Nutrition plays a major role throughout our lives. When you are pregnant, your nutritional needs are no longer just for your own well being but also that of your unborn child. While there is no better way to acquire important nutrients than through your daily food intake, for most of us, that is not entirely possible and there will be some essential nutrients lacking from daily diets.
A woman’s iron needs rises during pregnancy because her blood volume expands as her pregnancy progresses. Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen in the blood. If a pregnant woman’s diet doesn’t include enough iron-rich foods, – think red meat, egg yolks and dark leafy greens – her body will attempt to pull it from the reserves in her bone marrow. If left this way for long, the pregnant mum will face extreme tiredness and anemia
Folic acid is absolutely critical for cell division, and for preventing neural tube birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. It’s best to start taking it at least one month before you get pregnant and throughout your pregnancy. Health experts recommend that all women of childbearing age take daily multivitamins containing at least 400 micrograms of folic acid because pregnancies aren’t
It used to be that a healthy pregnancy diet meant consuming foods rich in all the vitamins and also folic acid and iron – the two most important nutrients for pregnancy. However, research has led us to believe that other than the above, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid, an Omega 3 fatty acid) is also vital for a healthy outcome for both mother and baby.
DHA is nutrition for the brain as calcium is for the bones. DHA is needed throughout life – it’s one of the good fats in our bodies. It keeps brain tissues functioning to the best of its capabilities.
Below is a table of nutrient needed by a pregnant woman and why she needs it. It would be a good idea to cross check the list with the pre-natal milk powder you are taking or intend to buy.
Why its needed
|Calcium||250 mg||For strong bones and teeth|
|Choline||450 mg||Develops memory and learning center in the brain|
|DHA||200 mg||Promotes fetal brain development|
|Folic acid||600 mcg||Enables cell division and prevents neural tube birth defects|
|Iodine||250 mcg||Essential nutrient for proper brain development|
|Iron||27-60 mg||Helps in producing new blood cells to accommodate increased blood volume during pregnancy|
|Vitamin D||600 IU or more||
Builds strong bones and teeth, and an important nutrient for the production of hormones