Pearl obstetrics | gynaecology

Healthy eating and drinking in pregnancy

healthy eating

Discuss healthy weight during pregnancy with us. Keep fitter in your pregnancy by using these tips.

Choose food wisely and exercise regularly to improve your health and fitness. This will help to minimise weight gain. Adequate nutrient intake during pregnancy is important for you and your baby, and can be achieved while eating less energy-rich food. Ask for specific advice for dieting during pregnancy.

    • 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, 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, 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.


Dr. Mark Sillender. Consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist