As we enter a new year, a team of expert midwives shared an A–Z guide offering expectant mothers a whole host of tips and tricks for getting the right nutrients and vitamins during their pregnancy journey.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy is always encouraged, and there are many vitamin supplements available to help ensure the body gets the nutrients that it – and the baby – needs during the various stages of pregnancy.
Diet and good nutrition can help men and women prepare their bodies for preconception and pregnancy.
There are a variety of diet plans, programmes and books covering the subject, but the team of expert midwives at My Expert Midwife have put together an easy-to-digest reference guide, gathering an A–Z list of preconception and pregnancy nutrition tips.
Highlighted in the guide are some of the more important nutrients, vitamins, and other factors that benefit health and well-being when trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
According to MacroTrends data, the rate of births across the UK (per 1,000 people) has been in decline since 2009, falling from 12.524 per 1000 people to 11.322 last year.
Over the past decade, however, this decline has been gradually slowing, with birth rates falling by only 0.48% in 2022 compared with data from 2021.
While there are many factors to consider when assessing this data, the gradual reduction of this decline may, in part, be due to the healthier lifestyles and diets of pregnant women, owing to the growth of the organic food market and the advances in research, treatment and advice given to pregnant women.
As outlined in My Expert Midwife’s A–Z Nutritional Guide, nutrition is not the only consideration that should be made during the stages of pregnancy.
Appropriate adaptations to diet, the formation of healthy habits and limitations of the consumption of caffeine and over-processed foods can assist with a healthy pregnancy.
Of course, maintaining a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t stop after pregnancy. The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding babies until at least six months old to support a baby’s health and development.
Many believe breast milk contains all the nutrition an infant needs and that breastfed babies don’t need additional baby vitamins. However, some studies have shown that breast milk has fluctuating levels of nutrients.
For that reason, it’s important to consider certain supplements to ensure that a newborn receives enough of all the vital vitamins and minerals they need to build a healthy immune system, achieve normal bone growth and the development of brain functions and the nervous system.
Commenting on the importance of nutrition during all stages of pregnancy, a spokesperson at My Expert Midwife explained: “Dieting and keeping tabs on the food you’re eating can be an unwelcome ‘chore’ even for those that aren’t pregnant, but the importance of receiving the right vitamins and minerals cannot be understated – especially when you’re eating for two.
“Above all else, perhaps the best piece of advice for any stage of pregnancy is to take care of yourself as best you can…a process that starts with fueling your body with the right ingredients.”