The importance of good nutrition during pregnancy in Dubai & Abu Dhabi
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exercises for prental mothers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
Eating well during pregnancy not only helps mother and baby but also gives you peace of mind.

Personal Trainer Q & A Category: Pre & Post Natal Exercise & Training

What to eat and what not to eat during pregnancy in the UAE - it can be confusing but getting the right advice from professionals is a move in the right direction.

Healthy eating isn’t the latest fitness craze. It’s something we all need to consider as part of our daily lives. Healthy eating and eating the best foods can be a concern for many pregnant women in Dubai & Abu Dhabi.

  • In the UAE (and any country) eating a well-balanced diet during pregnancy is important because what an expectant mother eats is the main source of nourishment for baby. As a pre and post natal personal trainer in Dubai what advice can you give regarding following a good, beneficial diet?

    UAE Personal Trainers - Healthy Eating & Nutrition For Training

    Ensure you follow a well balanced healthy diet of natural whole foods. Eat a decent amount of fruit and veg to ensure you get a good source of vitamins and minerals.

    Choose starchy carbs rather than refined carbs to provide a good source of energy.

    Ensure you are eating enough calories to control your weight gain. A healthy weight to gain is between 7-10kgs during the whole term of pregnancy.

    Also avoid processed foods – they contain little to no nutritional value.

  • 2. Exercise is important too for prenatal and postpartum mothers. For expectant mothers in the UAE who want to continue their training regimes (including their training diets) are there any foods they should avoid or limit? For example excesses of protein.

    Try not to restrict yourself with training diets during pregnancy. Focus on a balance diet containing a good amount of starchy carbs, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables and lean good quality proteins.

  • Vitamins and minerals are an important part of everyone’s diet. For pre and post natal mothers an increase in some vitamins and minerals is also beneficial. Can you provide some examples of which vitamins and minerals are important during and after pregnancy and what benefits they provide?

    UAE-Personal-Trainers-MultivitaminsFolic acid – reduced risk of spinal cord defects – sufficient folic acid can be consumed from green leafy vegetables

    Vitamin C – necessary for the body to make collagen. Also helps your body fight infections and acts as an antioxidant. Found in Broccoli, berries, tomatoes and citrus fruit.

    Vitamin D – This is a tough one as too much will have risks of birth defects however Vitamin D deficiency will have higher risks of pregnancy complications. Such as: gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, preterm birth and lower birth weight. Ensure to consume no more than 1500mg. Found in Cerals, fatty fish, cheese and egg yolk.

    Iron – Iron is used in the process of making extra blood for you and your baby. Iron also helps transport blood to the baby. Found in spinach, red meat, beans and dried fruit

    Calcium – Helps baby grow healthy heart, nerves and muscles. Calcium helps develop normal heart rhythem and abilities to clot blood. Also helps developing baby grow strong bones and teeth.

  • Women who regularly exercise (train) before pregnancy are often concerned about gaining too much weight during their pregnancy in Dubai? Of course medical advice should always be sought but as a personal trainer can you offer some advice on how to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight?

    Ensure you are eating enough calories to control your weight gain. A healthy weight to gain is between 7-10kgs during the whole term of pregnancy.

    Drink plenty of water.

    Exercise regularly.

    Make healthy substitutes – eg instead of mayo use greek yogurt. Cut dressing in salads and replace with oil and balsamic.

    Control your portion sizes.

    Hake healthier swaps for your cravings.

  • As advised above, medical advice should be sought before any restrictive diet when pregnant but in your opinion what are good foods to eat, foods to limit and foods to avoid prenatal?

    Foods to eat

    Fresh fruit an veg containing a good source of vitamins and minerals – make sure to wash first.


    Foods to limit

    Limit Vitamin A intake – too much vitamin A give a small but significant risk to birth defects

    Shellfish – only eat if cooked correctly

    Limit tuna due to mercury levels

    Caffeine – stick to 200mg max (equivalent to 1 tall latte)


    Foods to avoid

    Raw eggs



    Raw meat & Raw fish

    Cured meats

    Unpasturised cheese – Mould ripen or soft cheese

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