18 Weeks Pregnant – tips for a healthy pregnancy diet

by Apr 26, 2018Blog, Lifestyle

 

Want to know what you should be eating during your fifth month of pregnancy? In today’s blog we’re going to chat about how your dietary and activity requirements change throughout your fifth month of pregnancy – especially now that your bub is really starting to grow!

Your body:

Now that your baby is the size of a mango, you will probably feel him kicking for the first time. And, as your baby bump grows, your posture will change. Your pelvis will start to tilt forward and your lower back will arch to help you keep your balance. This can affect your gait – the way you walk, – as well as your balance. You will also, most likely, find your back is starting to ache, and that you get puffed more easily – even though you are fitter. Your shortness of breath is a result of your baby pressing up against your lungs.

You are now halfway through your pregnancy, and this is typically the most fun month of pregnancy, so make the most of it! You have a baby bump and pregnancy glow, but you’re not too uncomfortable. And, it might be time to go shopping for some new maternity clothes as your baby bump grows.

Nutrition:

As a dietitian, what I’m particularly excited about at this stage is the fact that this is the month when your baby will start developing tastebuds!  As such, it’s essential that you eat a wide variety of healthy foods to help him grow accustomed to a range of tastes. Try different fruits and vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables like Brussel Sprouts and broccoli which can be a bit more bitter, to help you avoid years of arguments at the dinner table).  Try a range of herbs and spices and a range of lean meats, including kangaroo, goat, lamb, fish and beef.

Continue to ensure that you are eating all your core food groups each day – that’s grains, meat or meat alternatives, dairy, or dairy alternatives, fruit, vegetables and healthy fats, and check that you are meeting your requirements for iron, calcium and iodine.  Fermented foods, grains, vegetables and legumes are particularly good for your gut microbiome… and your gut microbiome can impact the future health of your bub, so minimise your intake of processed sugars, and opt for pre and probiotic foods instead.

It’s also wise to incorporate common allergens like wheat, soy, fish, seafood and nuts into your diet to help build up your baby’s immune system.

Continue to take your prenatal multi, and omega 3 supplements if you’re not eating enough low mercury, high omega 3 fish.

If you haven’t had an appointment with your dietitian since you first fell pregnant, now is a good time to organise a review.

Exercise:

You may find that activities such as rollerskating and bike riding become more challenging as your bump grows and your balance changes, so switch to other activities that don’t require as much balance, such as water aerobics and swimming.

Backache is a common reason why women stop exercising at this stage of pregnancy, when in fact, movement is one of the best ways to deal with backache. I suggest you give up higher intensity exercise and start focusing more on incidental, low to moderate intensity exercise such as swimming and walking. If you haven’t already got one, buy a pedometer or step counting device, and ensure that you are walking at least 10,000 steps every day.

Swimming is also a really good choice as it’s low intensity, gentle on aches and pains, great for strengthening your core, a terrific stress reliever and an excellent way to burn kilojoules. Try to make time to get to the beach or pool at least twice each week.

If at any time you notice severe abdominal pain, bleeding or a significant reduction in your baby’s movements, stop exercising and seek medical advice. Physical activity right up until the end of your pregnancy is safe, but stop and get a check-up if your body is telling you to, and then get back on the horse if everything is okay.

To help you eat more healthily during pregnancy, I’ve put together a 7 day pregnancy meal plan.  Download now for free here.

I like forward to chatting to you again soon!

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