A well-balanced pre-pregnancy diet in combination with a pre-pregnancy supplement, including a high DHA Omega-3 fatty acid, will help provide the nutrients you need for good health and vitality and set you on the right path to conceive. A healthy pregnancy is one without physical or psychological illness in the mother, resulting in the delivery of a healthy baby.

Increased Nutritional Demands On The Mother

The hormonal environment during pregnancy is important for maintaining the flow of nutrients to the foetus, stimulating uterine growth and promoting mammary development for breastfeeding. Absorption of iron and calcium also increases during pregnancy. Studies show that the blood concentration of many nutrients (including proteins, vitamins and minerals) also decreases during pregnancy. Dramatic changes in kidney function also occurs, and are associated with the excretion of glucose, amino acids and water soluble vitamins such as Vitamin B1; B2; B3; B6; B12; Folic Acid, Vitamin C etc.  Due to the changes going on in the mothers body, it can be difficult to meet the nutritional needs of pregnancy through diet alone. Pregnancy is one of the most nutritionally demanding periods you can go through, where the recommended dietary intake of nutrients increases by up to 150%!

Micronutrient Needs During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

The consumption of more food to meet energy needs during pregnancy is generally enough, when good food choices are made. However, if you’re not getting the increased amount of nutrients required during pregnancy, vitamin and mineral supplementation may be a good option to ensure you and your baby are well nourished.  N.B. Pregnant women should seek advice from their health care professional before taking a supplement that exceeds the recommended daily intake (RDI) set out by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

food you should eat when pregnant

Omega-3 Fatty Triglycerides high in DHA

Essential for baby’s brain and eye development, supplementation may also be recommended during pre-conception and pregnancy, due to a lower conversion from the food source to the body.

Vitamin D

Pregnant women are at increased risk of Vitamin D deficiency, including those with little exposure to sunlight, those on vegan diets, and those with darker skin.  If you fall into any of these categories, you may require supplementation.

Choline

Pregnant women should be advised to include good source of choline in their diets. A few examples of choline content include egg, salmon, kidney or navy beans and low-fat milk. Most multivitamin and mineral supplements for pregnant women typically do not contain choline, so check out the formula on the label when purchasing your pregnancy supplement.

Iron

Pregnant women should be encouraged to consume iron-rich foods such as lean red meat, fish, poultry, dried fruits and fortified cereals. Foods that inhibit iron absorption such as legumes, tea and coffee should be avoided or consumed separately. Calcium supplementation of more than 50mg/day found in many pregnancy formulations also inhibit iron absorption. 

Folate

The major natural sources of dietary folate are legumes, green leafy vegetables, liver, citrus fruits, and whole wheat bread. During the first few weeks of pregnancy, before most women find out that they’re pregnant, the neural tube has already developed, or closed. The neural tube forms the baby’s brain and spinal cord, which is essential to the central nervous system.

healthy baby scan

To prevent neural tube defects, women of childbearing age and pregnant women should consume at least 500mcg/day of folate from food or supplementThe natural source of folate in supplements is Folinic Acid as opposed to the synthetic form folic acid.

Vitamin B12

The recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin B12 is 2.6mcg per day. Vitamin B12 is particularly high in shellfish, liver, trout and game meat. Pregnant women who consume little or no animal products need guidance in choosing a reliable source of vitamin B12 or taking a suitable pregnancy supplement.

Calcium

The RDI for calcium during pregnancy is 1000mg/day. Milk, cheese, yogurt and food containing milk products are a good source of calcium during pregnancy. For pregnant women who do not consume milk products or calcium fortified foods, supplementation may be necessaryCalcium supplementation should be taken at least 5-6 hours apart from pregnancy supplements that contain iron, as mentioned earlier calcium tends to inhibit the absorption of iron.

Iodine

Helps with the development of the brain and nervous system in babies and young children. The NHRMC of Australia recommends 220 mcg of iodine per day during pregnancy and breastfeeding. You can consume iodine from food sources such as iodised salt and fortified bread. However, for various reasons including access to such foods, some pregnant women find it difficult to obtain adequate levels of iodine daily and thus supplementation should be considered. If you have any pre-existing thyroid condition, you should seek medical advice before taking supplements containing iodine

Best Practices for Nutritional Care During Pregnancy

Pregnant women need to consume a variety of foods to meet energy and nutrient requirements and gain the recommended amount of weight. The best practices that lead to greater success in achieving recommended pre-natal weight gains include:

  • Early and frequent motivational counselling about recommended weight gain and diet. • Personalised dietary advice from professionals beginning early in pregnancy.
  • Supervised group and/or home exercise programs
  • Showing women how their weight gain compares to their target range as set out by the (NHMRC)

Lifestyle Tips For a Healthy Pregnancy

Physical Activity

Unless a medical reason is identified that prohibits physical activity, pregnant women should engage in 30 minutes of moderate exercise on most days of the week throughout the pregnancy, or as recommended by your health care professional.

exercises to do during pregnancy

Nausea and Vomiting

Management of nausea (with or without vomiting), which occurs in 75% of pregnancies, depends on the severity of the symptoms. Milder cases are often managed by consuming small meals frequently, avoiding offensive odours and spicy or greasy foods, drinking enough fluids, and getting fresh air.

Acid Reflux

Up to 45% of pregnant women experience acid reflux. One or more of the following are commonly recommended to relieve acid reflux in pregnancy:

  • Avoid lying down for three hours after eating
  • Sleep with your head slightly elevated to avoid acid reflux (use an extra pillow)
  • Consume small frequent meals
  • Avoid reflux inducing foods such as greasy and spicy foods, tomatoes, highly acidic citrus products, carbonated drinks, and beverages containing caffeine.

Constipation

Up to 38% of pregnant women experience constipation, as a side effect of high doses of iron supplementation or as part of the normal digestive changes associated with pregnancy.CravingsFood craving and aversions are quite common during pregnancy.

The most common aversions are to coffee, tea, fried or fatty foods, highly spiced foods meat and egg. There is little evidence to conclude that cravings and aversion have a significant impact on dietary intake, at least in most developed countries.

Breastfeeding

Although the decision to breastfeed may be made before pregnancy, education provided during pregnancy can improve breastfeeding outcomes.

Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding until at least 12 months of age, as complimentary foods are gradually introduced. A comprehensive breast-feeding formula should contain:

  • Fenugreek – a plant of the pea family and is believed to stimulate the glands of the breast which could affect breast milk production
  • Fennel – can increase thequantity of breast milk and works in synergy with Fenugreek to significantly increase breast milk production.
  • Lactobacillus Rhamnosus – a type of probiotic that in a recent study has suggested being good for pregnancy and breast-feeding as it may reduce the risk of allergies, including eczema.

Other ingredients that a breast-feeding formula should contain are:

  • High DHA Fish Oil, which is scientifically verified to optimise brain and eye development
  • Iodine, which plays a role of maintaining thyroid function, promoting breast health, modulating the immune system, and providing anti-microbial defence
  • Vitamin D, important as it increases the absorption of calcium into the bone ensuring a strong and healthy skeletal system

Recommended Supplements

At Kissun Pharmaceuticals, we have done the research for you and created a premium quality supplement trio that contains everything a mother needs for pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding*.

Purchase Your Pack

*always consult your healthcare practitioner before commencing any supplement plan.