Pregnant and Eating: ‘Realize You Are Literally Building a Baby’ | NOW

Pregnant or your partner pregnant? Eating has a completely different meaning: the expectant baby also eats, so a healthy diet is important. But what if you don’t like fish or still want a glass of wine? NU.nl carried out a survey among pregnant women and asked scientists Trudy Voortman and Tessa Roseboom for their expert opinion.

Trudy Voortman is a nutritionist and epidemiologist at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam.
Tessa Roseboom is Professor of Early Development and Health at AMC-UvA.

“I’m tired and nauseous and have lived on frozen pizzas for months. Is it bad?’

“Realize that what you eat are literally the building blocks for your baby’s organs – heart, lungs, liver and kidneys,” says Roseboom. “The quality of your diet is very important. In addition, food preferences are already programmed in the womb: We know that babies whose mothers ate a lot of carrots during pregnancy react more positively to carrots when they first bite. They recognize that.”

According to Roseboom, there are animal studies that have found that eating a healthy diet during pregnancy leads to increased life expectancy. “We don’t know enough about the importance of your diet during pregnancy. That complete realization makes it scary at times, which is difficult. Eat pizza every now and then but have a salad with it.”

“Fatty fish provides nutrients and at a certain point the body has enough. It won’t build an even better brain. “

Trudy Voortman, nutritionist and epidemiologist

“We used to eat everything and you landed well too.”

Besides being quite a clincher in the sense of “My grandfather smoked until he was ninety,” it doesn’t make sense, Voortman says. Significant improvements have taken place. “Folic acid for spina bifida is an extreme example. This is really much rarer as folic acid is the guideline.

The effects are not always as immediate, according to nutritionists. “We know that diet during pregnancy can have permanent long-term effects on the health of the child.” If you eat or drink something that isn’t on the guidelines, things don’t go wrong right away. . But don’t ignore it either. “

Roseboom: “We now know much better what is important: alcohol and smoking have no positive effects on the baby. But keeping an eye on everything and being afraid to eat a little cinnamon or rhubarb belongs to a different category.”

“Children born to mothers who eat more vegetables during pregnancy have lower blood pressure.”

Tessa Roseboom, Professor of Early Development and Health

“I don’t feel like a fish. How do I replace the healthy fats in fish? ‘

Fatty fish is recommended because the omega-3 fatty acids in fish contribute to brain development. If you really don’t like fish, Voortman says, you can use fish oil capsules. Seaweed and seaweed are also a source of these fatty acids, but then one needs to eat a fair amount of them. “There are also algae-based dietary supplements. Nuts and seeds also contain other fatty acids that are also healthy, but we can’t get enough of those fish fatty acids from them.”

The higher a fish is in the food chain, the more healthy fats and heavy metals it contains. That’s why the kite doesn’t work. “The more fish the better,” says Voortman. “It’s a building material, and at some point the body has enough. It won’t build an even better brain then. With oily fish, you get enough nutrients from the fish once a week without many of the adverse effects of these heavy metals.”

‘I am vegan. Can I Maintain Veganism During Pregnancy? ‘

Coincidentally, says Voortman, she is currently studying the subject. The results are not yet known. “As a vegan, there is a risk of deficiency anyway. The most common deficiency is vitamin B12, but if you’re pregnant, watch out for iron deficiency too. Vegan food should be fine, but get help from a nutritionist who knows when you’re pregnant which supplement. is best for your diet. ”The Dutch Nutrition Center does not dare to adopt guidelines on veganism either, and advises consulting a nutritionist.

Roseboom: “Not enough really good research has been done on veganism during pregnancy. Fortunately, this is usually a group that is already very conscious about health and nutrition.”

“Why is the council in other countries ‘a little’ alcohol?”

“The advice is everywhere: don’t drink alcohol,” said Roseboom. “We also have to stop saying that it is so uncomfortable when someone does not drink. It does not help to raise awareness of the dangers.”

“The advice is not to drink,” says Voortman. “Health organizations or midwives shouldn’t put space in it. Even small amounts can be harmful.”

“So fish is good for the baby. What else should I eat?”

Roseboom: “The more green vegetables, the healthier. Children of mothers who eat more vegetables during pregnancy have lower blood pressure. Mothers who eat more fat during pregnancy have children with greater fat mass. Stick to that.” recommended amount of vegetables is feasible! “

Take folic acid and vitamin D, but not more than the recommended amount of vitamins. Eat a healthy and varied diet: You cannot overdose with a healthy diet, advises Voortman. “Your vitamins from a glass of Etos or Kruidvat are good enough.”

The Nutrition Center developed the app PregnantHap. In this app you can easily find the latest nutritional recommendations during pregnancy.