My Awesome Baby Shower :)

I can’t believe time is running so fast. I had my baby shower and I am going to have the baby soon. The last few months seem to have flown by and my days as a mum are getting nearer and nearer.

In Nepali culture, we normally don’t have a baby shower but we have a special ceremony called Dhau-baji in Newari or Dahi-Chiura in Nepali.

Dhau-baji ceremony is done after 36 weeks and I am waiting for my parents to arrive in Sydney for that ceremony. in this ceremony, the mother-to-be’s family comes to feed Dhau-baji (yogurt and flattened/beaten rice) and brings Sagun and lots of food along with gifts for the mother-to-be as well as the unborn baby.

In the meantime while I was waited for my parents to arrive, I decided to have a western style baby shower as I have lots of friends here and some of them wanted to help me organise one.

Once we found out the sex of the baby, I was excited for the baby shower because I had some ideas about what I wanted. I was over-joyed since I was secretly hoping for a daughter. I would have been be perfectly fine with a healthy baby boy as well but a baby girl is definitely my dream come true.

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I started planning for the baby shower with the help of my friends a few weeks in advance and I was over joyed with the result. It was everything I hoped for and more.

Here is how the invitation looked like.

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Of course, the theme was pink but to I mixed it up a bit by using yellow.

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My nice hubby helped me decorate our place a day in advance and when we were done, I was really pleased with the end result. I don’t know what I would do without him. He is a really great help when I want things done.

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My friend baked a delicious and pretty red velvet cupcake for the occasion. I can’t be thankful enough that she took so much time to do the onesies topping with fine details like ribbons, bows and hearts.

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The baby shower cake was baked by one of my friends’s friend and it was perfect. I loved the details of the ruffle on the pram and the tiny cloth lining along the cake. I couldn’t have asked for more.

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I used our kitchen bench top as the main table with a pink table cloth for the food and dessert table. I had nice apothecary glass jars filled with different variety of pink and yellow lollies. It went perfectly with the table and added that wow-factor.

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I also had our buffet table decorated with “It’s a girl” buntings, angel lights and wishing trees.

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I had a card made so everyone could write something nice for the baby and hang on the wishing tree. The table also had a fish bowl with floating yellow ducks and a sleeping pink baby.baby shower (27)

I had also customised water bottles and chocolates as a part of the decoration which added to the theme and looked so elegant.

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It was meant to be the photo booth where people could pick up the props I had arrange and take some silly photos.

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As the guests stared to arrive, I was so happy that they followed the theme and were dressed in different shades of pink. The food was ready and I was ready to start the amazing afternoon.

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My friend C, took care of all the games and prizes for the afternoon. The games had us in stitches, and made the day a truly Fun-day.

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One of the games was guessing how big my belly was by using a string. Let’s just say a couple of them think I am twice as much bigger then I actually am. Oops! However, my cousin in law who won that game was only centimetres away from being perfectly right.

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Another game we played was “Dad knows best” and it was a fun one. I had my hubby answer all the questions beforehand the asked the girls to guess what his answer to each question might be. The gals did really well.

Then we played a game called “My Water Broke”. I got pack of tiny jelly babies and froze them into an ice cubes for each guest. Each girl got a cup with a jelly baby ice cube in it to keep an eye on during the party. The first person whose ice melted so that her baby floats freely in the glass shouts “My water broke!” and wins the game. It was such a fun game.

Another game we did was funny but risqué called “Sex or Labour.” I print out a paper with photos of women’s faces in orgasmic poses or while giving birth. Each guest got a copy and wrote if each women was in labour or in bed. The one who guessed the most wins. It was hilarious to see the reactions of everyone when they got things wrong.

We also had other games where they tasted the baby food and guessed the flavour. Overall the games filled up our time and everyone was in the mood to have fun.

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After the game, each guest wrote a sweet love note to my baby and advice for me and it will be a great keepsake for me which I will always treasure.

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Then it was time to cut the cake. I got AS involved in that as I feel it is his big day as much as mine. The cake looked so nice I really didn’t want to ruin it.

