A ground-breaking partnership aiming to support women’s health and focused on good maternal nutrition during pregnancy has this week launched across the UK.
The partnership wants to help simplify health and wellbeing, especially for mums-to-be, who have so many diet-related questions from what to eat and what food supplements to take, from the moment they find out they’re expecting.
Searching the internet can be one of the first things expectant mums do, seeking information on what they should be eating, what they can swap into their diet as an alternative or might want to avoid.
But it’s said that, many don’t know where to turn for advice or what information to believe.
That’s why Bassetts Vitamins and The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG) have examined those questions commonly asked and are set to cut through the clutter and myths with some simple, easy to digest facts and alternative food suggestions.
But what are the questions that pop up the most? The data revealed that the questions pregnant women had in common ranged from which country cuisines are safe to eat and is it okay to eat junk food, to what foods should you avoid entirely.
Mum-to-be are even asking if it’s possible to eat too much if pregnant, and what the most important nutrients to have are.
Common items, you’d expect to see mothers-to-be looking for guidance on included, sushi, cheese and cured meats.
Less expected items of food, women were looking for answers on included shellfish (oysters and prawns), truffle oil, mayonnaise, custard and liquorice.
A good rule of thumb is that all foods eaten in pregnancy should be washed, cooked though and pasteurized.
Hannah Gardner from Bassetts Vitamins said: “We are pleased to be working with RCOG to help support mums-to-be by highlighting some of the options available that can help both women and their babies get the nutrition that they need. We know how important it is for pregnant women to maintain a healthy diet, but it can be confusing sometimes with lots of advice on what to eat.
“Whilst you can get most vitamins needed from a balanced and healthy diet, the NHS recommended nutrients, Folic Acid and Vitamin D, are advised to be taken daily. You may consider a pregnancy multivitamin such as the Omega-3, Multivitamins & Multiminerals from Bassetts Vitamins.”
Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe from The Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists advises:
“Is it okay for me to eat sushi?
“Raw fish and meat is not advised to eat whilst you are pregnant. However, it’s fine and encouraged to eat protein every day.
“Choose lean meat, and try to eat two portions of fish a week. If you do not eat meat or fish, then lentils, beans, nuts (any allergies permitting), eggs and tofu are also good sources of protein
“Although you can’t eat raw fish, why not try a veggie sushi roll – or putting cooked fish in the sushi roll. Seafood that’s low in mercury is always a good start, so try substituting in a deliciously cooked pollock fillet
“Is it okay for me to eat Brie?
“It’s good to eat dairy foods for calcium or dairy alternatives, which are calcium fortified and unsweetened, however cheeses that you should avoid are any foods made from unpasteurised milk as well as mould-ripped soft cheese, such as Brie, Camembert, Gorgonzola and Roquefort.
“If you are a big blue cheese fan, ways around this are eating soft or blue cheese that has been cooked until steaming hot as well as picking pasteurized hard cheese such as Comte and Cheddar
“What different country cuisines are okay to eat? For example, is Chinese or Indian safe to eat?
“In theory, all cuisines are fine to eat when pregnant, however you will need to watch out for the specific ingredients included. Generally speaking, starchy foods are an important source of energy, some vitamins and fibre, and help you to feel full without containing too many calories. They include bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, sweet potatoes and oats for example. These should make up just over a 3rd of the food you eat (which ever cuisine it’s from), and it’s important to avoid foods that are high in fat and salt.
Is it okay to eat junk food?
“Eat as little fried food as possible and avoid drinks that are high in added sugars and other foods such as sweets, cakes and biscuits that have a high fat or sugar content. Instead, why not try making your own pizza at home for example a Cheats’ pizza calzone
Can you eat too much when pregnant?
“Yes this is possible, it is advised that you should watch the portion size of your meals and snacks and avoid “eating for two”. If you are feeling hungry between meals, chose healthier snacks such as vegetables, small sandwiches, fresh or dried fruit. The additional number of calories required daily in pregnancy is about 300, so that is only a small increase above your usual diet.
Is it okay to have a vegan diet when pregnant?
“It’s important to eat a varied and balanced diet during pregnancy to provide enough nutrients for you and the development and growth of your baby.
“If you’re pregnant and a vegetarian or vegan, you need to make sure you get enough iron and vitamin B12, which are mainly found in meat and fish, and vitamin D, calcium and iodine. This can also be found by topping up with a multivitamin and mineral supplement.
What nutrients are most important when pregnant?
“Vitamins are needed for baby’s growth and development. There are 13 important vitamins: vitamins A,C,D,E and K and the vitamin B series. Apart from Vitamin D, which we get from sunlight, most vitamins come from our diet. However the NHS recommends taking a Vitamin D and Folic Acid supplement daily. (2)
Bassetts Vitamins Pregnancy contains nutrients including Folic acid which contributes to maternal tissue growth, at the level recommended by the UK Department of Health and Social Care, plus Vitamin D to support healthy bones and muscles, and Omega-3 DHA which is an essential fatty acid. It also includes Zinc to help support the immune system and Iron to help reduce tiredness and fatigue and comes in a tasty, easy-to-take strawberry & orange flavour pastille.
Bassetts Vitamins Pregnancy is available from Tesco, Boots and Superdrug and the RRP is £14. Further guidance on nutritional needs during pregnancy can be found by visiting the RCOG website and guidance from the NHS: