Nutrition During Pregnancy: Key Guidelines

Pregnancy is a time of significant change, and nutrition plays a pivotal role in ensuring the health and well-being of both the mother and the developing baby. It’s not just about eating more, but eating smart. At My Doctors Clinic Surfers Paradise, we understand that pregnancy is a journey filled with joy, anticipation, and a fair share of queries, especially about nutrition. In this article, we’ll explore the essentials of a balanced diet during pregnancy, ensuring both mum and bub are as healthy as can be. Here’s what you need to know:

Table of Contents

Balanced Diet: The Cornerstone of Pregnancy Nutrition

  • Fruits and Vegetables: A rainbow on your plate ensures a variety of vitamins and minerals. Nutrition Australia recommends at least five servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily.
  • Whole Grains: Opt for whole grain bread, pasta, and cereals for sustained energy and fibre.
  • Protein: Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, and nuts are excellent sources. The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide detailed recommendations.

Key Nutrients: What to Focus On

  • Folic Acid: Crucial for preventing neural tube defects.
  • Iron: Essential for supporting increased blood volume. Red meat, poultry, and fortified cereals are good options.
  • Calcium and Vitamin D: Vital for bone health. Dairy products and sunlight exposure are key.

Hydration: The Elixir of Pregnancy Health

  • Aim for about 2 litres of water per day. Herbal teas can be a good alternative.

Safe Eating Practices

Avoid unpasteurised dairy, raw seafood, and undercooked meats. Food Standards Australia New Zealand has comprehensive guidelines on food safety during pregnancy.

Listening to Your Body

Pregnancy cravings and aversions are normal. Balance them with healthy choices.

Exercise: A Complementary Approach

Gentle exercise, as recommended by our healthcare professionals, can aid in managing weight and boosting mood.

Understanding Macronutrients and Micronutrients

Macronutrients: The Building Blocks

  • Carbohydrates: Essential for energy. Opt for complex carbs like whole grains and legumes.
  • Proteins: Key for the growth of foetal tissue, including the brain. Include lean meat, poultry, fish, and vegetarian sources like lentils and chickpeas.
  • Fats: Necessary for baby’s brain development.

Micronutrients: Small but Mighty 

  • Vitamins: Vitamins A, C, D, and E are crucial. Get these from fruits, vegetables, dairy, and sensible sun exposure.
  • Minerals: Iron, calcium, and zinc are vital. They can be found in meat, dairy, nuts, and whole grains.

Special Dietary Considerations

Vegetarian and Vegan Diets

  • Ensure adequate protein intake from plant-based sources.
  • Pay extra attention to iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and DHA. Supplements might be necessary.

Gestational Diabetes

  • Monitor carbohydrate intake and focus on low-glycemic-index foods.
  • Regular check-ups with our medical professionals are crucial for monitoring blood sugar levels.

Food Allergies and Intolerances

  • Consult with dietitians for a tailored diet plan that avoids allergens while meeting nutritional needs.

Lifestyle and Nutritional Tips

Meal Planning and Preparation

  • Plan meals to include a variety of food groups.
  • Prepare snacks in advance to manage hunger and maintain balanced nutrition.

Mindful Eating

  • Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.
  • Eating slowly and without distraction can aid in better digestion and nutrient absorption.

Staying Active

  • Regular, moderate exercise, as advised by the healthcare team, can support overall health and may ease pregnancy discomforts.

Mental Health and Nutrition

  • Nutrition can impact mood and energy levels.
  • Our mental health services can provide support alongside nutritional advice.

Navigating Challenges

Dealing with Morning Sickness

  • Eating dry crackers or ginger tea can help.
  • Small, frequent meals are often better tolerated.

Managing Cravings and Aversions

  • Find healthy alternatives to satisfy cravings.
  • If you have strong aversions, try different cooking methods or food presentations.

Hydration: Beyond Water

  • Include fluids like soups and smoothies.
  • Be mindful of caffeine and sugar content in beverages.

The Role of Supplements

Prenatal Vitamins

  • A comprehensive prenatal vitamin can fill nutritional gaps.
  • Discuss with doctors to choose the right supplement.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Important for foetal brain development.
  • Found in fish oil supplements and flaxseeds.

Probiotics and Digestive Health

  • Can aid in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome.
  • Yogurt and fermented foods are natural sources.

