Last week we looked at what it takes to have a balanced diet. But did you know there are important vitamins and minerals which we can’t get from our diet alone. Today I wanted to tell you about some of the supplements needed for a healthy pregnancy.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is very important in pregnancy, as it helps the foetus develop. It is found in some foods, including leafy green vegetables and brown rice. You can also get breakfast cereals which have been fortified with folic acid. But the best way to ensure that you are getting enough Folic Acid is to take a dietary supplement. These can be bought from most pharmacies, or you can get them from you GP.

Vitamin D

Mums-to-be require Vitamin D to aid the absorption of calcium. It helps bones and teeth remain strong and healthy. So where is Vitamin D hiding?

  • Sun (as and when it appears, get outside!☀️)
  • Fish; salmon, herrings & sardines, canned tuna, shrimps
  • Cod liver oil
  • Fortified foods..cereal, oatmeal, orange juice
  • Cows milk & Soya (for those with lactose intolerance)

Vitamin A

This is a fat-soluble vitamin stored in the liver. Vitamin A is VITAL for the development of the baby’s heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, bones, circulatory, respiratory and central nervous system!

There are 2 types of Vit A.

  • Preformed Vit A (or retinol or retinoids) is found in eggs, milk and liver.
  • Provitamin A carotenoids is found in fruits and veg.

Make sure you check with your health-care provider how much Vitamin to take. High doses can cause birth defeats, so avoid liver products as these contain a high amount of Vit A.

Iron

Iron is essential for making red blood cells. A lack of it can cause iron deficiency called Anaemia. This can be common in pregnancy – affecting one third of women.

So make sure you consume iron-rich foods. This includes red meat, pulses, eggs, green veg and fortified cereal. Vitamin C also aids in the absorption of iron, whereas tea/coffee inhibits it. Therefore it is a good idea to avoid drinking tea or coffee with your meals. Try having some fruit juice instead!

Happy Body, Happy Mind, Happy Baby!