Ask about pregnancy nutrition, and you’ll almost certainly receive a detailed shopping list of needs for the baby. Don’t eat uncooked fish, unpasteurised cheese, sushi, runny eggs. Be wary of listeria, make sure you up your fresh veggies, down your caffeine, take folate. When we consider optimal pregnancy outcomes, we’re pretty aware of how deficiencies can affect pregnancy, and the heath of the growing baby. What’s less common is to highlight the specific nutritional needs of the mother, who is also experiencing a period of rapid growth, development and change. But it is possible to prioritise you too, ensuring both you and your babe are nutritionally covered. So let’s unpack it all.
Nutrients to support foetal growth and development
Your growing babe relies heavily on you for all of its nutritional needs, so it’s best to be prepared. Eating a well balanced diet is helpful advice, but what does this actually entail? Here are some key nutrients to make sure you’re across:
The most talked about nutrient in prenatal nutrition, is famous for its ability to reduce the risk of neural tube defects and spina bifida. Almost all medical professionals will recommend a supplement of this nutrient, but it’s usually the cheapest synthetic form- folic acid- which appears in most multivitamins. It’s best to consider an activated form, such as methylfolate or folinic acid instead, to ensure the nutrient can actually do its job.