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With AS by my side, we cut the cake. My nephew was so excited with the cake that he kept clapping. It was a chocolate mud cake with pink icing and it was moist and so yummy, everyone just loved it.

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After some candid shots, some crazy ones with the props, it was the exciting gift opening time. I was literally overwhelmed by what everyone brought me. Of course, there were the pink dress, onesies, cute headbands, blankets and toys as well as boxes of nappies, baby mats, baby monitor, baby bottle and other very very useful items. I am sure our baby is so lucky to have so many nice aunties in her life.

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I was so glad when everyone congratulated me for pulling off one of the most beautiful baby showers they had ever seen and I will forever cherish this shower. Definitely a big credit to my hubby, and my friend C for all the help they provided. We all had an absolute blast showering this baby girl with lots of love (and cute outfits)! She certainly has a wardrobe that puts mine to total shame now.

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I know I will see most of the ladies only after I have the little girl in my arms instead of in my belly but I am extremely grateful to all of them who made my shower such a dream come true. I am so incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so much love.

Hope you enjoyed photographic tour of the sweet shower!

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Things I HATE about being pregnant

Things I HATE about being pregnant

I did my last post about Things I LOVE about being pregnant but today I am writing the opposite.

Now don’t get me wrong. My husband and I are thrilled that we are expecting. I have to admit I was extremely lucky not to have morning sickness as well but there are still things that I am feeling that I wish didn’t happen.

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I might get a back lash from people for not loving the pregnancy but in my honest opinion, there are many things I did not know about pregnancy until I became pregnant myself. Because, even though pregnancy and childbirth is a miracle, it’s not all roses and sunshine, is it?

Therefore, here is my list on things I hate about being pregnant.

Feeling helpless

This was not an issue for me until the last few weeks but I feel so helpless these days. As much as I love the love and affection of everyone around me and being spoilt, I do not like that there are so many normal day to day activates that I can’t do and need help with.

I am a very active person and it is the constant asking for help I don’t like at all. I feel so helpless that it annoys me.

Constant worry

From the moment I found out, I was pregnant, I worried about everything and anything. For the first 12 weeks, I was worried about miscarriage, and then I would worry when I could not feel the baby move.

Then I am worried when the baby moves too much or too little. Seriously, my mind is a constant battlefield thinking about the welfare of the baby. I even cause my hubby to worry at times. Thanks to doctor Google, most of the answers to my questions are easily available.

pregnancy  (1)Sometime I eat something that I am not supposed to unknowingly and that makes me very worried, as I am scared for the welfare of the baby.

I know that this worry will not go away once the bub is out either as I will have other things to worry about.

The constant need to go to toilet

From the first few weeks, all I seem to do is run to the loo wherever I am. Even if I remember to pee before I go out, once we are at our destination, the first things I do is look for a toilet. Sometimes it is so frustrating as I spend so much time on this.

I know it these are all usual signs of pregnancy, a part of all the hormonal changes in the body but I don’t have to love everything do I?

Tiredness, foot cramps and Fatigue, back pain

Whatever tiredness I have experienced in my life before the pregnancy was really nothing compared to what I feel now.

Because my in-laws were here, I was constantly on the move and was doing more than 10,000 steps most of the days, which meant I was dead tired when we reached home.

Then there are the foot cramps that happen at the middle of the night and are so painful that I feel like I am going to die. Thank God that when I yell hubby wakes up and helps. I just hate the pain and everything that comes with it.

I love to be out and about utilising every moment of the day but looks like I will be in front of the sofa watching a movie for a while until the baby decided to come out.

As I am growing bigger every day, my back is not coping too well and my feet are swollen as well. I have stopped running a while ago and I can’t walk or swim for long periods anymore.

Body issue

There are times I feel so fat, gaining more than 10 kg already and being so big for the first time in my life, I worry what will happen, once the baby is out. I know it will be a hard journey of healthy eating and regular exercise to get back in shape.

As I mention I am extremely lucky with my weight which is mostly concentrated around my belly but still there are times that I hate the way I look.

I dream of running and jumping and getting back into the shape so I can feel good about myself again.

