Essential nutrients you’ll need in your diet when pregnant or breastfeeding. By Deborah Lin.
When expecting or lactating, what you consume is Baby’s main source of nourishment (especially if you are exclusively breastfeeding). Senior dietitian Sarah Sinaram at Diabetes and Endocrine Centre, Raffles Hospital, recommends crucial nutrients that you should be having during this period.
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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)
2. 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)
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)
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)
5. 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)