Important notice to customers — product packaging changesLearn More

NEW FOOD PACKAGING IN STORE NOW

From August 2018, customers will notice our rebranded food packaging start to appear on shelf in all major stockists.

  • CURRENT Packaging
  • new Packaging

We are excited to announce our new packaging will start to appear on shelf from August 2018. This transition to new packaging will occur over a number of months. During this time there will be a mix of current and new packaging on shelf.

There are no major changes to these products, in some instances there is a small name change or slight recipe improvement, see below for the full details.

Products purchased via the website will be delivered to customers in our old packaging until the end of October. From November, products ordered from the website will be delivered in the new packaging.

Please note, our Infant Formula packaging will not be rebranded until later in 2019.

For any questions, connect with our team of accredited practising Dietitians on +61 3 6332 9200

Product name changes

  • Cereal Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Baby Rice
  • NEW Packaging Organic Rice with Prebiotic (GOS) Note: Our Baby Rice recipe has been upgraded to now include GOS Prebiotic
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Vanilla Rice Custard
  • NEW Packaging Organic Milk & Vanilla Baby Rice
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Porridge
  • NEW Packaging Organic Apple & Cinnamon Baby Porridge
  • Ready To Serve Name Changes
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Banana, Pear & Mango
  • New Packaging Organic Banana, Pear, Apple & Mango
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Mango, Blueberry & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Blueberry, Mango & Apple
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Peach & Apple
  • New Packaging Organic Grape, Apple & Peach
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Pumpkin & Tomato Risotto
  • New Packaging Organic Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Tomato
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Broccoli, Beef & Brown Rice
  • New Packaging Organic Beef & Vegetables
  • Note: We have also upgraded some of our RTS recipes to remove added sugars and to remove some of the more complex ingredients that are not required for young children such as Tamari.
  • RUSKS NAME CHANGES
  • CURRENT Packaging Organic Milk Rusks Toothiepegs
  • New Packaging Organic Milk Rusks
Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Nutrition for Mums/What to Eat During Pregnancy/Essential Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients for Pregnant Mums

Essential Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrients for Pregnant Mums

Pregnancy is one of life’s greatest moments a woman can go through. It can be turbulent, rocky, magical and exhausting. Pregnancy can put a strain on a woman’s body, and therefore healthy eating is important to provide the nutrients that both mum and baby need. There are some vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that are essential to both you and your growing baby. We provide a comprehensive list of all the nutrients you should include in your diet which can be obtained from fresh food and your pregnancy supplement.

1. What are the important vitamins to consume during pregnancy

Vitamins are considered essential nutrients, performing hundreds of roles in the body. They help boost your immunity, strengthen your bones, heal wounds, support eyesight, and assist you in obtaining energy from food. Without adequate vitamin intake you may feel lethargic, be vulnerable to infection, or risk developing serious complications that can impact you and your baby’s health.

NutrientFoods
Folate Green leafy vegetables, wholegrain cereals, legumes, broccoli, asparagus, seeds and nuts, avocado, cauliflower, beets, celery
Vitamin DCod liver oil, fatty fish such as salmon, egg yolks and cheese, fortified cereals, soy products
Vitamin CCapsicum, guava, kiwi fruit, citrus, berries, kale, spinach

Folate

Folate is a B vitamin that every cell in the body needs for healthy growth and development. It’s part of an enzyme needed for making DNA and new cells, especially red blood cells. Folic acid is the synthetic version of folate that is added to multivitamins and pregnancy-specific vitamins. A woman’s nutritional folate status can play an important role in the formation of the neural tube. An adequate intake of folate/folic acid is crucial during the early stages of pregnancy and assists in preventing defects of the brain and spine (neutral tube defects (NTD)); a condition known as Spina Bifida.

During pregnancy, a supplement containing around 600 micrograms of folic acid is recommended. This should always be checked with your doctor to ensure you are meeting your specific requirements. While pregnancy supplements often meet daily folate requirements in pregnancy, maintaining an optimal dietary intake should always be the primary goal. This is as we receive much more than just nutrients when we consume folate via natural foods. Even if you are not consuming a significant amount of food at this time, a serve of leafy green vegetables, an orange, some avocado and a fortified cereal will tick the box for dietary folate during the early stages of your pregnancy.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium, a mineral that helps your baby’s bones, teeth, heart, muscles and nerves develop. A foetus depends solely on the Vitamin D status of their mother. Whilst requirements do not increase during pregnancy, it is important that women have adequate levels at time of conception, which can be assessed by a doctor. Whilst you can acquire some Vitamin D through food, the majority of Vitamin D is synthesised through a series of reactions in the body that are fuelled by the sun. Therefore, it is important to obtain some sensible time outdoors, both before and during your pregnancy to maintain your levels. A vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy can cause problems with growth and skeletal deformities. It may also have an impact on birth weight and, should your baby be low on vitamin D at birth, they are exposed to rickets (a disease that can lead to fractures and deformity), abnormal bone growth, and delayed physical development. Recent research has shown that Vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy is associated with improved infant growth. Therefore, Vitamin D is often included in pregnancy supplements, but this should be discussed further with you doctor to ensure the amount is adequate for your specific needs.

