As a doula’s main responsibility is to ‘mother the mother’ and to help support her physical and emotional health throughout the birthing process, one of the first subjects I will discuss with you is your nutrition. Eating well for two (or more as the case may be) can be difficult, especially if you are suffering from morning sickness, flustered by the hormones flowing through your body and all you would like to eat is mayonnaise with a spoon! But eating the right diet will prepare yourself physically and mentally for the job which you are about to do.

First Trimester

Wholegrains are your friend – not only do they provide you with a stable, long-lasting energy source and your baby with essential folic acid, but they can actually make you feel less scattered.

Eat fresh raw foods in small amounts. Seeds, bean sprouts, dried fruit – raises your blood sugar… irritations with people & stuff melt away! Honest!

Fresh fruits and vegetables high in pectin such as citrus fruit, peaches, apples and raw carrots really do help with morning sickness.

Second Trimester

In the second trimester of pregnancy it becomes more important than ever to focus on eating a well balanced diet. As your baby grows he or she will need plenty of folic acid and iron, and if your intake of these is not sufficient it can run you down, cause your hair to shed and make you tired and scatty.

Wholegrains and whole cereals are a must at this stage (as throughout) – try to eat six servings a day alongside fresh fruits and vegetables (at least one dark orange fruit and two green leafy vegetables per day) and quality sources of protein. Three servings of milk products per day is recommended, and of course, plenty of water.

Third Trimester

During your third trimester of pregnancy you are expected to gain 2-2.5kg per week! You really are eating for two now so it’s recommended to eat an extra 300 calories per day of protein and complex carbohydrates. You also need to ensure that you are taking in enough of those essential pre-natal vitamins (from fresh fruits and vegetables), 1000mg of calcium and at least eight glasses of water per day.

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