Acid reflux and gum bleeding

Few weeks ago, I had a very bad case of acid reflux. At the middle of the night, I woke up multiple times and had to throw up. It was one of the worst nights of this pregnancy because I was so worried something bad was going to happen to the baby.

I called the doctor multiple times just to make sure if I needed to go to hospital but she assured me that it was bad food that caused the vomiting. After that incident, I am more careful about what I eat but still the acid reflux is not 100% gone. According to what I read, it won’t go away until the baby is out.

Also my gums are bleeding when I brush or floss and when I told this to my doctor, she said that it is part of being pregnant :(.  Apparently the increased blood volume is responsible for all this.

Sleeplessness

This is another problem which I did not have for a while but it stared a few weeks ago. Today I woke up at 4:30 am and could not go back to sleep. After tossing and turning for a while, I decided to wake up and do a few stuffs before getting ready to go to work.

Because of that, I am really tired the whole day and it doesn’t look like things are not going to get any better soon.

As I normally sleep on my right so sleeping on my left side while acid creeps up my throat and my child keeps moving inside the tummy, sleeping 8 hours a day seems like a distant dream.

If I manage to stay on my left side, I wake up with a painfully sore hip and feet.

Wardrobe and Shoes issue

I think most of you know that I love my clothes and shoes.

When I found out that I was pregnant, I was super excited and started looking for maternity clothes. To my disappointment most maternity clothes are so ugly and super expensive. So I made a decision not to buy them as long as I could.my walkin wardrobe

So far, I haven’t bought any maternity clothes as I aim to fit into the dresses I already own. Moreover, it is working. Of course, I can’t fit into my super tight dresses but any dresses with elastic or flare, I am wearing them. I have to wait and see how I go for next few months to see if I have achieved my goal or not.

In addition, even though I loved the increased cup size, the bra I bought a few months ago is getting too small now and I do not like the idea that it will keep growing even more. Because of that, so many of my clothes do not fit me anymore.

I bought a new swimwear once my belly popped out but now I can’t fit into it either so I need to do more shopping.

Also for the last few months, I have been wearing only flat shoes so all my heels are crying feeling left alone. I hope this is temporary and I can still fit into those shoes when I go back to normal size. People have told me that sometimes, your feet never return to their former size. I am praying that is not true otherwise my 100’s of shoes will be useless in my wardrobe. Definitely, I am not throwing out all my pretty high heels but I will cry for sure if I can’t fit into them again.

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Gas

This one is so embarrassing but so true. One of the early signs of pregnancy I had was, I was passing more gas. I think it got better after a while but you are not the same. Then once your tummy starts to grow, you start passing more gas again. Guess no room in my tummy for anything else but the baby.

I am sure I can come up with a few more points if I keep thinking but this should do for now.

Even though I am loving my unborn child more than anything in the world, I am hating all the cons that comes with pregnancy. I am not sure why many women don’t talk about things they have about pregnancy. I heard that most of them forget all the pain once the bub is out. I hope that is true but in the mean time all this uncomfortableness and tiredness is going to stay with me for a while thus my right to whinge.

To my unborn child who may read this one day:

Mummy loves you very much despite all the complains, she can’t wait to see you and hold you and love you.

Do share your own experience about the things you hated while you were pregnant.

Also if you have any suggestion to overcome my problems, I welcome them with open arms.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Payaj ko pakoda (Crispy Onion Fritters)

As you know mums love to cook and my MIL is no exception so when she was here we got to eat a variety of Newari and Nepali food like Yomari, Haluwa, aloo chops and she also made Pyaj ko pakoda.

Pyaj means onion in Nepali.

The process is very simple and I am sharing the recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 3 medium size Onions, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup Gram Flour (Besan Flour)
  • 1/4 cup Rice Flour
  • 1 teaspoon grated Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Coriander Leaves
  • Oil, for deep frying
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • In a bowl, mix sliced onion gram flour, rice flour, ginger, red chilli powder, coriander leaves and salt.

