This is a really exciting time, with many bodily changes happening, so it’s very important that you eat a well-balanced diet and remain active throughout your pregnancy. You should always check with your GP and or Midwife before making changes to your diet and lifestyle when you are pregnant.


You should aim to eat a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables and high in complex carbohydrates. The emphasis should be placed on healthy food choices and not on calorie allowance. Here are just a few recommendations:

Pregnancy is not a time to try to lose weight, but women who are overweight at conception should take particular care not to gain an excessive amount.  You do need to ensure you eat a balanced diet with a little extra , normally about 10%. There’s no need to eat for 2! 1½ st(9.5kg) is the recommended weight gain. 

There is no need to eat any more than normal during the first 6 months of pregnancy, but you should increase your intake by approximately 10% a day during the last trimester.

Eat healthily.Women who are well nourished have a nutritional buffer, which will help provide for their own needs and those of their baby. There is increased evidence that eating healthily while pregnant can affect the future health of the baby, even into adulthood.

Remember that food is digested more slowly during pregnancy, to enable more nutrients to be absorbed by the growing baby. 

Cut out alcohol The NHS recommends that pregnant women or women trying to conceive should avoid alcohol altogether. If you choose to drink, you should not drink more than 2units of alcohol once or twice a week. Drinking too much during pregnancy can result in the baby having serious problems, including restricted growth,learning and behavioral disorders and facial abnormalities.

 Stop smoking.Smoking increases the risk of stillbirth, miscarriage and cot death, and babies born to smokers are more likely to have health problems.


Folic Acid. Your doctor or midwife will probably advise you to take folic acid supplements for the first 12 weeks. Since many women do not realise they are pregnant forseveral weeks or more, anyone planning to conceive is advised to begin folic acid supplements. There is clear evidence that this can reduce the risks of neural tube defects (spina bifida).

  • Ensure you have a good source of Vitamin D - foods that contain the vitamin are eggs, fortified cereals, oily fish – such as salmon, sardines and mackerel.  You can also boost your Vitamin D levels through natural sunlight.  
  • Choose foods that are naturally high in folic acid and folate – for example green vegetables, pulses,brown rice, yeast extract.
  • Avoid foods such as raw eggs and un-pasteurised or soft cheese because of the risk of potential food-borne infections, especially salmonella and listeria.
  • Portions of oily fish and tuna should be limited and shark/swordfish or marlin should be avoided. 
  • Avoid eating liver,which is a particularly rich source of vitamin A. Vitamin A can be toxic to the baby at high levels of consumption. However, more recent research suggests that liver in moderation is acceptable.
  • Taking any tablets,including vitamin and mineral supplements, should always be on the advice of your doctor or midwife
  •  If you suffer from nausea or heartburn, eat smaller amounts on a more regular basis, as this can help the symptoms, as can snacking on a high carbohydrate food – eg banana or plain biscuit.
  •  Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Your baby needs the fluid as much as you do.

Morning sickness:

Treatments for morning sickness as recommended by the NHS Choices website
If you have morning sickness, your GP or midwife will initially recommend that you try a number of changes to your diet and daily life to help reduce your symptoms.

These will include:

Getting plenty of rest – tiredness can make nausea worse

If you feel sick first thing in the morning, give yourself time to get up slowly – if possible,eat something like dry toast or a plain biscuit before you get up drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, and sipping them little and often rather than in large amounts, as this may help prevent vomiting

Eating small,frequent meals that are high in carbohydrate (such as bread, rice and pasta)and low in fat – most women can manage savoury foods, such as toast,crackers and crisp bread, better than sweet or spicy foods

Eating small amounts of food often rather than several large meals – but don't stop eating

Eating cold meals rather than hot ones as they don't give off the smell that hot meals often do, which may make you feel sick

Avoiding foods or smells that make you feel sick

Avoiding drinks that are cold, tart (sharp) or sweet

Asking the people close to you for extra support and help – it helps if someone else can cook, but if this isn't possible, go for bland, non-greasy foods, such as baked potatoes or pasta, which are simple to prepare

Distracting yourself as much as you can – the nausea can get worse the more you think about it

Wearing comfortable clothes without tight waistbands

If you have severe morning sickness, your doctor or midwife might recommend medication

Official advice and information about nutrition during pregnancy can be found on the NHS Choices website


Pregnant women with no medical or obstetric complications or contraindications– eg high blood pressure, type 1 diabetes – are advised to stay as active as possible. However, there are certain recommendations and guidelines to safe exercise during pregnancy.