Join the enews community - Terms
Filter by Categories

Recent studies show women concerned about nutrition during pregnancy

Reading time: 4 minutes



Early life, from conception through to infancy, is a period of growth and development more rapid and significant than at any other stage of life. This critical period, also known as the ‘First 1,000 Days’ provides a window of opportunity to ensure both mother and baby are getting the optimal levels of key nutrients through diet to promote a healthful pregnancy and start to life.

Recent studies suggest that diet changes throughout pregnancy such as food cravings, morning sickness and loss of appetite can leave women feeling worried about the loss of control over their diet and nutrition.

Cytoplan recently conducted a study of 500 mothers who have had a baby in the last six years and found 8 in 10 experienced food cravings, with 53 per cent feeling worried about the effect their diet was having on their overall wellbeing. Of the expecting mums, 63 per cent lost their appetite completely, stating loss of sleep and morning sickness as contributing factors. As a result, two-thirds were left worrying about whether they were getting the optimal nutrition needed in order to have a healthy pregnancy and to nourish their growing baby.

It is widely known that a folic acid supplement is strongly advised by healthcare professionals from conception to support babies as they grow but what does ‘optimal nutrition’ mean and what are the important vitamins and minerals required to support the first 1,000 days of life? Below we take a look at the key nutrients required and the important role nutrition plays during this critical period of time.

Folic Acid

Folic Acid (or folate) plays a crucial role in pregnancy and foetal development as it is essential for cell division and tissue growth, it is also recognised as one of the key nutrients required for the formation and development of a baby’s brain. Folate can be sourced from plant-based foods including green leafy vegetables, cabbage, legumes, whole grain products, tomatoes and oranges.

Vitamins: B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin A

B12 works together with Folic acid, Vitamin D is important to ensure healthy bone growth and can help support against postpartum depression and Vitamin A is essential for formation of organs in the foetus and plays a role in immune function. Together these vitamins are vital to ensure the healthy growth of baby and the health of mum too. You can get all of these vitamins from diet, however where there may be a gap caused by diet changes, it might be useful to support with high quality vitamin supplements.

Minerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Iron, Zinc

Calcium supports bone growth in baby but may also help to maintain healthy bone density in mums too.

Magnesium is essential in women’s health and it is estimated that over half of the women in the UK are deficient in this mineral, which helps to reduce incidences of high blood pressure and is important for insulin balance, glucose control and can even help with leg cramps and sleep too!

Iodine is an essential nutrient for baby growth and also supports thyroid function in mum, while maintaining iron levels is essential for pregnancy and brain function for both mum and baby. Zinc is required for the activity of over 300 enzymes and is essential for life, growth, and development too!

Omega 3

While pregnant it’s advised to eat two portions of oily fish per week but avoid larger fish such as tuna as this is more likely to contain ocean toxins and heavy metals. Omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the risk of preterm birth, low birthweight and pre-eclampsia. Omega 3 plays a role in the immune system and might reduce the risk of atopic conditions such as eczema, asthma, allergies and respiratory conditions.


The mother’s gut flora play an essential role in fertility, pregnancy and the health of the baby and a balanced gut microbiota has been shown to protect against atopic conditions such as allergy, eczema and asthma in babies. It is also essential for the development of the baby’s immune system.

So, whether you are planning for a baby, currently pregnant or have recently become a mother, providing your body with the right levels of key nutrients is one of the best things you can do to support your health and the health of your baby. Very high intakes of some nutrients are not recommended in pregnancy, but taking a balanced pregnancy multivitamin to bridge any nutritional gaps can be a safe and supportive solution.

Pregna-Plan is a wholefood supplement formula comprising optimal levels of all key nutrients necessary for both the health of mum and baby before and during pregnancy, and through breastfeeding. The formula comprises wholefood minerals that are gentle and effective, being used by the body in the same way as nutrients from food. To find out more about Cytoplan’s pregnancy multivitamin supplement; Pregna-Plan.

For information about the role of nutrition before, during and after pregnancy head to Cytoplan’s Pregnancy health insight by clicking here.

What do you think? Start a conversation over on the... WDDTY Community

  • Recent Posts

  • Copyright © 1989 - 2024 WDDTY
    Publishing Registered Office Address: Hill Place House, 55a High Street Wimbledon, London SW19 5BA
    Skip to content