The Final Trimester: Preparing for Birth

Iron Stores

  • Essential for childbirth and postpartum recovery.
  • Red meat, spinach, and iron-fortified cereals can help boost iron levels.

Healthy Snacking

Keep nutrient-dense snacks handy for increased hunger during the final weeks.

Relaxation and Nutrition

  • Balance nutrition with relaxation techniques to prepare for childbirth.
  • Practices like prenatal yoga and mindfulness can complement a healthy diet.

Postpartum Nutrition

Recovery and Healing

  • Nutrient-rich foods aid in recovery and healing post-delivery.
  • Focus on protein, vitamins, and minerals to support tissue repair and energy levels.

Breastfeeding Considerations

  • Increased calorie and fluid intake are essential for milk production.
  • Include a variety of nutrient-dense foods to enrich breast milk quality.

Building a Support System

Family and Community Support

  • Involve your partner and family in meal planning and preparation.
  • Community groups can offer support and share experiences.

Pregnancy and Antenatal Care: A Holistic Approach

Integrating Nutrition with Antenatal Care

  • Comprehensive Antenatal Services: At My Doctors Clinic Surfers Paradise, our antenatal care goes beyond routine check-ups. We integrate nutritional counselling as a core component of our pregnancy and antenatal care services.
  • Personalised Nutritional Plans: Understanding that each pregnancy is unique, our healthcare professionals develop personalised nutritional plans that align with your antenatal care program.

Monitoring and Adjustments

  • Regular Assessments: Throughout your pregnancy, regular assessments are crucial to monitor the health of both mother and baby. This includes tracking weight gain, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
  • Adapting to Changes: As your pregnancy progresses, your nutritional needs may change. Our team is dedicated to adapting your diet plan in response to these changes, ensuring optimal health at every stage.


At My Doctors Clinic Surfers Paradise, we’re dedicated to supporting you through every step of your pregnancy journey. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so it’s important to tailor your diet to your specific needs. For personalised advice, contact us and let our team guide you towards a healthy and joyful pregnancy experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Bring your identification, insurance information, and any relevant medical records or medications.

It’s recommended to have a check-up annually, but this may vary based on individual health needs.

This depends on the medication and your medical history; it’s best to consult with your doctor.

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the most effective way to prevent the flu.

You can request your records from your healthcare provider’s office, often through a patient portal or direct request.

Podiatrist Paul Clarke

Paul Clarke is a Podiatrist who specialises in the treatment and rehabilitation of pain in the foot, ankle and lower limb. Paul has worked amongst multidisciplinary clinical settings including GP’s, Podiatric Surgeons, Vascular Surgeons & Specialists, Chronic disease specialists and Podiatrists who specialise in Biomechanics and orthoses manufacturing and modifications. Paul is a graduate of the University of Newcastle, New South Wales.

Paul has a reputation for being particularly skilled and precise with a scalpel. His professional clinical interests include but are not limited to:

  • Toe nail surgeries (both PNA/TNA with matrix phenolisation). Toe and nail pathologies (Elongated nails, toe and nail deformity and fungal nail infections).
  • Achilles Tendonopathies (Trained in shockwave therapy). Heel pain (Plantar fasciitis, fat pad atrophy, nerve entrapment, apophysitis and osteochondrosis)
  • Ankle pathologies (Sprains, nerve impingements and tarsal coalitions)
  • Forefoot pathologies (Forefoot deformities/pain, Morton’s neuroma, bursitis, bunions and arthritis). Mid foot pathologies (Osteoarthritis and Tibial Post dysfunction/adult acquired flatfoot deformity)
  • Hip and lower back pain from mal foot alignment and tibial/femoral torsion
  • Paediatrics (Wart debridement, developmental growth milestones, orthotics, general assessments and deformities of the lower limb)
  • Diabetic assessments and education
  • Biomechanics and orthoses manufacturing and modifications (Custom and off the shelf devices and biomechanical assessments).


Paul Clarke forms a great asset to any multidisciplinary clinical team. Renowned for his kind and warm nature, Paul tends to build great rapport with patients and medical professionals alike.

Physiotherapist Patrick Harrington

Patrick Harrington Physiotherapist, B Ex Sc, M Phty Patrick has a strong interest for learning about the human body and educating on the best ways to ensure successful rehabilitation when injured.

