Image: ©Hollandse Hoogte

Dietary recommendations for pregnant women

During pregnancy, eating a high-quality diet deserves extra attention. A varied diet is linked to the intake of wide array of nutrients and reduces the chance of overconsuming specific harmful substances. Various specific recommendations for pregnant women differ from those for the general population. It is very important to take folic acid and vitamin D. This is not a novel insight, but it appears that many pregnant women do not take folic acid or start taking folic acid too late. Pregnant women are advised to eat fish twice a week. It is also important that the diet contains enough calcium, iodine and iron. Pregnant women should also exercise caution with certain substances. For example, they are advised to avoid alcohol and liver, to limit the intake of caffeine, liver products, soya and liquorice root, as well as to watch out for harmful substances (certain species of and herbal teas, lead in tap water, burnt or charred food). Carefully observing hygiene rules is also especially important to prevent infections with listeria and toxoplasma.