Nutrition during pregnancy: care to be taken

The mother's diet during pregnancy can influence her baby's health, as well as have repercussions on her adult life.

Healthy eating habits can contribute to a lower risk of developing various pathologies such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension or obesity. Food in pregnant women is a crucial source for fetal formation and development, and when it is deficient, it can compromise the harmonious development of pregnancy.

But know that being pregnant does not mean eating for two: according to the Portuguese Association of Nutrition, in the first 3 months, there is no need to consume more energy.

In the second trimester, in addition to the recommended 2000 daily calories, an addition of about 330 calories is needed, which rises to 452 calories in the third. However, the quality of food is more important than its quantity! A pregnant woman's diet should be complete, balanced and varied.

Some food precautions:

  1. Supplementary intake of mineral salts, such as iron and folic acid:


Folic acid is important in baby development and prevention of neural tube defects and spina bifida. It is necessary due to the intense process of cell division. This compound, despite being part of any varied and balanced diet, should be reinforced during pregnancy.

Gestacare Pregnancy  30 ​​capsules Ref:7755421 , Natalben Supra - 30 capsules, Ref: 7374025 and Ovusitol D powder for oral solution - 14 sachets Ref: 7070961

With regard to iron, its supplementation should be started during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, as in the first months fetal iron consumption is reduced and may aggravate the nausea and vomiting characteristic of that period.

  1. A special dietary regime (allergy to certain foods, diabetes) requires specialist support to establish a suitable diet for pregnancy.
  2. In vegetarian diets, it is necessary to reinforce, in addition to folic acid and iron, calcium (when there is a total absence of dairy products), vitamin B12, vitamin D and iodized salt.


Dagravit B Complex Forte - 30 pills Ref: 9228221

     4. Have careful hygiene of food, especially if not cooked.


This care prevents the risk of toxoplasmosis, listeriosis and other infections. The causative agents of these diseases can cross the placenta and contaminate the baby. It is also recommended to increase the cooking time for meat, fish and shellfish to avoid the risk of food poisoning.

  1. Always check the expiry date on the packaging before consumption.
  2. Have at least six meals a day (with intervals of about 3 hours)


It is very important to keep your sugar levels stable. Its intake should also be restricted to a daily maximum of 20 g.

  1. Consume 0.5 L to 1 L of milk and at least 1.5 L of water per day.
  2. Prioritize the following foods, rich in vitamins and minerals:
  3. Foods to avoid:
    • Fish with a high mercury content: it is important that you eat fish at least twice a week, however you should avoid those that contain mercury, such as tuna and swordfish, as mercury crosses the placental barrier and can harm the baby's neurological development;
    • Raw meat, fish, eggs and shellfish: it is important that these foods are well cooked, as when consumed raw they could cause food poisoning, in addition to increasing the risk of toxoplasmosis;
    • Alcoholic beverages : the consumption of alcoholic beverages during pregnancy is associated with delay in the growth and development of the baby (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome), so it should be completely avoided;
    • artificial sweeteners that are often found in products diet or light , as some are not safe or it is not known if they could interfere with fetal development.
    • In case of coffee and foods containing caffeine , there is no consensus, however it is indicated that it should be avoided, as caffeine can cross the placenta and cause changes in the development of the fetus.

Weight gain during pregnancy varies according to the woman's initial weight, and it should not exceed 20% of the pre-pregnancy weight. To maintain the desirable weight, in addition to a healthy diet, go for walks and practice some moderate physical exercise. Drink water and sleep well, at least 8 hours a day.

Pregnancy is a very important period in life, and for it to run smoothly, you should always consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle.

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