Nutrients During Pregnancy

What nutrients are required during a pregnancy?

A balanced diet provides all of the main food types that are required for both mother and baby during a pregnancy. The main food groups are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates,
which is explained below...


What is the role of protein?
Proteins are required to construct and renew body tissue cells. They are made up of 20 different essential amino acids.

What are the recommended daily intake levels?

During a pregnancy, about 80 grams of protein from various sources is often recommended. About 10 grams are used during the whole 1st trimester, then 10g per week during the second and 10g per day during the third.

Which foods are a good source of protein?

  • Vegetables: Lentils, peas, cereals.
  • Animal products: All meats, fish, eggs, milk, cheese.


What is the role of carbohydrates?
Carbohydrates are basically sugars. These provide fuel for the body to burn up. They also play a role in other bodily functions such as blood clotting, cell communication, development and the immune system.

What are the recommended daily intake levels?

There is no standard, however, it is often recommended that about 55% of energy requirements are provided by carbohydrates (as opposed to allowing the body to convert fats or proteins).

Which foods are a good source of carbohydrates?

  • Vegetables: Potatoes, sugar products.
  • Pulses, cereals & nuts: Bread, pasta, beans, cereals.


What is the role of fat?
Fat is another source of energy to the body and is required for the structure and functioning of living cells, as well as being required for the transport of vitamins A, D, E & K. During pregnancy, they are also essential to the baby's nervous system development.

What are the recommended daily intake levels?

Fat consumption should not exceed 30% of daily food consumption. Essential fatty acids fro oils or fish are preferred to animal sourced saturated fats.

Which foods are a good source of fat?

  • Pulses, cereals & nuts: Margarine, plant oils, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts.
  • Animal products: Meats, oily fish, egg yolks, milk, cheese, butter.

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