Essential Nutrients for Expecting Mothers – International Mother’s Day Special

Essential Nutrients for Expecting Mothers – International Mother’s Day Special

Essential Nutrients for Expecting Mothers

Pregnancy is a transformative journey that demands special attention to nutrition. What you eat during pregnancy not only nourishes you but also directly impacts the growth and development of your baby. Understanding the essential nutrients and incorporating them into your diet can greatly contribute to a healthy pregnancy.

  1. Folic Acid: Folic acid, also known as folate, is crucial for the early development of the baby’s neural tube, which eventually forms the brain and spinal cord. Adequate intake of folic acid can significantly reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Foods rich in folate include leafy greens like spinach, citrus fruits, beans, and cereals.
  2. Iron: Iron is essential for producing haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen to tissues and organs. During pregnancy, the body’s need for iron increases to support the growing fetus and placenta, as well as the expansion of maternal blood volume. Good sources of iron include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, and cereals.
  3. Calcium: Calcium is crucial for the development of the baby’s bones, teeth, muscles, and nerves. Pregnant women need to ensure an adequate intake of calcium to support both their bone health and the baby’s growth. Dairy products like milk, yoghurt, and cheese are excellent sources of calcium, along with leafy greens, fortified plant-based milk, and calcium-fortified orange juice.
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), play a critical role in the development of the baby’s brain and eyes. Consuming omega-3-rich foods during pregnancy can contribute to the baby’s cognitive and visual development. Sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fatty fish like salmon, trout, and sardines, as well as walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
  5. Protein: Protein is essential for the growth and development of the baby’s tissues, including muscles, organs, and cells. It also helps in repairing and building maternal tissues. Including lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, legumes, nuts, and seeds in your diet can help meet your protein needs during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, prioritising nutrient-dense foods ensures that both you and your baby receive the essential nutrients for optimal health and development.  Consult with our in-house dietitian to create a personalized nutrition plan that meets your specific needs and promotes a healthy pregnancy.

Book a consultation today by Calling +2347080670806, +234 (0)14488840, send us an email or visit us at the Duchess Hospital.

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