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Pre-pregnancy diet

A well-balanced pre-pregnancy diet will help provide the nutrients you need for good health and vitality, and set you on the right track to conceive.

It’s important for women who are trying for a baby to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet in combination with a pre-pregnancy supplement, like Elevit®Pronatal, every day. Doing so will help provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs to help with a healthy pregnancy.

Getting sufficient nutrients through food alone can be hard

Even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to meet the increased nutritional needs of pregnancy through diet alone. For example, you’d need to eat the following amount of foods every day to reach the recommended requirements of the following 3 essential nutrients for pregnancy2,4:

  1. Folic acid: around 600μg from Dark green vegetables, Fruits, Liver etc.
  2. Calcium: 1,000-1300mg from Milk ,cheese, yoghurt etc.
  3. Iron: around 27mg from Meats, Liver, Green vegetables etc.

That’s why pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplements like Elevit®Pronatal have been developed to help meet the increased nutritional needs throughout pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Woman making fruit salad

Eating for fertility

Despite this, a healthy and well-balanced eating plan for both you and your partner, can support your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.

The basis of a healthy diet

A healthy eating plan contains a balance of different kinds of nutritious foods. The Hong Kong’s Department of Health recommends a daily diet that includes 3 or more serves of vegetables, 2 or more serves of fruit, 3-4 serves of grains like rice or pasta, 5-6 serves of meats or fish, and 1-2 serves of low fat dairy.2

Also, some foods like saturated fats, salt and sugar are not good for us if eaten too much. To help reduce the amount of these in your diet, it’s recommended to switch to unsaturated fats like oils and spreads instead of butter, and cut down the amount of processed or fast food you eat.

Your water intake is also very important to your health. Aim to drink at least 6-8 cups a day.

It’s also recommended to follow this simple advice when it comes to planning a pregnancy2:

  1. Avoid alcohol. The safest option is to stop drinking whilst trying to conceive, pregnant and breastfeeding.
  2. Avoid foods that may contain listeria. These include deli favourites like soft cheeses, paté, cold meats, pre-prepared salads, raw or smoked seafood and raw eggs. Make sure any eggs, meat and fish you eat is cooked right through.
  3. Be choosy with your fish. Avoid fish that contains high levels of methy-lmercury. (e.g. shark, marlin, swordfish, alfonsino, king mackerel, some species of tuna and other large predatory fish)
Pregnancy increases your need for certain vitamins and minerals that are essential to support the development of a healthy baby.
Food platter

Nutritional needs increase when pregnant

There are 3 main reasons why it’s important to take a pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplement like Elevit®Pronatal while planning to conceive:

  1. Pregnancy is one of the most nutritionally demanding periods you can go through. In fact, whilst pregnant, the recommended dietary intake of nutrients increases by up to 150%.4 Even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to guarantee you’ll get sufficient quantities through diet alone.
  2. The first few weeks of pregnancy are a critical time in baby’s development. This is when the neural tube that forms baby’s brain and spinal cord develops. Often by the time you find out that you’re pregnant, a little person is already coming to life. To ensure that your baby has the essential nutrients during the first few weeks of critical development, start staking Elevit®Pronatal when you start trying to conceive.11
  3. It can take time for your body to build up the essential nutrients it needs to prepare for the increased requirements of pregnancy. Elevit®Pronatal is formulated to meet the increased needs of mother-to-be and help provide her growing baby with the best possible nutritional support throughout its whole development. So, start taking Elevit®Pronatal when you start trying for a baby.11

Key vitamins and minerals that are essential to baby’s healthy development include folic acid and iron:

Folic acid

During the first few weeks of pregnancy, before most women find out that they’re pregnant, the neural tube has already developed, or closed. The neural tube forms the baby’s brain and spinal cord, which is essential to the central nervous system. A woman’s nutritional folate status can play an important role in the formation of the neural tube.22 Folic acid, the supplemental form of folate, is clinically proven6 to reduce the risk of congenital malformation. Therefore it’s important to take a pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplement with folic acid while you’re planning to conceive like Elevit®Pronatal.

Iron

Iron demand increases during pregnancy and infancy. Iron supplementation will be necessary to help prevent iron deficiency conditions12, especially for pregnant women and children 6-24 months of age.

Elevit®Pronatal supports you through planning for pregnancy

Elevit®Pronatal is specifically formulated for women who are trying to conceive, pregnant and breastfeeding. Folic acid is clinically proven6 to reduce the risk of congenital malformation, iron helps prevent dietary iron deficiency conditions12. In fact, Elevit®Pronatal contains 19 necessary nutritions of a pregnant woman, include folic acid, iron and calcium, to support the healthy development of your baby.

Elevit®Pronatal is a once daily tablet that can be taken any time of the day. Ideally start taking Elevit®Pronatal from planning for pregnancy, during pregnancy and throughout breastfeeding.11

You may need to make other lifestyle changes

As well as adopting a healthy pre-pregnancy diet and getting sufficient nutrients, you should take a look at your lifestyle choices. You may need to make changes there too, to increase your chances of a happy, healthy pregnancy.

References:

  • 2. fhs.gov.hk (2015) Family Health Service, Department of Health: Your pregnancy guide. Retrieved 20 Jan 2016, from http://www.fhs.gov.hk/english/health_info/woman/30005.pdf
  • 4. Otten JJ, Hellwig JP, Meyers LD. (2006) Dietary Reference Intakes The Essential Guide to Nutrient Requirements (p532-535) Washington D.C.,: National Academy of Sciences.
  • 6. Czeizel (2004) Int J Med Sci 1(1) 50-61
  • 11. ELEVIT®Pronatal Package Insert 02/2013
  • 12. J. Stoltzfus, R. and L. Dreyfuss, M. (n.d.). Guidelines for the Use of Iron Supplements to Prevent and Treat Iron Deficiency Anemia. p.11.
  • 22. Blencowe H., Cousens S., Modell B. & Lawn J. (2010). Folic acid to reduce neonatal mortality from neural tube disorders. International Journal of Epidemiology