By: 13 September 2022
RCM and RCOG cut through food in pregnancy myths in new guide for women

An easy and quick guide for women on healthy eating and vitamin supplements in pregnancy has been published by the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).

The guide explains the benefits of health eating for women and their babies. It also addresses the myths around what you should and shouldn’t eat when pregnant, with information is clearly set out explaining what a healthy diet in pregnancy looks like. This includes foods and drinks to avoid or limit your intake of, and which vitamin supplements you should take and those best avoided. Liver for example is best avoided because it contains high levels of vitamin A and in high doses can be harmful to the development of the baby’s nervous system.

“It’s easy to be baffled by the often-confusing information coming at you around what to eat, supplement with, or avoid in your pregnancy. This easy-to-read advice will help to cut through that taking you straight to the information you need and where to get help, support, and advice to eat healthily,” said Lia Brigante, Policy and Practice Advisor at the RCM. “I would encourage midwives and maternity staff to use this guide when discussing nutrition with women, and for women and childbearing people also to use it when making decisions about what they eat and drink during their pregnancy.”

Also explained is how to reduce the chance of getting an infection such as listeriosis and salmonella which can be caught from certain foods and can harm your baby if you become infected when pregnant.  The guide outlines easy steps to take, from cooking food thoroughly to limiting or avoiding certain food to lessen the chances of getting an infection.

The importance of being a healthy weight in pregnancy and how to manage that is also covered in the guide. Being overweight can be associated with a higher chance of pregnancy complications. The myth about ‘having to eat for two’ when pregnant is also debunked in the leaflet which also covers why dieting in pregnancy is not recommended.

“This Patient Information Leaflet has been produced to support those who are planning a pregnancy and those who are pregnant to lead a healthy lifestyle. We want to encourage and support all pregnant women by providing them with information that allows them to make informed and personal decisions about their health and that of their baby’s,” said Dr Anwen Gorry, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and Chair of the RCOG Patient Information Committee. “This leaflet contains important and accessible information about a balanced and healthy diet, and foods to avoid in pregnancy. It also advises pregnant women to take the recommended dose of Folic acid supplements when trying for a baby and during pregnancy, as well as Vitamin D supplements during pregnancy.”

For more detailed reading about the topics covered there are links in the guide to trusted and evidence-based sources of information.


Source: RCM