Pregnant? Don’t miss out on these key nutrients

If you’re expecting or trying for a baby, you’ve probably cut back on caffeine and ditched alcohol and raw sushi. But there are a few things you need to get more of.

While there are definitely some things your body needs less of, pregnancy also creates extra demands for certain nutrients including iodine, iron, calcium and many vitamins.

You’ll already be getting lots of these from the food you eat, but you may also need to take supplements to ensure optimal health for both you and bub.

The great news for the 30 per cent of us who don’t like swallowing tablets is that pregnancy supplements now come in liquid form – meaning it’s easy to digest and effectively absorbed.

Here are four of the most critical nutritional requirements you’ll need before and during pregnancy:

1. Folic acid

Also known as B9, this vitamin is so crucial you should start taking it months before you conceive.

Not only is it important for your baby’s healthy development in the first weeks of life, reducing the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida, but it also helps make new proteins and healthy red and white blood cells – essential for DNA synthesis and cell division and growth.

As well as eating foods rich in folate, like green leafy vegetables, it is recommended you use supplements with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid at least one month before and three months after conception.

2. Iodine

Iodine is a mineral found in a range of foods including dairy products, seafood, eggs, bread, some vegetables and iodised salt.

You need it while trying to get pregnant as well as during pregnancy and breastfeeding for the normal development of your baby’s brain and nervous system. New studies have revealed iodine may also your child’s literacy skills later in life.

It has been discovered that iodine levels are low in Australian women of child-bearing age, so supplements can help you get enough.

3. Iron

Increased blood volume and the developing placenta place huge demands on the iron stores of expectant mums, which is why many pregnant women need to supplement their daily intake.

As well as preventing amnesia in mums-to-be, iron is essential for delivering oxygen to your baby.

It can also help protect against premature delivery and is especially important during the crucial second half of pregnancy.

4. Calcium

Your developing baby needs calcium for healthy bones, teeth, muscles, nerves and heart as well as to develop a normal heart rhythm and blood clotting abilities.

Calcium can also reduce the risk of hypertension and preeclampsia in expectant mums, so keep up your levels of calcium-rich foods like non-fat milk, yoghurt and broccoli.

Experts say pregnancy can be a good time for bone health for mums, with your body able to absorb more calcium and also busy creating bone-strengthening estrogen.

Your overall skeleton is also getting some inescapable weight training thanks to the weight of your baby!

Creating healthy babies – and adults

NutraCare Australia’s PregmaPlus+ is the first scientifically formulated, multi-stage supplement specifically developed to support women’s changing nutritional requirements from preconception right throughout pregnancy.

A soluble supplement, it provides the highest combined levels of iodine, folic acid, calcium and iron.

It’s also the only maternity supplement with active morning sickness relief as part of its formula.

Proper nutrition before and during pregnancy isn’t just vital for your own health – it’s also essential to the health of your baby now and into adulthood.

This post is brought to you by NutraCare Australia’s PregmaPlus+. Use only as directed.