A healthy well-balanced diet is important in any stage in life but especially in pregnancy. You do not need to go on a special diet to lose weight or “eat for two”.  It is important to make sure your body is getting the vitamins and minerals it needs and your baby needs.

During your first trimester you may find that you go off a lot of food and/or drinks or are experiencing nausea. It is important you try to stay hydrated throughout and find foods that you can stomach. You may find that eating little and often rather than big meals can help.

Fibre should be an important part of your diet in pregnancy. Your digestion can slow up when you are pregnant so eating fibre can help this – fruit and vegetables are good for this and also contain vitamins and minerals you need.

Make sure any food being prepared is thoroughly cleaned before cooking and that meat you eat during your pregnancy is thoroughly cooked. It is recommended you avoid having more than 2 portions of oily fish a week as this can contain pollutants.

Eggs produced under the British Lion Code of Practice are safe for pregnant women to eat raw or partially cooked, as they come from flocks that have been vaccinated against salmonella.

These eggs have a red lion logo stamped on their shell. Pregnant women can eat these raw or partially cooked (for example, soft boiled eggs).

A healthy diet during pregnancy – NHS.uk

Eating disorders during pregnancy


If you plan to take vitamin supplements in pregnancy you need to make sure you are getting the right ones. You must avoid Vitamin A in pregnancy so getting specified pregnancy vitamins is important.

Folic acid 400 micrograms should be taken every day until you are 12 weeks pregnant (unless your GP or midwife recommends a different dose). If you have been trying to conceive it is best to start this before falling pregnant. If not, it is recommended to start it as soon as you know you are pregnant. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects known as neural tube defects, including spina bifida  (this is when the baby’s spinal cord does not form properly).

Vitamin D is also important in pregnancy and when you are breastfeeding. It is recommended to take 10 micrograms every day. Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body – this helps keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

Some pregnant women have been found to be at increased risk of coronavirus (due to having lower levels of vitamin D) and require a higher dose of Vitamin D – 25 micrograms a day.

Other supplement you may want to consider are: iron and Vitamin C. Extra calcium in your diet can be beneficial in pregnancy.

You may be eligible for the Healthy Start scheme, which provides vouchers to buy milk and plain fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables at local shops. You can also get coupons that can be exchanged for free vitamins. If you’re not eligible for the Healthy Start scheme, some NHS organisations still offer the vitamins for free, or sell them. Ask a midwife about what’s available in your area.

Vitamins in pregnancy leaflet

Vitamins, supplements and nutrition in pregnancy – NHS UK