Top 5 nutrients for pregnant and breastfeeding mums

November 19, 2016
  • When you're pregnant or breastfeeding
    1 / 6 When you're pregnant or breastfeeding

    What you eat is Baby’s main source of nourishment, especially if you are exclusively breastfeeding.

    Dietetics manager Sarah Sinaram from Mount Alvernia Hospital recommends crucial nutrients that you should be having during this period.

     

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  • Calcium
    2 / 6 Calcium

    Food sources of calcium Milk, cheese, yogurt and fortified soya milk

    Calcium is essential for mummies because… It helps your baby build strong teeth and bones, as well as grow a healthy heart, nerves and muscles.

    When pregnant or breastfeeding, you’ll need 1,000mg (three cups milk).

    Related: Don’t take dang gui during pregnancy

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  • Folic acid
    3 / 6 Folic acid

    Food sources of folic acid Dark green vegetables, citrus fruits and juices as well as whole grains

    Folic acid is essential for mummies because… It decreases the risk of birth defects of the brain, spine or spinal cord, including spina bifida.

    When pregnant, you’ll need 600mcg (four cups boiled Brussels sprouts).

    When breastfeeding, you’ll need 500mcg (four cups avocado).

     

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  • Iron
    4 / 6 Iron

    Food sources of iron Red meat, liver and cereals fortified with vitamins and minerals

    Iron is essential for mummies because… It builds red blood cells to help prevent anaemia – associated with premature delivery and low birth weight.

    When pregnant or breastfeeding, you’ll need 19mg (three cups cooked spinach).

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  • Protein
    5 / 6 Protein

    Food sources of protein Lean meat, poultry, fish, nuts, eggs, low-fat dairy products and lentils

    Protein is essential for mummies because… It is needed for the growth of the uterus, placenta and breast tissue, as well as amniotic fluid production.

    When pregnant, you’ll need 67g (one chicken breast).

    When breastfeeding, you’ll need 83g (four cod fillets).

    Related: Pregnancy recipe: steamed salmon with honey ginger sauce 

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  • Vitamin C
    6 / 6 Vitamin C

    Food sources of vitamin C Kiwi fruit, papaya, orange, strawberries, broccoli and cauliflower

    Vitamin C is essential for mummies because… It is important for collagen in the bones, muscles, skin and blood vessels as well as aids iron absorption.

    When pregnant, you’ll need 100mg (one and a half kiwi fruits).

    When breastfeeding, you’ll need 135mg (three cups strawberries).

    A version of this article first appeared in Shape.

    (Photos: 123RF.com)

    Related: 5 ways to boost baby’s brain  before he is born

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