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  • Add ¼ cup of water and mix well and keep aside for 5 minutes.
  • The onion pakoda batter is ready to be fried. Do not add more water unless required otherwise pakodas will not turn crispy.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan (or wok) and take a handful of batter mixture in the hand and gently drop 3-4 small fritters into the oil at a time and deep fry.

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  • Fry the onion pakodas, till they look crisp and golden on both sides (once the underside is golden brown turn them over so both sides are golden). Repeat the process for the remaining batter and deep-fry in batches.
  • Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on the kitchen paper towels for excess oil to be absorbed.

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  • Serve onion pakodas with your favourite sauce.

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Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Things I LOVE about being Pregnant

I think like everything in the world being pregnant has its pros and cons. I know most pregnancy is a conscious decision but at the same time just because you decided to have a baby, does not make it compulsory to love everything about the journey.

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I have had my fair shares of ups and downs during the journey and today I am sharing what I enjoy about it.

Here is the list of good things I am feeling since I discovered I am pregnant.

We are having a baby

I really think having is a baby is a real miracle. It is amazing to realise that we are cable of making another human being. A tiny bub is growing inside me, which is all my and my husband’s alone. I cannot wait to see and hold the baby in my arms. I know that it will be one of the happiest days of my life.

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Being Spoiled

OMG this is why I know some women say that they love to get pregnant again and again. Everyone spoils you. It started with my hubby becoming more caring and loving.

I keep telling you guys that I have a great husband who has looked after me really well . But after we found out that I was pregnant, the great husband has become even greater. He constantly checks on me and asks “Are you OK?”, “Do you need something?” “Please rest and I will finish the job.” They are definitely music to my ears :). I feel so spoiled.

In addition, other people around me are checking on me regularly and asking me about my well-being. No matter who I visit, they make sure I am comfortable and I am offered my favourite foods. On top of that you get the special treatment from strangers as well. I remember giving my seats on public transport to pregnant women and I am getting that treatment these days. No matter how busy or packed the buses or trains are, I am being offered a seat. How sweet is that?

I don’t open my own doors most of the time as strangers hold doors and share smiles. I am just loving being spoiled

Feeling the baby move

Because my placenta was on the front of my tummy, I didn’t feel much baby movement till I was over 5 months and I just loved the feeling of those limbs touching across my belly. For the last few weeks, I am feeling the movement even more, as if the baby is wrestling with itself and it makes me smile. Even though I may not be able to sleep due to that, I still love it as it reminds me that I am not alone.

pregnancy  (1)Guilt free eating

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I like to eat healthy and be fit but pregnancy has given me a reason to enjoy some guilty food without feeling too guilty. I know most people think that when you are pregnant, you can eat double but I don’t agree with that.

According to what I have read, you can eat 10% more in the first two trimester and another 10% more on the last one and that is what I am following.

I think physically I am doing well as I have gained only the recommended amount on weight and most of it is concentrated around my belly and I am still enjoying chips, Nutella and chocolates.

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I am very happy with how I look pregnant. I have days when I stand in front of the mirror and don’t like what I see. But most people tell me that I am doing well body wise and I want to believe it.

Bigger cup size

As you know already I am a petite women and push up bra was my best friend. But since I found out I am pregnant, I have grown 2 cup sizes already. It feel good but the bad thing is, it is still growing and I have a feeling I won’t like it in a few months’ time when it is huge and uncomfortable.

 Feeling good and pretty

Because I didn’t have morning sickness, the first and second trimesters of my pregnancy were really smooth. I felt good and there were no problems at all. I was able to do everything as I normally did like eating almost everything, keeping up with my exercise routine and doing all the outings and planned holidays. That really made the journey more amazing as I didn’t have to comprise a lot just because I was pregnant.

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Apart from that, I love my growing belly and fell great dressing up. So far I haven’t bought any maternity clothes as I aim to fit into the dresses I already own. Moreover, it is working. Of course, I can’t fit into my super tight dresses but any dresses with elastic or flare, I am wearing them and it has been helping to make me feel better and normal.

Also getting the compliments like, “You are looking great for a pregnant woman” from friends and family to doctors, midwives and complete strangers have helped boost my moral.

