Nutrition & lifestyle


It is important to have a healthy and balanced diet. You do not have to eat extra but avoid losing weight during pregnancy. You can lose a few kilos because of the nausea at the beginning of the pregnancy, which is a common symptom.  On average, women gain 12 kg during pregnancy.

The nutrition centre gives important advice about nutrition. They provide information about which foods you should and should not eat during your pregnancy. You can find all important nutrition advice in this brochure. Please read!

They have also developed a handy and free app  that will tell you which foods are suitable during the pregnancy and which are not. Download this app so you can always check which foods/drinks you can have and which not.  

If you are unsure if a certain product is allowed, please check with us. As midwives we always follow the advice of the nutrition centre. You can always consult with us, by either phone during office hours or by e-mail.



There are a number of vitamins (supplements) we recommend you take during your pregnancy.

  • Folic acid: Take during the first 10 weeks of your pregnancy, 400-500 micrograms daily
  • Vitamin D: take 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily throughout pregnancy
  • Omega 3: eat fish twice a week (1x oily and 1x reduced fat fish) or take omega 3 supplements
  • Calcium: we recommend consuming 1000 micrograms of calcium daily. This is the equivalent of 4-5 portions of dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese, etc.). If you don’t get enough through your regular diet, use supplements.

All these vitamins are available at pharmacies or drug stores.


Infectious diseases

During your pregnancy it is important to avoid contracting any infectious diseases.  Much advice on avoiding certain foods has been designed for this reason, therefore reducing the chances of infection from Toxoplasmosis or Listeriosis.

Infection prevention advice also includes:

  • Avoid contact with saliva, urine or blood from small children. The aim is to prevent a CMV CMV can harm your unborn baby.
  • Do not clean out the cat litter tray yourself and wear gloves when working in the garden. This will reduce the chances of contact with Toxoplasmosis.
  • Take care with hygiene while visiting an animal petting zoo. Wash your hands, do not touch sheep or goats and do not enter stables while animals are giving birth.
  • Are you going travelling? Contact the GGD for advice on preventing tropical diseases at your holiday destination.

Also please read this information about pregnancy and infectious diseases.


Alcohol, smoking and drugs

Do not drink alcohol when you are pregnant, as this is bad for your baby. Even the occasional glass can be harmful. The alcohol affects the formation of organs; sometimes it restricts the growth of the baby or causes a premature birth. It can also cause your child to develop learning difficulties and have trouble with concentration.

More information can be found at: FAS and alcohol and pregnancy.

Smoking is bad for your baby as the toxins from the cigarette in your blood will reach the blood of your baby. This will limit the nutrients and oxygen needed for your baby’s development.  It may also cause other (for the baby life-threatening) complications in pregnancy. Cot deaths are more common if pregnant women smoke, or if smoking takes place near the baby. Even passive smoking is unhealthy. Ask smokers near you to go outside.

More information can be found on the Trimbos website. Always tell us if you are a smoker, we can try to help you quit or perform additional checks during your pregnancy.

Never use drugs during pregnancy. The use of drugs (even marijuana) is very dangerous for your child. Please tell us if you use drugs, we can try to help you quit. It is very important that you tell us if you use drugs, we will then perform additional checks during your pregnancy. In case of hard drugs, the baby should be weaned off after birth.



If you are pregnant and use medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist if you can continue to use these. Always tell your doctor or pharmacist that you are pregnant; they can then recommend which drugs are most appropriate.

Paracetamol can be taken during pregnancy. But do not increase the dose as stated in the patient information leaflet. Which means no more than 500-1000 mg each time, if necessary every 4 or 6 hours, but no more than 4000 mg per day.  Aspirin and ibuprofen cannot be used during pregnancy.



It is very important to look after your teeth and gums when you are pregnant. Visits to the dentist are allowed during pregnancy; just tell the dentist that you are pregnant. Local anaesthetics are not harmful either. Dentists don’t usually take x-rays during pregnancy unless there is no other option.