal & healthy gain. Women who are very overweight at the start of pregnancy should aim to put very little weight on during the whole pregnancy ie. 2-4kg. Adequate nutrient intake during pregnancy is important for you and your baby, and can be achieved while eating less energy-rich food.

  • Base each meal on a balance of 1/4 dinner plate of lean protein (meat, fish, chicken, egg, nuts, legumes), a 1/4 dinner plate of carbohydrate (starch foods like rice, bread, potato, pasta), and a 1/2 dinner plate of cooked or fresh vegetables. Add a serve of fruit or low fat milk, yoghurt or icecream.


  • Choose snack foods that will provide extra minerals, especially iron, calcium and extra vitamins, especially folate. Best snacks are balanced in protein, carbohydrate, fruit, vegetables and milk in the same way as meals. Snack on combinations from these foods • dried fruit • nuts • boiled egg • low fat yoghurt • canned fish • sandwich • fresh fruit salad • reduced fat cheese (grilled or fresh) • high fibre low fat crackers • vegetables pieces with a salsa dip or in soups • low sugar high fibre breakfast cereal • vegetables sliced and grilled with reduced fat cheese on bread


  • Eat at least two portions of a variety of fruit and five portions of a variety of vegetables each day, in place of foods higher in fat and energy


  • When choosing starchy foods such as potatoes (NOT sweet potatoes), bread, rice and pasta, use wholegrain and low glycemic index (low GI) foods where possible. Foods with low GI can be found in low GI diet books and cookbooks. These foods are more slowly absorbed and have good health benefits


  • Eat plenty of fibre-rich foods such as oats, legumes and pulses (beans, peas & lentils), grains, seeds, fruit and vegetables


  • Choose low-fat and reduced fat foods but be aware of the higher carbohydrate content of some of these and avoid increasing your energy intake


  • Eat a variety of foods that will provide important fats: fish, nuts (but not peanuts), lean meats, and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated oils and margarines in moderation


  • Eat breakfast


  • Drink some more water & fluids than usual. However, you do NOT need 2 litres a day, unless you exercise or have been out in hot weather.


  • It is recommended that alcohol is avoided in pregnancy


  • Eat as little as possible of • fried foods • drinks and confectionery high in added sugars • food and drinks high in fat and sugar, such as some take-away and fast foods • snack foods with low nutrient and high energy content. Examples are sweet biscuits, savoury snack biscuits, snack bars and health food bars.


What foods should I avoid?

  • Foods such as pate, soft cheeses, coleslaw, unwashed vegetables, processed meats (unless cooked) and raw or smoked seafood may rarely contain the bacteria Listeria.
  • Avoid any food that is only partially reheated. It may be better to avoid all reheated food.
  • Coffee and tea can be taken in small amounts during pregnancy. It would appear that 1 cup of coffee a day poses no significant risk to pregnancy.
  • Peanuts can possibly increase the risk of peanut allergy when the child is born.
  • Sweet potatoes have a high level of Vitamin A pre-cursors. it’s not entirely clear what happens after you ingest them, so large amounts of sweet potatoes should be avoided in pregnancy.


Healthy eating & drinking in pregnancy

Has benefits for the baby, and for you.

PEARL obstetrics | gynaecology

Our office is situated near Glengarry Private Hospital in Perth. We provide easy free parking. We're easily accessible from Joondalup, Hillarys, Stirling, Currambine, Ocean Reef, Beldon, Connolly, Edgewater, Wanneroo, Burns Beach, Sorrento, Padbury, Marmion, Watermans Bay, North Beach, Karrinyup, Gwelup, Carine, Balcatta, Westminster, Mirrabooka, Malaga, Hamersley, Koondoola, Girrawheen, Marangaroo, Greenwood, Warwick, Madeley, Darch, Wangara, Kallaroo, Craigie, Heathridge, Woodvale, Scarborough, Doubleview, Innaloo, Osbourne Park, Wembley Downs, Tuart Hill, Trigg, North Beach. The Western suburbs (Cottesloe, Claremont, City Beach, Floreat, Swanbourne) are all within easy reach.