Pregnancy and breastfeeding nutrient know-how: are you winter-ready?

The kids are back at school, the days are drawing in and those summer BBQs are a distant memory… This can only mean one thing: autumn and winter are fast approaching!

However, whilst we prepare to wrap up, look forward to afternoons in front of the fire and begin to plan for the various festivities, planning for our own health can often get forgotten….

Vitamin D deficiency has been highlighted by the government as a serious concern for babies, children and adults of all ages, and recent advice by the Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) suggests that UK winters do not provide us with enough sunshine to keep suitable vitamin D levels throughout the year.1 Vitamin D is important for the maintenance of strong bones for mum and baby.2 Did you know that the government recommends 10 micrograms (µg) of vitamin D per day throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding?2

This means that during the winter months, mums need to be more vigilant than ever, to ensure that they are achieving their daily dose of vitamin D. However, a recent survey by nutrimum of 250 pregnant and breastfeeding women across the UK, revealed that less than a third (only 1 in 3) pregnant and breastfeeding women are aware of the role of vitamin D in pregnancy and breastfeeding.3

The survey also showed that mums aren’t aware of the other key vitamins and nutrients in pregnancy and breastfeeding that play an important role in supporting the future health of mum and baby:

  • Half of respondents were unaware of the role of omega 3 (DHA) in baby’s brain and eye development and only half of women who recognised the need to increase iron intake, which supports normal blood formation and the normal function of the immune system.3,4,5
  • Iodine recognition was extremely low with only 1 in 10 identifying this as a key nutrient. Iodine contributes to normal cognitive function, and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy it contributes to babies’ brain development.3,6
  • Worryingly, almost a third (28.7%) believed that women should take vitamin A during pregnancy, yet it has been widely reported based on scientific evidence that Vitamin A can pose a potential health risk to unborn babies.7
  •  However, it’s not all bad news! More than two thirds (71%) of respondents correctly identified folic acid as a Government-recommended nutrient and over half were aware of its protective effect against neural tube defects.3,8

    Helping you get the nutrients you need …

     There is now a variety of ways to help mums get the additional nutrients and vitamins that they and their baby need. Nutrimum cereal bars are a convenient alternative to mums’ daily supplements, making it easy for women to fortify their diet in pregnancy and breastfeeding everyday. One nutrimum bar per day helps mum meet Department of Health recommendations, providing 100% of the reference nutrient intake (RNI) of folic acid and vitamin D during pregnancy and 100% RNI of vitamin D during breastfeeding, as well as other key nutrients such as iron, omega 3 (DHA) and iodine.9

    The nutrimum team will be on site at the Baby and Toddler Show on stand number D26
    Come and say hello!
    Looking forward to seeing you there!

    www.nutrimum.co.uk

     

    References

        1. Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition. Draft Vitamin D and Health Report [Online]. 2015. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/447402/Draft_SAC N_Vitamin_D_and_Health_Report.pdf [Accessed: September 2015]
        2. NHS Choices. Vitamins and nutrition in pregnancy [Online]. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/vitamins-minerals-supplements-pregnant.aspx [Accessed: August 2015].
        3. nutrimum. ‘nutrimum Knows Best Survey’ of pregnant and breastfeeding women. July 2015. Data on file.
        4. NHS Choices. Iron deficiency anaemia [Online]. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Anaemia-iron-deficiency-/Pages/Introduction.aspx [Accessed September 2015].
        5. Greenberg JA, Bell SJ et al. Omega-3 Fatty Acid supplementation during pregnancy. Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2008;1(4):162–9.
        6. Skeaff S.A. Iodine Deficiency in Pregnancy: The Effect on Neurodevelopment in the Child Nutrients. Nutrients. 2011;3(2):265–273.
        7. NHS Choice. Vitamin A [Online]. 2015. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Vitamin-A.aspx [Accessed: September 2015]
        8. NHS Choices. Why do I need folic acid in pregnancy? [Online]. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/913.aspx#close [Accessed: August 2015].
      9. nutrimum. Products [Online]. 2015. Available at: http://www.nutrimum.co.uk/products. [Accessed: August 2015.]