I hope this feeling will last until I give birth.

The anticipation

I think looking forward to the day when our baby will be born is the one of the most important wait my husband and I have done so far. Of course there were many important events in our life but they are like nothing compared to what we are looking forward to now.

I love being in the moment, and reminding myself just how quick and important this moment is. I will never get these moments back, and they are amazing.

One day I will be able to tell our baby how much joy I had when I was pregnant with him/ her.

Please share your own experience and that you loved about being Pregnant.

Of course, my pregnancy hasn’t been all roses and sunshine so I will be doing my next post about the Things I HATE about being Pregnant. Till then, take care.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014 WINNERS Announced

The moment you have all been waiting for is here. The votes are in and a huge thanks to all bloggers and voters who participated. I am thrilled by the way everyone came together to celebrate and support the talented individuals who spend so many hours behind the scenes creating the blogs we all love to read.

2014 blog award

I have to let the bloggers know that you have some amazing supporters who had voted for you.

Without further delay, I am more than pleased to announce the winners of the NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014. Good luck to everyone who has been nominated.

Drum roll………

Best Blog for 2014

best Blog 2014www.madh-mama.blogspot.com

Best Photo Blog 2014

best photo blogwww.sreejithpnair.wordpress.com

Best Food Blog 2014

Best food blogwww.foodpleasureandhealth.com

Best Travel Blog 2014

Best travel blogwww.anewlifewandering.com

Best Fashion Blog 2014

Best Fashion Blogwww.alwaysmaylee.com

Best Personal Blog 2014

Best Personal Blogwww.ayushmapandey.com

Most Diverse Blog 2014

Most Diverse Blogwww.nepalichori.com

Best New Blog 2014

Best New Blogwww.nepalilovestory.com

Best Blog Post of the Year 2014

Best Blog Post of the Yearwww.englishwifeindianlife.com/life-one-suitcase/

Most Educational Blog Post 2014

Most Educational Blog Postwww.weourlife.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/how-i-was-about-to-be-trapped-by-a-scammer/

Most Witty Blog Post 2014

Most Witty Blog Postwww.tookmyplace.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/five-bathroom-blow-ups/

Best Photo Blog Post 2014

Best Photo Blog Postwww.wisemonkeysabroad.com/2014/10/05/walking-the-camino-photo-essay-part-2-of-3/

Big Congratulation to all the winners, do not forget to leave your acceptance speech :) and thank you everyone.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Massage during pregnancy

One of the things I look forward to these days is the massage I get every few weeks.

As you are aware, we used to get massages before as well, particularly aromatherapy massage and it was our treat as a couple but getting a massage while you are pregnant is a completely a different story.

I never knew that pregnancy would make me feel so tired and it being peak summer right now, the weather is not helping either. I know that when you are pregnant, your body temperature is already a bit higher than normal, so the added heat from the outside is bound to make you feel even more uncomfortable. Sometimes I wish I had thought about these things beforehand but I guess it is too late now :) . I still have the rest of the summer before thinking of cooler weather.

I now have swollen feet most of the time (the fact that I am out and about on my feet a lot is not helping) and I am not sure I will see my normal feet anytime soon.

So I highly recommend massage during pregnancy, just make sure you go to the authorise places where they know what they are doing.

All good places will ask you about your medical and health conditions before they start. Our body is changing a considerable amount in order to carry and accommodate our growing baby.  Make sure you mention about even a slight discomfort you have so they make sure you are safe.

I often go to the same place and ask for medium pressure massage on the rest of my body and hard on my feet. If it is too much, I will let them know.

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And the feeling I get after 60 minutes massage is priceless.

Please let me know if there are other things I could do to be more comfortable during my journey.

Take care,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

P.S: Do not forget to vote your favorite blog . NEPALIAUSTRALIAN’s Blog Award 2014

What to eat and avoid during pregnancy?

Since, I found out I am pregnant , I have been reading lots of articles about pregnancy and I really find this one helpful. Sharing it here for anyone who are looking for more information regarding what to eat and avoid during pregnancy.