Patrick graduated Griffith University with a Bachelor in Exercise Science, followed by a Masters in Physiotherapy degree. With a background in competitive surf-lifesaving and swimming, he has a passion for treating and educating on injuries relating to the musculoskeletal system. Patrick approaches each individual patient by educating and empowering them, in order to achieve the best health outcomes possible.

Patrick’s professional interests include:

Musculoskeletal Injuries: Treating areas including shoulders, neck & lower back, ankles, hips, and wrists, by creating programs containing manual therapy and exercises to benefit each individual patient.

Cardiorespiratory Conditions: Education and use of a variety of breathing techniques, as well as walking programs to obtain the best health outcomes.

Neurological Conditions: Retraining of gait, developing muscle strength, and developing a specific program in order to restore deficits as much as possible.

Dietitian Kailey Henry

Kailey has a passion for food and learning how nutrients interact and influence the health of our bodies.
Kailey graduated with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics from Griffith University on the Gold Coast, and has since been sharing her passion and expertise within the community through individual consultations and group education. Kailey takes a holistic and individualized approach to nutrition, with a focus on empowering each individual to make positive, lifelong lifestyle changes through achievable goals.

Kailey’s professional interests include, but are not limited to:

  • Paediatric nutrition and pregnancy/breastfeeding
  • Education & strategies for fussy eaters, faltering growth, meeting key nutrition recommendations for conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Chronic disease management
  • Nutritional management of diabetes, cholesterol health, cardiovascular disease, COPD, renal disease and liver disease.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Minimising abdominal discomfort, improving altered bowel habits, education on food choices for self-management.

Dr Day Hong Ma

Qualifications: Currently registered in the Medical Council of Australia as a Vocational Registered GP and Specialist General Surgeon. Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery University of Adelaide, South Australia MBBS. Fellow of Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh and London Master degree in Skin Cancer Medicine in University of Queensland. Extensive experience in various aspects of General Practice. In the past I have been a Senior Lecturer of the University of Queensland and Assistant Professor of Bond University involving teaching medical students. I was a supervisor for the Royal Australasian College of General Practice, involved in training junior GP. I also trained many Overseas Trained Doctors. At the present time I am a GP with the following special interests : 1. Skin Cancers skin cancer checks with Mol Max and dermoscopy. I was awarded a Professional Diploma of Dermoscopy from the International Dermoscopy Society surgical excisions of complex skin cancers ( sun cancers and melanomas ) non surgical approach to some skin cancers and precancerous lesions such as Photo Dynamic Therapy and cautery and curettage. 2. Cosmetic Medicine This includes micro needling, platelet rich plasma, and injectables such as fillers and neuromuscular modulators. I have completed the training course under the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine and Australian Skin Skills Education and Training. Dr Ma also speaks Chinese Mandarin

Dr Greeshma Tummala

I am overseas trained GP and practiced for more than 5 years in India although completed AMC licensing exam here. In India, I have practiced in all aspects of general practice.

My areas of Interest are: Women’s Health, cervical cancer screening, Antenatal Care, Child Immunisations, Chronic Disease Management, Implanon Insertion and Removal, Mental Health, Pregnancy Counselling, Travel Vaccinations, Women’s Health, Medicinal Treatment.

Dr. Tariq Hayat Jamaldini

Qualifications: MBBS, AMC Certified, FRACGP, Fellowship Royal Australian College of General Practitioners

Speaks: English, Balochi, Brahui, Hindi, and Urdu

Dr. Tariq Hayat Jamaldini is a highly experienced General Practitioner (GP) / Family Medicine Physician with a distinguished career spanning over 20 years in the field of healthcare. Renowned for his profound knowledge, comprehensive and compassionate approach, Dr. Tariq Jamaldini ensures that every family member, from infants to seniors, receives the individualised care they deserve. With a strong commitment to promoting and maintaining the health and well-being of his patients, Dr. Tariq Hayat Jamaldini has solidified his reputation as a trusted healthcare professional in the community. His medical practice is built on a foundation of integrity, empathy, and a genuine desire to improve the lives of those he treats. Through his dedication to continues learning and clinical excellence, he has expertly diagnosed, treated, and managed a wide range of health conditions, placing him at the forefront of Family Medicine.

