Variety adds spice to pregnancy

PREGNANCY is a time of many changes, including diet.

Ballina resident Danelle Wuehr has a two-year-old daughter, Grace, and is pregnant with her second child, due in August. So she is mindful of what she eats.

“You have to be careful. I'm probably a little slacker this time, but I don't eat tuna or swordfish, which could be high in mercury.”

According to Lismore obstetrician Dr Brendan O'Sullivan, women may need to change their pattern of eating during pregnancy.

“Women should try to eat smaller meals more regularly and breakfast should never be skipped,” he said.

Dr O'Sullivan also recommended women reduce their intake of dairy products to avoid the risk of food-borne bacteria.

“A popular craving for cheese should be avoided during pregnancy and women should always seek advice from their doctor or dietician if unsure,” he said.

Dr O'Sullivan said that he had dealt with some unusual cravings during his career as a gynaecologist, including chalk, dirt and coal.

“There is no clear explanation to why women have these cravings. However, it could be related to the excessive production of saliva in some women or the lower levels of acid in their stomach,” he said.

Danelle's biggest craving this time around has been chocolate.

The Australia New Zealand Food Authority recommends that pregnant women should eat a variety of foods from the five basic food groups.

Women should increase their calorie intake slightly by aiming to consume about 10 per cent more than they did before falling pregnant.

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