Pregnancy and breastfeeding are deeply rewarding phases of a woman’s life – but they are also moments when mother and child face great challenges. An environment full of love, peace and security is essential for the mother’s good well-being. On a physical level, it is crucial to get plenty of rest and to meet the body’s increased need for certain vitamins, minerals and important trace elements.
A balanced diet plays a crucial role in the development of the fetus. In short, getting the right nutrients during pregnancy is important to ensure a normal pregnancy and proper development of the child in the womb. As the need for certain nutrients increases during pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is easier to develop deficiencies that could negatively affect the development of the embryo.
Therefore, during pregnancy and breastfeeding, mother and child need a balanced combination of the most important vitamins, minerals and essential trace elements in higher amounts to prevent deficiency symptoms during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and to ensure the optimal well-being of mother and child.
Vitamin C: Is also known as ascorbic acid. Citrus fruits are considered the classic main sources of vitamin C. But many vegetables such as peppers, broccoli and cabbage are also rich in vitamin C. It can support the normal functions of the immune system. It also contributes to a normal metabolism and can reduce tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin C modulates iron absorption in the body and thus also plays an important role in energy production. Furthermore, vitamin C is involved in collagen synthesis. Collagen is responsible for building many tissues in the body, which is why it is important for the development of the eyes, bones, blood vessels and brain. Vitamin C also has strong cell-protective effects. Last but not least, vitamin C can contribute to the regeneration of the reduced form of vitamin E and thus support the positive function of this vitamin.
Vitamin E: As a fat-soluble substance, it is mainly present in cell membranes. It can help protect cells from stress, stabilize the important omega-3 fatty acids and positively influence the function of the immune system. Foods that contain a lot of vitamin E include various oils, nuts, seeds as well as green vegetables.
Vitamin A may contribute to normal iron metabolism and normal immune system function. It also plays a role in the process of cell specialisation. In addition, it can positively support the growth of the placenta and embryonic development. Meat, eggs, dairy products and some types of fish are rich in this vitamin. Other carotenoids such as lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene are natural plant pigments and important for both mother and child. These nutrients are found in many fruits and vegetables.
B vitamins are found in many animal and plant foods such as fish, meat, eggs, nuts and legumes. The vitamin B complexes, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and B12 (cobalamin) are key components of several enzymes that stimulate important metabolic processes. B6 and B12 are especially important during pregnancy. These vitamins can contribute to normal energy metabolism, normal mental function and normal nerve function, among other things.
Vitamin K: Green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and kale, as well as fruit, eggs and dairy products are considered good sources of vitamin K. Vitamin K1 in particular can help maintain normal bones and support normal blood clotting.
Vitamin D can contribute to normal blood calcium levels and normal bone and muscle function. Vitamin D is mainly found in animal foods such as fish, eggs, meat and dairy products.
MCHC: Hydroxyapatite is a special form of calcium and accounts for up to 40% of the respective mass in bone and up to 95% in teeth. Besides calcium, hydroxyapatite also contains phosphorus, a second mineral that is essential for bone formation. It can be absorbed as soon as it is consumed in micronized, i.e. greatly reduced, form.
Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, is found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cucumbers and cabbage. Legumes, nuts and oranges are also rich in folic acid. There is an increased need especially during the first three months of pregnancy. Low maternal folate status is a risk factor for the development of neural tube defects in the growing fetus. Therefore, an additional intake of at least 400 µg folic acid per day is recommended one month before and the three months after conception.
Biotin: Meat, dairy products, nuts, seeds, legumes and mushrooms are rich in this nutrient. Like folic acid, biotin is involved as a co-enzyme in several important metabolic processes. The need for these nutrient increases significantly during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Biotin can contribute to normal energy metabolism and normal functioning of the nervous system.
DHA: Cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna and sardines are rich in DHA. This important omega-3 fatty acid can contribute to the development of the child’s nervous system, eyes, heart and brain, and have a positive effect on the fetus.
Calcium: Certain calcium-containing mineral mixtures have numerous properties. They not only supply the organism with minerals, but can also help regulate the body’s pH value. Calcium is also particularly needed for the normal growth and bone development of the fetus as well as the later newborn.
Piperine is found in black pepper and can increase the bioavailability of various micronutrients.
Iodine: Sea fish and seafood, eggs and cheese and dairy products contain a lot of iodine, it can contribute to normal cognitive function.
Magnesium is found in foods such as cereals, nuts, seeds, pulses, green vegetables and dried fruits. Among other things, it can support proper muscle function.
Iron is found mainly in foods such as dark meat (especially liver, beef and pork). Even though some plant foods such as fruit, vegetables and cereal products contain iron, the body can absorb it much better from animal foods. Iron is important for blood formation. It can also contribute to normal oxygen transport in the body and reduce fatigue and weakness.
Zinc is found among others in meat, dairy products, fish, whole grains, legumes and nuts. It can contribute to normal DNA synthesis and support normal cognitive function. Other minerals such as copper, selenium, manganese, chromium and molybdenum are needed to promote normal energy levels, improve bones, support a normal immune system and more, and support the effects of zinc.