pregnancy - nutrition

It’s a well known fact that diet is important before, during and after pregnancy.

You will already know that:

  • by eating from the right food groups, you can increase the level of nutrients passed on through the placenta to nourish your growing baby.

  • you should avoid smoking, alcohol and certain foods either before conceiving or
    (if you are already pregnant) at the first opportunity.

But have you considered?

Eating mainly organic food prior to conceiving, throughout your pregnancy and while you are breastfeeding.

Why organic?

Just as the chemicals in cigarettes affect your unborn child, pesticide residues in food may also be passed through your body and breast milk.

Eat organic as much as possible, but if you can't always get organic, try to at least avoid the foods listed below.

These are foods that have been shown in government surveys to be more likely to have pesticide residues and to have the greatest number of pesticides. It always pays to wash, and if possible peel, non-organic produce.

You can also check out this guide to find out when it's worth spending the extra money for organic fruits and vegetables, and when to scrimp.

Untitled 1 "The Dirty Dozen":

United States - More information on the Dirty Dozen

'The NZ Dirty Dozen'

wheat products


Reprinted with the permission of
The Safefood Campaign Incorporated.

safefood logo

Types of foods to avoid:

To avoid the risk of listeria, pregnant women should avoid the following foods. You should also take particular care to handle, store and reheat food carefully, particularly chicken.

Also, read these NZ Food Safety Authority recommendations on the consumption of seafood to keep your exposure to mercury within safe limits during pregnancy.

  • shellfish
  • any chilled or frozen fish or seafood products (unless throughly reheated until piping hot)
  • chilled
  • pre prepared salads and coleslaws
  • soft, semi soft and blue cheeses
  • foods that contain raw or partly cooked egg (eg mousse, custard)
  • chilled meats eg ham, chicken and pate.
  • undercooked meat
  • ready to eat meats (eg rotisserie chicken)
  • undercooked ready to heat meals
  • raw milk

For nutritional reasons, you should also:
  • avoid fast food
  • reduce your consumption of caffeine (found in tea, coffee, chocolate)
  • reduce your consumption of soft drinks and cordials as these are high in sugar.
  • Diet drinks contain aspartame and are also best avoided.
This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

You should always seek the advice of your doctor or health professional for any concerns you may have regarding food safety.

What to eat instead:
  • freshly prepared and well cooked foods
  • wholefoods rather than processed foods
  • organic foods
  • drink lots of water
  • herbal teas are usually recommended (the caffeine free varieties).
Stuck for ideas? see our Recipes page for organic cooking tips and recipe ideas. Some herbal teas should be limited during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so you should always check the labelling and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.


1. Ministry of Health, Eating for Healthy Pregnant Women. Revised September 2004.
3. Alison White, The Safefood Campaign Incorporated
4. Deb Gully, DietNet

Further Reading:

Preconception detoxification and pregnancy preparation (Jill Dunn, Nourish)

Nutrition in Pregnancy - 2 articles (Jill Dunn, Nourish)

How to use Supplemental and Nutritional Healing (for a Range of Conditions) During Pregnancy.  (Emma Leavens, Nutritional Therapist)

Your Pregnancy (Blackmores)

Pregnancy Guide (Commonsense Organics)




Pre-conception care

Visit the Nourishe website for more information on pre conception care.


Eating for Two

NZ$ 42.98
(prices may vary)

from Fishpond NZ

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