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pregnancy and nutrition

take good care of yourself & your baby

Congratulations, you’re pregnant! It is now even more important to watch your nutrition. With pregnancy comes weight gain; usually between the 10-17 kilos. It is not advised to diet during your pregnancy. You and your baby need to receive all the necessary nutrients to ensure the best possible development of your child. You’re not alone in your body any more! You now have to make choices for two but that doesn’t mean that you have to eat and drink for two. Your pregnancy will require more energy from you but because you exercise less, you don’t burn as much. Below you will find a basic program with some additional advice. For recipes, variations, spreads and snacks consult our preference and inspiration lists. Make sure that you take enough calcium and iron every day. Do you prefer no milk products and/or meat? No problem, there are enough alternatives.

Example of a daily menu

Breakfast 8 am
Make a choice from one of the following options:

✦ Yoghurt with muesli.
✦ Oatmeal porridge with water or milk (full milk or oats-, rice- or almond milk without sugar) with added seeds (such as hemp seeds or broken linseed).
✦ 2 Slices of bread (preferably wholegrain spelt/sour dough) with spread.

Snack 10 am
✦ 1 or 2 pieces of fruit.

Lunch 12:30 pm
✦ 3-4 Slices of bread with spread.
✦  Soup and/or a salad.

Snack 3 pm and 5 pm
✦ Raw vegetables or figs/dates or a handful of nuts (walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts).

Dinner 6 pm
✦ 1 Cup of homemade soup/broth or a portion of raw vegetables.
✦ Fish, meat, chicken or a meat substitute with plenty of vegetables.
✦  2-3 Cooked (sweet) potatoes or 2 large serving-spoons of brown rice/ quinoa or bulghur.

Snack 8 pm (only if hungry)
✦ 1 Piece of fruit. Can be served with yoghurt.

Important and handy things to know

✦ Morning sickness mostly occurs at the beginning of a pregnancy. Before standing up in the morning, try eating something light such as a rice cake or a few walnuts to help this.
✦ You need extra calcium to ensure the proper development of the bone-, nerve-, blood and muscle systems of the embryo. Calcium is found in dairy products such as milk and yoghurt, but also in green vegetables, legumes, tropical fruits, fish, sesame paste, soya products, grains, nuts, seeds and kernels. Examples of calcium rich products: broccoli, kale, turnip-tops, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, linseed, sprouts, salmon and sardines.
✦ Zinc is vital for the growth and development of your baby. In beans (peas, beans, lima beans, chickpeas), nuts and seeds, carrots, full grains such as buckwheat and millet, wheat sprouts, sunflower seeds and pumpkin you can find zinc.
✦ During the 2nd and 3rd trimester you need more iron. You can receive this from your food. Meat, fish, egg, nuts, legumes and leafed vegetables (spinach) contain a lot of iron.
✦ If you are expecting, the body requires 600ug of folic acid. Leafed vegetables are the best source of folic acid as well as, legumes, oranges, full grains and nuts. Vegetarian women often have a higher level of folic acid. Still, it is difficult to meet the required levels with varied eating. That’s why it is advisable to take folic acid in a supplement form as well (start, preferably, as soon as you know you would like to become pregnant). Folic acid decreases the chance of a baby being born with spina bifida.
✦ Fatty acids - you can find these in fatty fish - are important for development of the brain and sight by unborn babies. Do not, however, eat more than 2 portions (300gr) of fatty fish per week because of the dioxins present. If you don’t like fish or don’t want it whilst being pregnant, take a supplement in the form of fish oil capsules.
✦ Eating vegetarian is fine when you are pregnant but do make sure that you receive enough vitamin B and iron. Eat enough legumes, dairy and other protein rich foods such as egg, tofu, tempe, nuts or wholegrain grain sorts.
✦ Choose for full products, such as full milk, full yoghurt or butter. A full product has a more even constitution, is often less processed and delivers an optimum amount of vitamins.
✦ It is advised to take multivitamins for pregnant women. Between the various sorts of supplements and vitamins there are differences in quality. Look carefully on the labels.
✦ Are you having problems with cramping in your calves during pregnancy? Taking magnesium can help.
✦ Differences in quality are present among the various supplements/multivitamins.Read the labels well.
✦ Some women develop gestational diabetes; a temporary form of diabetes. Because of hormones, the body doesn’t react well to insulin and the blood sugar level remains too high. It occurs in about 2% of all pregnancies and can be diagnosed through testing. The symptoms are usually quite vague, such as being very thirsty and wanting to urinate very often. The embryo is quite larger than normal, which can result in problems during the birth. As a result of gestational diabetes, the baby has an increased risk of developing diabetes at a later age. Healthy eating and exercise are usually enough to ensure that gestational diabetes doesn’t further develop. Taking smaller meals, spread over the day is important. Avoid, at least, the refined sugars! Do you need more advice? Make an appointment for a free intake with one of our dieticians/nutrition consultants via coaching@bbbhealthclub.nl

