Maternal nutrition

By MamaCare

Good mothering starts well before birth. Never in a woman’s life is nutrition as important as when she is trying to conceive, is already pregnant and when breastfeeding.

When you are having a baby, your body’s nutritional stores and healthy eating habits will help ensure that you will have everything you need to nurture your growing baby for the next nine months and beyond; but it does take some time for the reserves of some essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients to build up in your body.

Ideally, making healthy food choices should begin in the months prior to conception; however, for some women, as soon as she finds out she is pregnant, it is important that she makes sure her diet is as good as it can be. Australian dietary guidelines recommend that women enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods every day from the five food groups such as:

  • Fruit, vegetables of different types and colours, legumes and beans
  • Grain food -  mostly wholegrain and/or high fibre varieties such as breads, cereals, rice, pasta and noodles
  • Dairy foods like milk,  cheese and yoghurt
  • Protein such as lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds

The way you nourish your body during pregnancy will affect the health of both you and your baby. There is no need to “eat for two”, just a need to consume a variety of foods that are nutrient rich. Pregnancy however, creates extra demand for certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients, such as folic acid, iron, i, protein and vitamin D because of the many physical and hormonal changes that occur during this time, as well as your developing baby. So it is important to be mindful of what you eat so you can give your baby the best start in life.

Prior to conceiving and while pregnant and breastfeeding, even with the best of intentions, it can be difficult to meet these increased nutritional needs through diet alone. Many pregnant women in Australia are not making the most healthy food choices. There are many reasons for this, not least of which is the fast pace and busy nature of life today as well as struggles with morning sickness. Therefore many doctors and health professionals recommend that women who are planning a pregnancy or already pregnant take a prenatal vitamin and mineral supplement every day to ensure that the nutritional needs of both the mother and baby are met. Taking a specially formulated nutritional supplement like MamaCare Pregnancy Formula, ensures that you and your baby get enough important nutrients such as - folic acid, iron, iodine, protein and vitamin D.

  • Folic acid –is a B group vitamin that plays an important role in healthy foetal development. Folic acid can help prevent birth defects of your baby's brain and spinal cord. It is recommended that women who are planning a pregnancy and those who are already pregnant take a daily supplement of 400mcg of folic acid
  • Iron – your body uses iron to make red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. During pregnancy, you blood volume increases and your baby’s blood is also developing. Getting enough iron will also help prevent anaemia
  • Iodine – is needed by our bodies for the development of essential thyroid hormones. These hormones regulate the body’s metabolic rate and promote growth and development throughout the body
  • Vitamin D – is needed to help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. These are needed to keep bones and teeth healthy
  • Protein –is critical for ensuring the proper growth of foetal tissue, including the brain. It also helps with breast and uterine tissue growth during pregnancy. 

Remember, a good diet is always important for optimal health, but this is especially the case in the months before conception, during your pregnancy and while breastfeeding. A nutritional supplement formulated for pregnancy like MamaCare Pregnancy Formula, will help ensure that you and your baby are meeting the increased nutritional demand for some vital nutrients.

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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