What do we know?
- Pregnancy is one of the most important developmental periods in life.
- Pregnant women should consume plenty of high-quality nutrients essential for the foetus development.
- Pregnant women should also eat foods rich in folate (B vitamins), iron and calcium, to ensure their foetus gets the elements it needs to develop.
- A lack of essential nutrients during pregnancy, when the child’s brain is growing most rapidly, can have very long-term effects on the child’s physical and intellectual development and performance in school.
- Poor nutrition in pregnancy can also cause the child to suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, poor immune system or depression.
- Pregnant women living in disadvantaged situations have more difficulty ensuring proper nutrition.
Paying attention to...
- eat, from the beginning of pregnancy, foods with elements that are essential to foetal development.
- inform all pregnant women, from the beginning of pregnancy, about good eating habits to adopt to keep themselves and their babies healthy.
What can be done?
- Eat foods every day that are rich in folate (spinach), protein (meat, fish, eggs), vitamin A (fatty fish and milk products), vitamin C (fresh parsley, peppers, kiwis, citrus fruit), calcium (milk products) and iron (blood pudding, meat, seafood, fish, beans).
- Eat enriched foods every day, such as iron-enriched cereals.
- Consume more milk, eggs, cheese, fruits and vegetables, nuts and beans.
- Avoid alcohol during pregnancy.
- Guide pregnant women toward health professionals (nutritionists, nurses, doctors).
This article is a publication from the Centre of Excellence for Early Childhood Development.