Did you know the future health and wellbeing of our children can be influenced before their conception even occurs? So our nutritional choices in preconception and throughout pregnancy play a role well into the future.
As early as preconception, we have the ability to influence the cognitive development of our children. A 2017 study revealed ‘women who take a multivitamin in pregnancy could boost their child’s intelligence by the equivalent of a whole school year’. So knowing what to feed ourselves is an education worth investing in.
When should I start preparing?
Parents-to-be should begin their nutritional support 3+ months before trying for a baby, as we can influence the quality of both egg and sperm health even before conceiving. From pregnancy diets, to prenatal vitamins, what we eat plays a leading role in influencing the foundations of our children’s long term health.
Which nutrients should I prioritise in pregnancy?
Prenatal nutrition helps establish a healthy pregnancy, supporting both maternal health and foetal development. Fertility experts recommend a diet rich in:
Which is high in Vitamin D, Iodine and brain boosting Omega-3 fat- DHA.
Which are full of folate, as well as a range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which support general foetal health and development.
Full of protein- essential for foetal, placental and maternal tissue growth.
Which are packed full of most of the nutrients needed to support the nutritional demands of growing a baby. In particular, choline- which is needed for brain and cognitive development.
Plants from the sea are rich in iodine- an essential nutrient for foetal growth and development, as deficiency here has been associated with some congenital abnormalities.
Known as nature’s multivitamin, liver is rich in choline, iron, folate, B12 and almost every vitamin and mineral required for the healthy brain development of your growing baby.
How can my diet influence my baby’s health, postpartum?
Postpartum is a raw, delicate mix of healing (for mother) and nourishment (for baby). And good nutrition can help with recovery, aid in milk production and support overall wellbeing. Some nutrients to consider in the posptartum include:
Present in breastmilk, this nutrient supports cognitive development while regulating moods in new mums.
Found in oysters, nuts, seeds and wholegrains, zinc strengthens immunity and supports postpartum recovery.
Known to support infant growth and brain development, dietary sources include seafood, seaweed, milk, yoghurt and cheese.
It’s worth considering a diet rich in vegetables, wholegrains, fruits, dairy, protein and good fats for well rounded support.
From pregnancy through to choosing your baby’s first foods, our children rely on us heavily to meet their nutritional needs. A nutrient dense diet from the very beginning lets us support the developmental demands of our children well into the future.
Looking for more tips on prenatal nutrition?
Take a look through Prenatal Nutrition on The Fertility Journal.
Or consider incoroprating The Prenatal by moode into your diet.