Skip to content

Local Maternity and Neonatal System

View navigation

Pregnancy journey

Diet during pregnancy 

Pregnancy is not a time to attempt weight loss diets or be able to ‘eat for two’ like it was previously thought. Pregnancy is a time to adapt your diet to improve your nutrition for the health of yourself and your baby.Healthy eating

Natural weight gain will occur during pregnancy and a weight gain of around 10-12.5kg is normal and healthy. Normal calorie recommendations apply (2000kcals per day), with an extra 200kcals per day during the third trimester and an extra 500kcals per day if you are breastfeeding.

Drink your water! It is recommended that you drink at least 1.8 to 2.8 litres of water a day (although all drinks count including juice, tea, milk etc..). This can help with tiredness, constipation and kidney function, ultimately reducing risks of pre-term labour and miscarriage also. If breastfeeding, increased fluid consumption helps with milk flow and production. Try and reduce caffeine levels and fizzy drinks and drink regularly throughout the day.

The Public Health England (2018) constructed a visual image of recommendations on how to devise a healthier, balanced diet - a downloadable copy is here.

Eatwell guide

So what can I eat and not eat during my pregnancy?

Foods to consume during pregnancy

Foods to avoid during pregnancy

At least 5 portions of fruit & veg a day

Certain cheeses – soft cheese with white rind (camembert & brie), soft blue cheese or blue veined cheese

8-12 glasses of water a day

Raw or partially cooked eggs UNLESS they are British Lion Code eggs

Small portions of starchy carbohydrates

All pate

Protein based foods (beans, pulses, fish, eggs, poultry, nuts and meat)

Raw or undercooked meats

Dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt)

Shark, swordfish or marlin. Tuna should be limited to no more than 2 tuna steaks or 4 medium cans of tuna a week. Only 2 portions of oily fish a week (salmon, sardines or mackerel). Ensure any smoked fish is thoroughly cooked before eating

Very small amount of foods high in fat (sweets, cake, biscuits, crisps etc)

Raw fish


Unpasteurised milk, cream or cheese

Alcohol of any amount is NOT recommended during pregnancy.

No more than 200mg of caffeine a day to be consumed. Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate, fizzy drinks & energy drinks. You can switch to decaffeinated teas and coffees and try and drink unsweetened juices.

One mug instant coffee

100mg caffeine

One mug filter coffee

140mg caffeine

One mug of tea

75mg caffeine

One can of cola

40mg caffeine

One 250ml can of energy drink

80mg caffeine

50g plain chocolate

25mg caffeine

50g milk chocolate

10mg caffeine

What vitamins & minerals should I be taking during my pregnancy?

  • Folic acid – if you are trying for a baby or have just become pregnant, it is recommended to take a folic acid supplement of 400mcg every day until 12 weeks of pregnancy. This aims to reduce the risk of Neural Tube Defects, for example spina bifida. If your BMI is over 30 you will need a higher dose of folic acid and this will be prescribed by your GP. 
  • Other vitamins like vitamin D and C, iron and calcium are recommended in pregnancy too. Taking a multivitamin for pregnancy once a day for the whole pregnancy can assist you in gaining the right amount.
  • It is recommended to stay away from multivitamins with vitamin A.

Vitamin D

During pregnancy it is recommended you take 10 micrograms or 400 IU of vitamin D, this is usually included in your multivitamin for pregnancy which you should take as one tablet every day throughout your pregnancy. This is particularly important during the autumn and winter months when there is less sunlight. You should not take more than 100 micrograms (4000 IU) of vitamin D per day.

You are at higher risk of vitamin D deficiency if:

  • You have darker skin
  • You have a body mass index of 30 or above
  • You do not go outside much
  • You use a high factor sun screen regularly and have your skin covered

Vitamin D can also be found in some foods:

  • Some breakfast cereals
  • Oily fish (salmon, sardines)
  • Some red meats
  • Eggs

If you are concerned about having vitamin D deficiency or about how much vitamin D you should be taking, please contact your healthcare professional.

Other dietary needs

If you are vegetarian, vegan, coeliac or some restrictions in your diet for religious reasons you should consult with your medical professional to ensure you are gaining enough nutrients from your diet.

2019-07-03 (7)

Your baby is now officially an embryo and is about the size of a poppy seed.

Please visit for more information.

2019-07-03 (4)

Your baby is now the size of a kidney bean and weighs 1g. 

Please visit for more information.

2019-07-03 (6)

Welcome to the second trimester!

Your baby is about the size of a small lime and weighs approximately 14g.

You have hopefully seen your midwife for your 'booking in' appointment, if you have not yet seen a midwife please make an appointment quickly, so you can have all of your choices about screening tests explained and offered to you.

Please visit for more information. You can also link to the 'Pregnancy Journey' area here.  


Your baby is about the size of an avocado and weighs approximately 100g. 

Please visit for more information.

2019-07-03 (2)

Your baby has grown in length and is now the length of a small banana and weighs approximately 300g. Around this time you will be offered your '20 week' scan, also known as the 'anatomy' or 'anomaly' scan.Click here for more information about screening. 

This is a also a good time to talk and sing to your bump as your baby can now hear sounds. This is great way for you and your partner/family to bond with your baby.

Please visit for more information.

2019-07-03 (8)

Your baby has grown again to the approximate length of an ear of sweetcorn and weighs about 600g. 

Please visit for more information.

2019-07-03 (1)

Welcome to the third trimester!

Your baby is now approximately the weight of an aubergine; about 1kg and approximately 37cm in length. 

Please visit for more information.

2019-07-03 (3)

Your baby now weighs approximately the same as a coconut; around 1.5kg. 

Please visit for more information.

2019-07-03 (5)

Your baby is now around the same size as a lettuce, approximately 47cm long and weighs around 2.6kg. 

Please visit for more information.

2019-07-03 (9)

Your baby is now the weight of a small watermelon which is approximately 3.3kg and around 50cm in length. 

Please visit for more information.