Pregnancy and nutrition | Sanitas magazine

What should I eat?

Diet and nutrition

Pregnancy-related complaints can be prevented or eased significantly by ensuring that you and your unborn child get all the nutrients you need. You’ll find an up-to-date brochure on nutrition during pregnancy and breastfeeding here (only available in German). We’ve summarised the key points below.

By the way, the long-held advice that you need to eat for two while pregnant is not strictly true, because your body works more efficiently now and recycles energy more effectively. You only need approximately 250 calories more from the 4th week of pregnancy and an additional 500 calories from the 7th week of pregnancy – that’s equivalent to two slices of bread with a little cheese or four apples.

Drinks: Drink 1.5 to 2 litres a day, preferably

  • still or fizzy water
  • unsweetened herbal or fruit tea
  • fruit juice diluted with fizzy water
  • vegetable broth or soup

Meals: Eat small portions 4 to 5 times a day, including 1 hot meal

Suggested breakfast: Wholegrain bread or roll with fruit

Snacks: Yoghurt, fruit and raw, well-washed vegetables

Chocolate, pizzas, etc.: Enjoy in moderation!

Nutrients/supplements: Talk to your doctor about nutrients you should be taking during pregnancy.

The most important nutrients are listed here:

  • Folic acid and other vitamins: Until the 3rd month of your pregnancy, you’ll need 800 mg of this vital B-group vitamin per day. Folic acid can be found in wholegrain products, green leafy vegetables, eggs, fish, milk and many fruits. You should also take 0.4 mg of folic acid a day in tablet form – at least until the end of the 12th week of pregnancy. Ask your doctor if you need to take other vitamin supplements.
  • Iron: You’ll need 30 mg a day. Iron can be found in meat, pulses and vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, beetroot, etc.
  • Iodine: You’ll need 230 µg per day during pregnancy and up to 260 µg per day while breastfeeding, because you’ll be supplying two thyroid glands – yours and your baby’s. Iodine can be found in iodised salt and seafood.
  • Calcium: You’ll need between 1,000 and 1,200 mg a day. Calcium can be found in mineral water, milk, milk products, herbs and vegetables.

Consume only small amounts of:

  • Wild mushrooms, because they contain high quantities of cadmium and mercury
  • Flaxseed: no more than 20 g a day due to the high cadmium content
  • Coffee, green and black tea: caffeine can reach the unborn child via the placenta and restrict the absorption of iron into the blood, but drinking 1 to 2 cups a day is okay
  • Game: it can contain lead, which, in the worst case, can damage your child’s nervous system
  • No liver until the 4th month of pregnancy, because too much vitamin A (contained in liver) can cause malformation

Don’t eat due to increased risk of bacteria and infection (listeria):

  • Undercooked or raw meat (e.g. salami, cold cured ham, carpaccio, rare steak)
  • Smoked fish (e.g. smoked salmon)
  • Raw fish (e.g. sushi)
  • Raw eggs (e.g. in tiramisu and mayonnaise)
  • Unpasteurised milk direct from farms
  • Cheese made from unpasteurised milk (e.g. feta, mozzarella, Camembert)
  • Packaged mixed salads