As soon as women announce “I’m having a baby!”, the congratulations are quickly followed by long lists of dos and don’ts about food. Try ginger for morning sickness. Avoid soft cheese because of listeria. Eat more meat to boost your iron. Eat this fish – but not that one, because of mercury.

Pregnant women are understandably confused. So, how do you strike the balance between nutrition and safety, when so many things are off the menu?

During pregnancy, women need to consume a variety of different foods and need more of the main pregnancy nutrients: protein, folate, calcium, iron, zinc, iodine, and fibre. Here’s a quick guide to the best sources.

Protein: lean meat, chicken, seafood, dairy products, legumes, nuts, eggs

Folate: fortified bread and breakfast cereal, green leafy vegetables, legumes, seeds, chicken, eggs, oranges

Calcium: dairy foods, fortified soy milks, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, canned fish with bones

Iron: red meat, fortified cereals, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts

Zinc: meat, eggs, seafood, nuts, tofu, miso, legumes, wheat germ, wholegrain foods

Iodine: canned salmon and tuna, other fish, oysters, bread fortified with iodine

Fibre: wholemeal and wholegrain breads and high fibre cereals, oats, vegetables and fruit with the skin on.

We have recently shown that a moderate intake of protein (18-20% of a total energy intake) allows pregnant women to eat the best range of foods across all the healthy core groups in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, while optimising vitamin and mineral intakes.

Interestingly, the protein to carbohydrate ratio was related to the amount of muscle and fat tissue in the developing baby. While more research is needed, it may contribute to the risk of developing diabetes in the future.

How much?

The Australian dietary guidelines advise pregnant women to consume the following number of servings from the five core food groups each day.

Vegetables and legumes/beans: five servings. One serve = 75g or 100-350kJ, for example, half a cup cooked green or orange vegetables, one cup of raw salad vegetables, half a medium potato, one tomato.

Fruit: two servings. One serve = 150g or 350kJ, for example, one medium piece (apple, banana, orange), two small pieces (apricots, kiwi fruit), one cup diced or canned fruit.

Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain or high-fibre varieties: eight-and-a-half servings. One serve = 500kJ, for example, one slice of bread, half a cup of cooked rice, pasta or porridge, one-quarter of a cup muesli, three crispbreads.

Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes and beans: three-and-a-half servings. One serve = 500-600kJ, for example, 65g cooked lean meat, 80g cooked lean poultry, 100g cooked fish, two eggs, 170g tofu, 30g nuts, one cup of cooked beans.

Milk, yoghurt, cheese or alternatives, mostly reduced fat: two-and-a-half servings. One serve = 500-600kJ, for example, 250ml milk, 200g yoghurt, two slices (40g) of cheese.

Morning (noon and night) sickness

Nausea and vomiting affects about three in four pregnancies. While the data on fetal risks associated with drug treatment are controversial, non-drug approaches are a good place to start.

Limit exposure to food odours by having foods that do not smell as much during cooking or by reducing cooking time, with stir-frys or a BBQ cooked outdoors.

Nausea can be worse in the presence of hunger, so avoid an empty stomach by having small, frequent meals and snacks comprised of foods that you can tolerate and don’t have much smell, such as fruit or nuts, or raisin bread or sandwiches, or yoghurt. Very cold drinks can help with the nausea and prevent dehydration.

You could try ginger as a ginger tablet, cold ginger beer or ginger cordial. While only some evidence supports the use of ginger and/or vitamin B6 supplements to relieve nausea of pregnancy, they’re unlikely to cause harm.

Mercury and fish

Fish and seafood are important sources of protein and minerals. They are low in saturated fat and are a major source of omega-3 fatty acids.

During pregnancy, omega-3s play an important role in the baby’s developing central nervous system, the brain and retina in eyes. Research shows that maternal omega-3 fatty acid consumption during pregnancy is associated with increased birth weight and improved brain development in the child.

Deficiency of omega-3s is associated with irreversible visual and behaviours deficits in children, as well as an increased risk of depression, pre-eclampsia and pregnancy hypertension in the mother.

