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With the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s natural to be extra concerned about your safety, especially when you are expecting. 

Like many other pregnant women, during COVID-19’s Circuit Breaker can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed.

Eating well can help you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Here’s how.

  • Remember to eat breakfast.

Try fortified ready-to-eat or cooked breakfast cereals with fresh or dried fruit. Besides Fortified cereals have added nutrients, like calcium.

If you are feeling unwell, start with whole wheat bread or biscuits. 

  • Choose fiber-rich foods & fruits

Choose a variety of vegetables and fruits, like carrots, broccoli, cooked leafy greens, papayas, and bananas.

Eat plenty of beans and whole grains. Try brown rice or oatmeal.

  • Choose healthy snacks.

This can be low-fat or fat-free yogurt with fruit, or whole grain crackers with fat-free or low-fat cheese

  • Take a prenatal vitamin with iron and folic acid every day.

Iron keeps your blood healthy. Folic acid helps prevent birth defects.

  • Eat up to 12 ounces a week (2 average meals) of fish or shellfish.

A 3-ounce serving is about the size of a deck of cards.

Avoid big fish and shellfish with high levels of mercury. Avoid eating fishes eg shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish.

If you eat tuna, choose canned light tuna. Albacore (white) tuna has more mercury.

Common fish that are low in mercury include shrimp, salmon, and catfish.

  • Stay away from soft cheeses, ice cream and lunch meat.

Some foods may have bacteria that may cause listeriosis and can hurt your baby.

Don’t eat:

  1. Soft cheeses like feta, Brie, and goat cheese
  2. Uncooked or undercooked meats or fish (like sushi)
  3. Lunch meats and hot dogs unless they are heated until steaming hot
  • Limit caffeine and avoid alcohol.

Drink decaffeinated coffee or tea. Drink water instead of soda. Don’t drink alcohol.

What are the foods to avoid during pregnancy?

  • Unpasteurized milk; soft cheeses, e.g. Brie, Feta, Camembert and liver pates; and uncooked meat such as hot dogs, ham and luncheon meats. -> These food are prone to a bacteria called Listeria monocytogenese that causes listeriosis, which may result in miscarriages and stillbirth.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, and sometimes nausea or diarrhea. 

Raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood, e.g. raw oyster, cockles, sashimi and sushi, and raw and half-boiled eggs. In raw or uncooked meat, it contain a lot of food borne bacteria and viruses. Changes in your metabolism and circulation during pregnancy, you be be more prone to the risk of bacteria food poisoning.

  • Avoid large fish as they contain a lot of mercury. Avoid swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel. Limit canned albacore tuna.
  • Herbal supplements

Do not consume herbal supplements. Please consult your doctor if you are planning to take these herbs.

  • Alcohol

Mothers who drink alcohol have a higher risk of miscarriages and still birth. Excessive alcohol consumption may result in fetal alcohol syndrome, including facial deformities, low birth weight and mental retardation.

  • Unwashed salad and raw vegetables sprouts, including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean.

Unwashed salad may be contaminated with bacteria from the soil, while raw vegetables sprouts contain high levels of germs.

For a healthy pregnancy, you need more than 40 different types of nutrients to sustain good health and promote your unborn child’s growth, including folate! Folate is vitamin B, which helps to prevent neural tube defects (malformations of the brain and spinal cord) in your developing baby and anaemia in pregnant women. You can get your rich dose of folate in dark green vegetables (spinach, broccoli, asparagus, citrus fruits and juices, yeast etc.