To boost your energy and confidence, start eating right throughout your pregnancy. Follow these simple guidelines:
- Eat sufficiently for yourself and your unborn child. But remember: you do not have to double your food portions to achieve this.
- Eat a varied and balanced diet.
- Emphasise on a variety of nutritious foods.
Here are some ideas:
|Vitamin/Mineral||Why you need it||Where to find it|
|Vitamin A||Helps baby’s cells grow and stay healthy||Liver, milk, eggs, red-coloured fruits (papayas, mangoes), orange-coloured vegetables (carrot, pumpkin) & green leafy vegetables.|
|Vitamin B1, B2 & B3||Raise your energy levels and help you and baby have healthy skin.||Legumes, meat, fish, eggs, nuts & ortified products such as bread, cereal & biscuits, whome grains and wholemeal wheat flour.|
|Vitamin E||Helps baby grow and develop healthily.||Vegetable oils, seeds, nuts and cereal grains.|
|Calcium||Creates strong bones for baby and you.||Milk and dairy products, vegetables like spinach, watercress and broccoli, beans and bean products like tofu and tempeh.|
|Folate||Vital for the development of baby’s central nervous system.||Green leafy vegetables, lady’s fingers, asparagus, lentils and legumes, fortified grain products and liver.|
|Iron||Helps in the production of haemoglobin (blood cells) for baby.||Liver, lean meat, chicken, cockles, anchovy (whole), egg, chickpea, fried soya bean curd, fern shoots (pucuk paku), bitter gourd, spinach and kangkung.|
What About Supplements?
The best way to get nutrients is by eating a varied and balanced diet. However, vitamin supplements can also be beneficial, specially if you are unable to meet the exceptionally high demands of certain nutrients, such as iron, from normal diet alone. Folic acid is the only supplement necessary from before pregnancy throughout the trimesters.
You should only take supplements on your doctor’s recommendations. Always remember that supplements do not replace a healthy diet, but rather, it ensures that you are receiving enough nutrients. In fact, supplements work best when you take it as part of a healthy diet.