Pregnancy

Are you pregnant and have a food intolerance or allergy and wondering what to eat/how to cope?  It’s important to ensure that during pregnancy you eat the right foods in order to benefit yourself and your baby.  Find lots of helpful information and tips on eating right for you.  You can also talk to other mums to be by joining the discussion in our mums forum area.

Do's and Dont's

Do
  1. Do continue eating as healthily as possible.  Ensuring that you eat the alternative foods that give you all the nutrients and energy you need despite your allergy or intolerance.
  2. Do avoid excessive alcohol intake.
  3. Do speak to your doctor or health professional about your food intolerance/allergy to ensure you get the support that is available to you.
  4. Do consider avoiding allergy provoking foods such as peanuts, nuts, sesame and eggs.
  5. Do avoid all non-prescription drugs and vitamins that contain colourings or additives.
Don’t
  1. Don’t smoke cigarettes and avoid passive smoking.
  2. Don’t eliminate foods from your diet without speaking to your health professional.
  3. Do’t be afraid to ask for help and advise.
  4. Don’t forget to eat nutritious foods for the benefit of you and your child.

 

Pregnancy and food intolerance or allergy

Pregnancy & Food Allergies

If you’re pregnant and have or think you have food intolerance or allergy you will need to take extra provisions during your pregnancy.  It is important that you continue to get all the nutrients that you and your baby need for a safe and healthy pregnancy.  Your doctor or health professional will be able to help and give advice on how to deal with your individual situation.  Try keeping a food diary and details on symptoms so that you can discuss these clearly with your doctor or health professional.  There are many great food alternatives in the market that will help you to eat in a healthy way and ensure that your baby develops well and that you also continue to stay fit and healthy during your pregnancy.

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It is important to remember that for everything that you eliminate out of your diet there is normally an alternative that you can use instead.  Your dietician, nutritionist or health professional will be able to advice on this.

There are many symptoms of food intolerance and or allergy and as you’re pregnant it will be important to keep talking to your health professional in order to differentiate between plain old pregnancy symptoms and issues you may be having with food.  You can read more information on food allergy/intolerance here, including symptoms, diagnosis and treatments.

What Foods Should I Eat When Pregnant?

It is important to eat good and nutritious foods when pregnant.  This will not only benefit your baby but it will also be beneficial for you too.  Just because you have a food intolerance or allergy does not mean that you can’t have a well-balanced diet during your pregnancy.  As with any pregnant woman, there are some foods that your doctor will tell you to avoid.  Foods such as: –

  • Cheeses particularly mould ripped such as brie or soft blue veiny cheeses.  These cheeses can contain listeria and could contain bacteria causing listeriosis.
  • Don’t eat raw eggs make sure that any egg dishes are thoroughly cooked and be sure to stay away from foods that include raw egg such as mayonnaise and  hollandaise sauce.
  • Don’t eat food with unpasteurised including but not exclusive to cows, goats or sheep’s milk.
  • Uncooked fish such as raw shell-fish, oysters, clams, and mussels. Sushi also falls under this category.
  • Don’t eat raw and or uncooked meat such as beef or poultry this is because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis and salmonella.
  • Reduce your intake of sugary foods such as sweets, biscuits, cakes etc.  As well as weight gain due to over eating, these foods can lead to health issues including but not exclusive to high cholesterol.

 Eatwell_PlateEat well plate

What foods should I eat during pregnancy?

When you’re pregnant, your baby will get all the nutrients it needs to grow from the food you eat.  It is important that you choose a variety well-balanced of foods suitable for your dietary needs.  Use the eat well plate above as a guide to what you can eat and how much.

  • Fruit and vegetables are essential as they provide natural vitamins, minerals and fibre.  It is recommended that you eat at least 5 portions a day.
  • Complex carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, oats, potatoes and rice (choose free from varieties if required).  These foods should be included in all main meals.
  • Proteins are essential for the body.  As above it is important that you stay away from certain proteins such as raw fish.  Cooked proteins such as poultry, beans and beef amongst others can be eaten.   You should also try to eat at least one portion of oily fish such as mackerel or sardines weekly.
  • Dairy products are essential to help you provide for you and your baby required calcium.  Remember that there are certain dairy products that you need to avoid including certain soft cheese.  For more information, view our ‘Foods to avoid’ section above.
  • Find alternative free from foods by using our ‘Search for Foods’ section and eliminate ingredients you don’t want and get foods you can eat and where to buy them from.

 

  

Top 5 Tips for Pregnancy and Food

  1. If you’re worried that you have a food intolerance or allergy talk to your doctor or health care professional.
  2. Keep a food diary to help you and your doctor understand better what you may need to eliminate due to symptoms you may be having.
  3. Eat a balanced diet of nutritious foods for you and your baby.
  4. If you do have a food allergy or intolerance, ensure that you eat sufficient alternatives so that you and your baby get the nutrients that you need during pregnancy.
  5. Following the advise of your doctor and or health professional.

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