Nutrition for Pregnant Mothers

Posted by Adele Henderson on

pregnant mothers

To help enjoy a healthy, happy pregnancy, good nutrition is a vital part of your life as a mother-to-be.

As well as ensuring your changing body stays in great condition, sensible nutrition is also an important factor in your baby’s health.

To support your developing baby as it grows, your body needs some nutrients in higher than usual doses. These include iron, iodine and folate.

A Varied Diet Is A Great Foundation

If your daily diet includes healthy servings of the five food groups, it is a great foundation for good nutritional health but when you’re pregnant, it’s important to realise that your body needs more nutrients. For many women, this can be easily added through use of quality nutritional supplements.

Before taking any supplements, consult your doctor and always be sure to support your supplement usage with a wide variety of good-for-you fresh fruits and vegetables.

More Grains for a Healthy Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, increasing your intake of cereals and grains to around 8 serves a day can help your body with extra folate. Choosing mostly wholegrains and high-fibre options is best for both you and your baby.

Drinking plenty of water is also important. Remember, even if you had good drinking habits before your pregnancy, the changing demands of your pregnant body mean that you need to add an extra 750ml-1000ml of fluids each day. A glass or 2 of Oz Farm Pregnancy Formula is ideal!

Eating For Two?

Although your grandmother might advise you about the importance of eating for two, this type of thinking is out-of-date and not good for your peak nutritional needs throughout your pregnancy. Instead of just eating more, it’s about eating slightly differently (and a little more) to ensure your body gets the added measures of nutrients it needs to support your developing baby.

Stages of Pregnancy

During your first trimester, your kilojoule intake should actually be about the same as what it was before you were pregnant so you really don’t need extra food – but you do need be more aware than ever about the quality of the food you choose to put in your body.

During the second and third trimester of your pregnancy, your body’s energy needs will increase. This is a great time to add extra servings of some nutrients, through your diet or by adding supplements, to help your body provide the safe, nutrient-rich environment your baby needs to grow and thrive.

Important Nutrients for Pregnancy

Folic acid (folate)

This B-group vitamin is found in a variety of foods. Folate helps protect against neural tube defects in the developing foetus and it is most important in the very early stages of pregnancy – and also even before conception.

If you are planning a pregnancy, and during the first trimester of your pregnancy, taking folic acid with a minimum of 400 micrograms of folic acid is recommended, in addition to including folate-rich foods, such as asparagus, broccoli, bran flakes, oranges, wheatgerm, parsley, peas and hazelnuts in your diet.

Although liver has a high folate level, its high vitamin A content means it is not suitable for women who are pregnant or planning a pregnancy.


Pregnant women should eat iron-rich foods every day, such as meat, seafood, green leafy vegetables, lentils and dried beans.

It’s recommended that pregnant women have a daily intake of 27mg of iron per day (9mg more than women who aren’t pregnant).

Deficiency in iron is very common for pregnant Australian women and can be helped with additional supplements. Definitely consult with your doctor first because too much iron can be harmful.

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