Vitamin C

Whist Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is essential for tissue repair, wound healing, bone growth, and healthy skin. Vitamin C requirements increase during pregnancy from 45mg/day to 60mg/day although this increase can be easily achieved through the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables. Vitamin C aides the absorption of iron. During pregnancy, the amount of blood in your body increases by almost 50%, meaning a lot more iron is required. You also need extra iron for your growing baby and placenta, so vitamin C is essential in helping the efficiency of absorption of Iron through food.

2. What are the important minerals to consume during pregnancy

NutrientFoods
IronRed meat, spinach, eggs, lentils
Calcium Milk, cheese, yoghurt, broccoli, sesame seeds
ZincMeat, shellfish, seeds, nuts, dairy, eggs, wholegrains
Iodine Salmon, seaweed, dairy products, fortified table salt (iodised salt)

Iron

Iron is an important mineral in the body involved in many functions including transport of oxygen in the blood. Iron is critical for rapidly developing and proliferating cells. During foetal development, iron plays a profound role in organ development, particularly the brain. The requirements for Iron increase during pregnancy from 18mg/day to 27mg/day and this is due to a rise in maternal blood volume, growth of the foetus and placenta. Iron deficiency in women of child bearing age is common with 20% of adult women reporting low iron or low iron stores. Low iron levels can leave you feeling exhausted and when coupled with the added pressures of pregnancy, can exacerbate feelings of fatigue. If you consume foods rich in iron such as red meat, eggs and lentils, by adding sources of Vitamin C such as citrus or capsicum will help to enhance the absorption. A pregnancy supplement will usually contain iron however, if you become deficient before or during your pregnancy, you doctor may prescribe additional supplementation to help boost your levels.

Calcium

Calcium is an important mineral that helps us with bone and tooth development and plays a crucial role in other systems of the body, such as the health and functioning of nerves and muscle tissue. The growing foetus will acquire calcium through the mother to assist with skeletal development. Calcium requirements do not increase during pregnancy as absorption of calcium is enhanced during this time. It is however, important that sources of calcium continue to be consumed through food in the duration of your pregnancy to maintain an intake of 1000mg/day. This can be achieved by consuming 2-3 serves of dairy per day, otherwise if you do not eat dairy, you could include a variety of tofu, fortified nut milks, tinned salmon/sardines and broccoli into your diet. A supplement may be suggested to you by your doctor if you are not meeting your daily intake through food.

Zinc

Zinc is a component of various enzymes that help maintain structural integrity of proteins and help regulate gene expression which is particularly important as the foetus grows and develops. Zinc is important for rapid cell growth that occurs during pregnancy and the requirements for zinc increase from 8mg/day to 11mg/day.

Iodine

Iodine is an essential nutrient for the growth and normal development of the brain and nervous system of babies and young children. In addition, Iodine plays a crucial role in the functioning of the thyroid gland and low levels over time. Pregnancy increases your need for iodine, and your developing baby is solely dependent on you for an adequate supply. The requirement for Iodine increases from 150 µg/day to 220 µg/day. Iodine is a nutrient less frequently spoken about yet it is a nutrient that up to 50% of pregnant and breastfeeding women are deficient in. This can result in fertility issues, mental retardation, lower infant IQ and miscarriage. For these reasons ensure both supplements and diet include iodine.