What should you watch with your nutrition?

Sometimes what you eat and drink can be dangerous for the embryo. You could, for example, contract listeria, toxoplasma or salmonella. Take care, therefore, of the following:

Cheese
✦ Do not eat any soft cheeses made from raw milk. These soft cheeses can contain the listeria bacteria. If the words ‘au lait cru’ or raw milk are on the packaging, then do not eat it. Hard cheeses made from raw milk, such as the Dutch farmer cheeses, are OK to eat, as well as pasteurized cheeses. If the raw milk cheese has been heated (such as by a cheese fondu or pizza) it is also OK to eat.

Fish
✦ Fish is healthy but don’t choose for packaged ready-to-eat meals out of the fridge (such as smoked salmon, eel, mussels). With vacuum packed fish the listeria bacteria can develop within the packaging. Fish from the fishmonger is allowed. Check, however, how the fish has been packed.
✦ Do not eat more than 2 serves of fatty fish per week because of the dioxins.
✦ Try to avoid eating raw fish or shell fish (such as oysters), eel and predatory fish (such as swordfish, tuna, shark and streaked seer fish). These can be contaminated with metals such as zinc.

Meat
✦ Do not eat raw meat (such as roast beef, tartar, carpaccio, filet American). The parasite toxoplasma may be present.
✦ Avoid liver (liver sausage,-cheese, -pastei, -pate and Berliner). They contain a lot of vitamin A. To much vitamin A can result in birth defects.
✦ Make sure that meat is well cooked through, such as steak or a tartare.

Eggs
✦ Only eat eggs that are hard boiled or well cooked. Soft-boiled eggs can contain salmonella (a sickly bacteria).
✦ Be careful with dishes that contain raw egg, such as homemade bavarois, mousse or homemade mayonnaise. In the supermarket you mainly find varieties with pasteurized ingredients.

Vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and herbs
✦ Wash vegetables and fruit carefully.
✦ Don’t eat too much cinnamon. It is not exactly clear what the effect is of too much cinnamon on a pregnancy but it is better to limit your use of it. Cinnamon is mostly found in cookies (in Dutch: ‘speculaas’, ‘ontbijtkoek’).
✦ It is better to avoid chia seeds as they can cause nausea. It is also not exactly clear what the effect is of chia seeds on a pregnancy.

Drinks
✦ Drink a maximum of 3 cups of coffee a day because of the caffeine. Drink coke, energy drinks and tea (except for herbal tea) in moderation. This because of the caffeine and theine.
✦ Do not drink alcohol. Recent research has shown that even one glass can be damaging.

And further...
✦ Do not eat more than a few ‘dropjes’ (liquorish) per day and drink a maximum of a few cups of liquorice tea a day. Liquorice increases your blood pressure.k.
✦ Avoid soft serve ice cream. It can contain bacteria.
✦ Don’t smoke! It can lower your fertility and damage your unborn child seriously.
✦ Do you have a cat? Make sure that the kitty litter is cleaned every day and by someone else. The parasite toxoplasma may be present.

What to do with food cravings?

