5 do’s and don’ts of pregnancy nutrition

Aside from fruit and veggies, do you know about these healthy foods to include in your pregnancy diet? And what about these foods to avoid? Make sure you’re familiar with these do’s and don’ts of pregnancy nutrition if you’re expecting. By Sharon Mahlase

You know that eating healthily is good for you and your baby when pregnant and afterwards, so read up on these do’s and don’ts of pregnancy nutrition. Always speak to your doctor if you have any queries regarding your diet when you’re pregnant.

Pregnancy nutrition do’s:

PUFAs and probiotics

Research shows that eating polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and probiotics might decrease your risk of allergies. Studies have shown that these ingredients also play a role in the development of the baby’s brain while in the uterus and in the first few months as an infant. Many pregnant women cut down on fish, the richest source of PUFAs, due to fear of mercury exposure. It is advisable to discuss this with your dietician.


Eating bland food while breastfeeding seems to be a thing of the past. Recent studies encourage women to eat spicy food while breastfeeding as newborns tend to feed longer when their mothers have a diet that includes aromatic flavours. Go on, indulge in that curry!


New research suggests that getting adequate amounts of choline while pregnant is beneficial for you and your baby. This is little-known nutrient is key in foetal brain development. Just like folic acid, taking enough choline while pregnant can also help protect newborns against neural tube defects. Sources of choline include eggs, tofu, lean beef and Brussels sprouts.

Pregnancy nutrition don’ts:

Artificial sweeteners

New studies show that women who consume at least one artificially sweetened beverage per day during pregnancy were twice as likely to have an overweight child at 1 year of age compared to those who don’t. Artificial sweeteners that are not safe to use during pregnancy are saccharin and cyclamate. Saccharin is found in many processed foods and drinks, including canned fruit and soft drinks, while cyclamate is found in instant beverages, soft drinks and shakes.

Raw eggs

Reconsider adding raw eggs to your breakfast smoothie for that morning boost when pregnant. Raw eggs put you at a high risk of salmonella poisoning, which results in vomiting and diarrhoea, and may cause early labour and dehydration. Some salad dressings, sauces, mayonnaise and custards may be made from raw eggs and should not form part of your pregnancy diet.

Download your free pre-pregnancy diet plan here.

scroll to top

Send this to a friend