Population surveys in the United Kingdom and United States show that pregnant women don’t eat enough fish and therefore omega-3s, partly due to fears about adverse effects of mercury and other toxins (such as polychlorinated biphenyls).

We have shown that pregnant women in Australia also eat less fish than is recommended. But when we estimated what their weekly exposure to mercury would be from eating two to three serves a week, it was well below the targets. Pregnant women in Australia can safely eat fish.

Listeria risk

Due to changes in the immune system during pregnancy, women are more susceptible to food poisoning. But by avoiding all foods that carry a risk for harbouring listeria, women are consuming fewer nutrients.

You don’t have to go without. For every item on the “no” list, there are a number of alternatives:

Avoid pre-packaged cold meats. This includes deli meats and sandwich bars. Instead, choose freshly cooked seafood one to two times per week and/or canned fish up to four times a week. Choose home-cooked meat instead and make it into homemade sandwiches.

Avoid ready-to-eat pre-cooked chicken pieces, especially if cold. Instead, choose home-cooked chicken or hot take-away whole chicken or large pieces – but eat it immediately.

Avoid raw and chilled seafood including oysters, sashimi or sushi, smoked salmon, ready-to-eat peeled prawns, prawn cocktails, sandwich fillings, and prawn salads. Don’t eat shark (flake) or billfish (swordfish, broadbill and marlin). Limit orange roughy (deep sea perch) or catfish to once per week. Instead choose other fish species, including canned salmon and tuna two to three times a week.

Avoid salads (fruit and vegetables) that are pre-prepared or pre-packaged or from salad bars or smorgasbords. Instead, choose freshly prepared homemade salads (with leafy greens or other salad vegetables), fresh fruit, or canned or frozen fruits and vegetables.

Avoid soft, semi-soft and surface-ripened cheeses such as brie, Camembert, ricotta, feta and blue cheese. Instead, choose hard cheeses such as Cheddar or tasty, processed cheese, cheese spreads, or plain cottage cheese if packaged by the manufacturer.

Avoid soft serve ice cream and unpasteurised dairy products such as raw goat’s milk. Instead choose packaged frozen ice cream and pasteurised dairy products such as milk, yoghurt, custard and dairy desserts.

Listeria can live in lower temperatures, so take extra care with foods served cold, and avoid buffets and smorgasbords altogether. Cooking, however, kills listeria but the food needs to be heated until steam rises. And remember to always wash your hands before handling food or starting to prepare foods.

Constipation

Up to 40 per cent of pregnant women develop constipation. This is caused by rising levels of progesterone and oestrogen, and the relaxation of muscles of the bowel. Low fluid and fibre intakes can also play a role.

Mild constipation can be self-treated by increasing high-fibre foods, including soluble (oats, lentils, dried peas and beans, psyllium) and insoluble (wholemeal and wholegrain breads and cereals, wheat bran, vegetables and fruit) fibres. To counter constipation in pregnancy aim for 25 to 28 grams of fibre per day, drink plenty of water (1.5 to two litres per day) and exercise regularly.

Some oral iron supplements can cause constipation. If medication is required, only use what your doctor prescribes as not all laxatives are safe during pregnancy.

Multivitamins

Women planning or in early pregnancy are likely to need a folic acid supplement to reduce the risk of the baby having a neural-tube defect, and iodine for the developing brain and nervous system.

Multivitamin supplements may be recommended when there is a fairly high chance of not meeting nutrient needs from food. This is more likely for pregnant adolescents, vegetarians, those on pre-existing special diets, individuals with drug, tobacco and alcohol addictions, or obese pregnant women on medically restricted diets to limit weight gain.

Pregnancy is an important time to focus on what you eat. The food-based recommendations in the Australian Dietary Guidelines will help you enjoy a variety of foods while getting the best mix of nutrients important at this time.

Clare Collins is a Professor in Nutrition and Dietetics at University of Newcastle. She receives or has received funding from NHMRC, ARC, Hunter Medical researcg Institute, The University of Newcastle, Meat and Livestock Australia.

Michelle Blumfield is a Postdoctoral researcher, Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition at University of Newcastle. She does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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