It is so refreshing to see a book that is full of suggestions for what you should eat during pregnancy, rather than a long list of what you mustn’t touch.

Fiona’s Wilcock’s tone throughout the book is informative rather than a long lecture. She does not try to induce guilt.

The book starts with a general introduction to healthy eating in pregnancy. There is nothing here that is new or out of the ordinary, and yet it is information that has not really stuck in the public mind – we could all do with a reminder of what is and what is not healthy from time to time.

The second chapter provides an explanation of key foods, and what the balance should be between them. However, it is chapter three that provides the real information that many pregnant women are looking for: how much weight is acceptable to put on during pregnancy?

All too often, photographs of pregnant women in the public eye and the related commentary are focused on how thin they are, or criticising celebs for “ballooning” during their pregnancy. The celebrity obsession with being thin is dangerous enough in the course of things, but an obsession with being thin during pregnancy could have serious implications for unborn children.

This book sets out clearly how much weight you might healthily expect to gain; how much is dangerous and how much is simply unadvisable due to the time it may take to lose after the birth.

There is also a very helpful and level headed discussion about alcohol and the dangers it poses during pregnancy.

Fiona Wilcock’s credentials are very impressive as a writer for both pregnancy and nutrition. She is an experienced nutritionist who has looked after the diet and health of countless families.

Having set out the theory behind her recommendations, Wilcock practices what she preaches by putting forward four menu plans – one of each trimester and an extra one for the post-partum period. This is particularly insightful – some midwives refer to this period as the fourth trimester, when your body still has specific nutritional needs which are different from your pre-baby body.

The recipes Wilcock has put in this book provide a good variety of healthy snacks and proper meals. It is worth referring to whether you are pregnant or not! Fortunately, she has chosen recipes that do not include ingredients that are difficult to find or expensive to purchase.

The only downside is that anyone who is interested in cooking is likely to know how to make most of these dishes anyway. Only a stranger to the kitchen will have to follow all of the recipes step by step.

However, what Wilcock does provide is the safe knowledge that what you are eating is what you should be eating. Perhaps the most useful information she gives is the nutritional analysis of the recipes at the back of the book. With this, her readers will not only know what you should be eating in the appropriate trimester, but they will also know how many grams of fat their plate will contain!

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