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Pregnancy and breast-feeding

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During pregnancy and breast-feeding, a number of physiological changes occur which lead to an increase in the requirements of some nutrients for normal foetal development and the child's adequate growth. This increase requires the mother to maintain a balanced, varied diet.

Why is taking supplements important?

Taking supplements during pregnancy is important to optimise the proper development of the foetus and prevent possible complications. Pregnant women must be well nourished and keep this up throughout pregnancy, even after giving birth. During the breast-feeding period, in addition to the normal maternal requirements, their diet must cover everything needed to feed the newborn baby during the first months of its life.

In Western countries, the intake of certain vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, B complex vitamins, vitamin E, etc. can be lower than recommended in some cases (in unbalanced diets, vegetarian or lacto-ovo vegetarian diets, restricted meat consumption, multiple pregnancies, adolescent pregnancies, people that smoke and/or consume alcohol, etc.). In these situations, supplements with multivitamins are recommended to help pregnant women to obtain the right level of nutrition before, during and after the pregnancy.

The importance of vitamin D in pregnancy

Vitamin D during a pregnancy is essential. Inadequate levels of vitamin D are associated with certain gynaecological disorders that can make it difficult to become pregnant. With regard to vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy, it has been associated with different foetal, neonatal and maternal complications. In the first years of life, it is associated with alterations in the programming of bone development, some chronic diseases and even an increase in mortality.

It is estimated that, in Spain, vitamin D deficiency in pregnancy affects up to 60% of women. That is why, in addition to diet and adequate sun exposure, supplements are recommended. In general, the recommended dose to prevent vitamin D deficiency during pregnancy is 1000 IU per day.

Tips for healthy eating during pregnancy

During pregnancy, it is more necessary than ever to follow a healthy diet that contributes to the proper development of the foetus. Health professionals recommend following these tips:

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