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The benefits of a healthy pregnancy diet

benefits

SUMMARY

Eating for two isn’t about eating twice as much. It’s about eating the right nutrition to support your baby’s development1 – and even their future health once born2-4. Yet the importance of eating well in pregnancy is not widely understood; a recent study showed that one in five expectant mums were unaware that the food they eat could affect their baby’s future immunity5. So just how powerful can a healthy pregnancy diet be?

A HEALTHY PREGNANCY DIET CAN:


Help to shape your baby's taste preference6,7

Support their immune system development 2-4

Positively affect your baby's birth weight 8-10

Positively influence their cognitive development 11-13

Manage pregnancy weight gain 14,15

Reduce risk of gestational diabetes 14,16

What's considered 'healthy eating' in pregnancy?

In spite of the proven benefits of a healthy pregnancy diet, some mums-to-be are still confused by what they can and can’t eat. According to a recent Aptaclub study5, eight out of ten mothers are baffled by advice on pregnancy nutrition, 34% admit they have stopped eating certain foods because they don’t know if they were safe, while a fifth had no idea their diet could affect their baby’s immunity.

To help dispel the myths around healthy eating in pregnancy and inspire mums to eat well, we’ve teamed up with NHS doctor Dawn Harper, and celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale.

DR DAWN HARPER
@DrDawnHarper

“Getting nutrition right during pregnancy is very important for expectant mothers so they need a reliable source to turn to. I’m delighted to be working with Aptaclub to launch ‘Eating for 2’, a reliable online resource giving pregnant women all the advice they need to ensure they eat well for themselves and their unborn baby.”

CHEF LORRAINE PASCALE
@lorrainepascale

“Just because you’re pregnant, it doesn’t mean meals need to boring. My recipes are not only quick, easy and nutritious, but also designed to be enjoyed.”

Explore Lorraine’s healthy pregnancy recipes today, or get the answers to your most commonly asked pregnancy nutrition questions like, ‘can I eat soft cheese? ’, ‘can I eat seafood ?’ and, ‘which meats are safe in pregnancy?’.

Enjoy a healthier pregnancy that can help shape a healthier future for your baby, with Aptaclub.

View references

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1. NHS. Your pregnancy and baby guide [Online] 2017 Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/healthy-pregnancy-diet/ [Accessed 24 September 2018].

2. Jennewein MF, Abu-Raya B, Jiang Y et al. Transfer of maternal immunity and programming of the newborn immune system. Semin Immunopathol. 2017; 39(6): 605-613.

3. Chu DM, Meyer KM, Prince AL, et al. Impact of maternal nutrition in pregnancy and lactation on offspring gut microbial composition and function. Gut Microbes. 2016;7(6):459-470.

4. Romano-Keeler J, Weitkamp JH. Maternal influences on fetal microbial colonization and immune development. Pediatric research. 2015;77(0):189-195.

5. Aptaclub survey. June 2018. 1,500 people (1,118 of whom are currently pregnant or have been pregnant). 

6. Cooke L., Fildes A. The impact of flavour exposure in utero and during milk feeding on food acceptance at weaning and beyond. Appetite 2011;57(3)808-811

7. Ventura AK, Worobey J. Early influences on the development of food preferences. Curr Biol 2013;23(9):R401-8.

8. Thangaratinam S, Rogozinska E, Jolly K et al. Interventions to reduce or prevent obesity in pregnant women: a systematic review. Health Technol Assess 2012;16(31) 1-191.

9. Lillycrop KA. Effect of maternal diet on the epigenome: implications for human metabolic disease. Proc Nutr Soc 2011;70(1):64-72.

10. Wu G, Bazer FW, Cudd TA, et al. Maternal Nutrition and Fetal Development. The Journal of Nutrition. 2004;134(9), 2169–2172

11. Freitas‐Vilela, Ana Amélia et al. Maternal Dietary Patterns during Pregnancy and Intelligence Quotients in the Offspring at 8 Years of Age: Findings from the ALSPAC Cohort. Maternal & Child Nutrition 2018; 14(1).

12. Prado EL, Dewey KG. Nutrition and brain development in early life. Nutr Rev 2014;72(4) 267–284

13. Starling, P, Charlton, K, McMahon, et al. Fish Intake during Pregnancy and Foetal Neurodevelopment—A Systematic Review of the Evidence. Nutrients 2015;7(3) 2001-2014.

14. Thangaratinam S, Rogozińska E, Jolly K, et al. Effects of interventions in pregnancy on maternal weight and obstetric outcomes: meta-analysis of randomised evidence. The BMJ. 2012;344

15. Effect of diet and physical activity based interventions in pregnancy on gestational weight gain and pregnancy outcomes: meta-analysis of individual participant data from randomised trials. BMJ 2017;358:j3119

16. Donazar-Ezcurra M, López-del Burgo C, Bes-Rastrollo M. Primary prevention of gestational diabetes mellitus through nutritional factors: a systematic review. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth. 2017;17:30

Last reviewed: 29th October 2018
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