3. What other nutrients are important?

NutrientFoods
Omega 3 DHAOily fish such as salmon, trout, and sardines
CholineEggs, poultry, salmon, beef and dairy
ProbioticsYoghurt, Kefir*, Kombucha*
PrebioticsSweet potato, legumes, artichoke, asparagus, onion, garlic, cabbage, banana, bran, barley, oats, almond

**Not recommended in pregnancy

Omega 3 DHA

Omega 3 fatty acids are important nutrients to consume. Two Omega 3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA may help reduce inflammation and your risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease. DHA supports healthy brain function and eye health and deficits during early life can have long-term impacts on brain function. Whilst the body can make small amounts of DHA, the body is reliant on adequate intake through food to support these body functions. Omega 3 DHA plays an important role in the developing foetal brain and consumption both through diet and supplementation has shown to help support longer gestation and reduce the risk of pre-term births <37weeks. Gestational age (time the baby is in womb) has been shown to be one important indicator of a child’s brain development, long term behaviour and learning.

Choline

Choline is an essential vitamin-like nutrient that whilst we can manufacture in the body, the amount is not enough to service the requirements both during and outside of pregnancy. Choline has several important functions in the body which include:

  • A healthy nervous system – involved in making an important chemical in the body involved in memory and muscle movement
  • DNA synthesis – important for new cells, new tissue, new growth
  • Cell messaging and structure– involved in making the appropriate fats that make up the lining of cells
  • Fat transport and metabolism – Choline assists with removing cholesterol from the liver to prevent build-up

Most interestingly, new research has recognised the importance of Choline in maternal diet as it plays a significant role in infant brain and eye development, with inadequate intakes during pregnancy and early life leading to visual and neurocognitive deficit.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

There is a lot of research now on the role of gut microflora on long term health. Microflora is the term used to describe all the bacteria and other organisms that feed off our food in the large bowel, that consequently impacts on our health.

Probiotics can be supplemented during pregnancy (although not essential) or consumed through foods such as yoghurt which aims to help maintain healthy gut microflora to support general health and wellbeing and immune and digestive support.

  • Recent research has shown that a probiotic containing Lactobacillusrhamnosus HN001 may help reduce the risk of eczema in young children with a family history, when taken during pregnancy, breastfeeding and in the first two years of life

Prebiotics are undigestible fibre found in various foods that gut bacteria will feed and ferment in the large bowel. The by-products of this fermentation are what provide the health benefits. So prebiotic foods are important to consume during pregnancy to help maintain healthy gut microflora.

3. Is supplementation important?

Supplementation is recommended in conjunction with a healthy and balanced diet to support the increased nutritional demands during pregnancy- particularly for Iodine, Iron, Zinc and Folate. A pregnancy supplement should be taken prior to pregnancy and for at least the first 3 months of pregnancy. Consult with your doctor to find the right supplement for you. You may have to correct any underlying nutritional deficiencies before conceiving such as Vitamin D, Calcium and Iron.

Summary: During pregnancy, there are a number of increased nutritional requirements that must be supported by a healthy and balanced diet coupled with a pregnancy supplement. These nutrients are involved in the growth and development of your baby in addition to supporting your increased nutritional needs during pregnancy. A deficiency in any of these nutrients may have serious and long-lasting effects on your baby so it is important to check your levels with your doctor and ensure you maintain your pregnancy supplements coupled with a balanced and healthy diet.

General Tips:

  1. There are a number of vitamins that should be considered during pregnancy. Of most importance is Folate, Vitamin D and Vitamin C
  2. There are a number of minerals that should be considered during pregnancy. Of most importance is Calcium, Iodine and Iron
  3. Other nutrients to consider during pregnancy include Omega 3 DHA, Choline, Prebiotics and Probiotics.
  4. A pregnancy supplement can help to ensure you do not become deficient in any of these nutrients. You should always seek advice from your healthcare professional to determine the right supplement for you.

Disclaimer: The content of this document is solely for educational purposes and should not be substituted for medical advice. You are solely responsible for forming your own opinions and conclusions on such matters and for making your own independent assessment of the information. Please consult your doctor if you are concerned about your baby’s health.

About the author

Marisa Nastasi is an Accredited Practising Dietitian for Bellamy’s Organic. She specialises in children's nutrition and has recently completed further studies in paediatric dietetics. She has worked in the industry for 8 years and has developed a strong working knowledge on how good quality diets can benefit the health of children so that they can develop to their full potential.

Important Notice to Parents and Guardians

  • The World Health Organisation recommends that breastfeeding is best for your baby.
  • Having a balanced diet when breastfeeding is also important. Infant Formulas should only be used after you’ve sought advice from a doctor or health practitioner.
  • A decision not to breastfeed can be difficult to reverse and introducing partial bottle feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk. It is also wise to consider the cost of infant formula.
  • If you use infant formula, all preparation and feeding instructions must be followed as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This is important for your baby’s health.