During your pregnancy it is possible that you are overcome with cravings for food. This is a normal way of the body trying to protect the embryo by building up extra food reserves. It doesn’t, however, mean that your body really needs it. Too much sugar and fats is not good for you or your baby. Research has proven that the occurrence of frequent food binges can result in an increased chance of your child suffering from (food) addictions later in life. It can also affect the variety in your nutritional pattern, which has an affect on you receiving the essential nutrients necessary for the development of your child. It also results in unnecessary extra kilos.

Hopefully the following tips can help you to keep your food cravings under control:
✦ Eat small portions regularly. This keeps your blood sugar level up and you won’t need to snack so much.
✦ If experiencing cravings, choose a healthy alternative; yoghurt, fruit, soup, fibre rich crackers with healthy spreads and raw vegetables.
✦ Exercise regularly. This is good for your mood and helps with emotional swings, which can also encourage food cravings.
✦ Make a conscious use of distraction and company. Do chores, call a friend, drink a glass of water, clean your teeth or sit on the couch and take 3 deep breaths before you give into a craving.
✦ Ask one of the bbb coaches for extra support or a coaching session. Would you like some coaching at a deeper level? Or would you like to learn more over nutrition? Make an appointment for a free intake for a more in-depth coaching by bbb via bbb psychology.

Keep exercising!

During your pregnancy it is especially good to keep exercising. This ensures a better blood circulation and increases your oxygen intake. Officially it is advised to exercise 3 times a week. The intensity will decrease as your pregnancy progresses. Exercising at bbb is possible up until 7 to 8 months of your pregnancy. The bbb coaches will make sure that your programme is suitable for the stage you are at with your pregnancy. This way your body will be extra well prepared for the birth. It will also help you to get back into shape quicker, after the birth. Do you have any physical complaints? You can book a free intake with our physiotherapist via bbb physiotherapy.

We wish you a healthy pregnancy!

During breastfeeding

You have just given birth. Congratulations! Maybe you are going to start breastfeeding. During the period that you breastfeed, your body will probably ask for more food. Listen well to your body and don’t eat more than your body asks. You can also follow the Pregnancy Basic nutrition program. Use the bbb Preference and Inspiration lists for varieties, spreads and snacks.

Important to watch
✦ Drink plenty. You need at least a few litres extra!
✦ Be careful with alcohol during breastfeeding. Within an hour it is present in your milk. Your child cannot digest this and it can be dangerous. Would you like a glass? Wait then for 2 hours before feeding.
✦ Limit the amount of caffeine. Your baby can become restless from it..
✦ Certain foods, such as spicy and particular herbs, can cause cramps. Watch carefully what you eat and how your baby reacts after feeding. If you don’t notice anything, then you can continue to eat these products.
✦ The website www.borstvoeding.com has good facts and tips and experiences from women who give breastfeeding.

Back in shape!
Your body may have changed because of all the hormones. The most important thing, first, is that you find a new rhythm that works in your new situation. Then you can start to regain your energy and get back into shape!

Basic nutrition
After you’ve finished breastfeeding you can move onto one of the nutrition plans from bbb, such as our basic nutrition. Here you can receive all the necessary nutrients, which will allow you to feel fit and full of energy to be able to look after yourself and your child. It will also help you to lose any of those extra kilos you gained during your pregnancy.

Take time
It is possible that it takes a bit more time to lose the extra kilos. The change in your hormone balance, which is used to storing fat, has an influence on this. Depending on how much you gained during your pregnancy, it is normal to take about a year to get back (and stay at!) to your old weight. Would you like some coaching concerning these life- changing events? Or deepen your understanding of nutrition? You can make an appointment for a free intake for a more in-depth coaching at bbb via bbb psychology.

Get back to exercising
After the birth you can actually get back to exercising quite quickly. From 6 weeks after the birth you can start. How quickly depends on how the birth went and how you feel. Don’t wait too long. Exercising helps to increase your energy, which allows you to cope with things better. Do you have any physical complaints? Book a free intake with our physiotherapist via bbb physiotherapy.