Areas of Expertise:

Dr. Tariq Jamaldini’s diverse expertise encompasses various areas of medicine, making him a well-rounded practitioner capable of addressing a wide range of patient needs. His dedication to improving the health and well-being of his patients continues to be the driving force behind his successful medical career. 

  • General Practice: Tariq Hayat Jamaldini is a trusted General Practitioner (GP) who focuses on providing a wide range of general medical services to patients of all ages. Whether you need preventive care, health assessments, or treatment for common illnesses, you can trust Dr. Jamaldini to deliver compassionate and personalized healthcare with his holistic approach.  
  • Cosmetic Medicine: Dr Tariq Hayat Jamaldini has been actively involved in performing cosmetic procedures since 2009. His interest in cosmetic medicine reflects his belief in the importance of helping patients look and feel their best. His expertise in cosmetic procedures, such as anti-wrinkle injections, dermal fillers, PRP injections, allows him to provide patients with safe and effective solutions to enhance their appearance and boost their confidence.
  • Skin Cancer: Tariq Jamaldini takes a proactive approach to skin cancer prevention, detection, and treatment. His comprehensive knowledge of skin cancer, coupled with his skill in performing screenings and providing treatment options, has saved many lives. 
  • Medicinal Prescriber: Tariq Jamaldini is a certified and authorized specialist prescriber for medicinal, helping patients manage chronic pain and various medical conditions with this alternative therapy. His thorough understanding of the medical benefits of ensures that patients receive the best possible care. 
  • Men’s Health: Tariq Jamaldini understands the unique healthcare needs of men and provides specialized services tailored to men’s health concerns. Whether its addressing issues related to prostate health, sexual health, hormonal imbalances, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculations, hair loss or overall wellness, Dr. Jamaldini is here to support men in their healthcare journey.
  • Opioid Dependence Treatment: Dr Tariq Jamaldini has been a licensed opioid prescriber with Queensland Opioid Treatment Program since 2013. During this time, he has successfully treated and stabilized a significant number of patients who were struggling with opioid dependency. If you or a loved one is facing the challenges of opioid addiction, Dr. Jamaldini provides compassionate and evidence-based treatment choices. His steady dedication is focused on assisting individuals in their journey to overcome addiction and reclaim their health and overall well-being.

Dr Tariq Hayat Jamaldini dedication to providing high-quality healthcare, combined with his multifaceted expertise, makes him a respected and valued member of the medical community. His patients appreciate his unwavering commitment to their well-being and the comprehensive care he provides across various medical disciplines.

Book an online appointment or call: 07 55922299

Dr Altaf Latif Ayyaril

General Practitioner, Male, MBBS, AMC, Fellowship Royal Australian College of General Practitioners.Speaks Malayalam, and English  Dr Altaf Latif Ayyaril is a vocationally qualified and experienced General Practitioner from India having completed his Bachelor of Medicine / Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, India in 2002. He started his medical career in various medical facilities in Kerala, India. He moved to Australia in 2007 and commenced working at Alice Springs Hospital, NT. He has since worked in hospitals in Melbourne, Gold Coast, Toowoomba and commenced General Practice in 2016 in Kilcoy QLD followed by North Stradbroke Island and Beaudesert. He was awarded a Fellow of the Royal Australia College of General Practitioners in 2021. Dr Altaf has special interests in Chronic Disease Management, Acute Management and Mental health amongst other areas of General Practice. He also performs skin cancer checks and minor skin procedures. Dr Altaf speaks Malayalam in addition to English.  

Areas of interest:

  • General Family Medicine
  • Mens health
  • Chronic disease management
  • Health assessments
  • Mental health
  • Skin cancer Checks
  • Minor surgical procedures.

Dr Paul Fisher

Diploma of the Royal Australian College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Dip RACOG) Dr.Fisher qualified as a Pharmacist before completing a medical degree at The University of Tasmania. After working in hospitals & General Practice in Tasmania & Queensland, He commenced work at My Doctors Clinic (formerly The Day & Night Medical Centre) 20 years ago. He is a Medical Officer in The Air Force Reserve & has worked as a Doctor for the Defence Department over the past 30 years. Paul is interested in all areas of General Practice with a special interest in Mental Health (He is a Doctor for Beyond Blue), Obstetrics (Maternity) & Diabetes.