Breastmilk is the best for babies. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. After six months of age, infants should receive age-appropriate foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.​

How Essential is Zinc During Pregnancy?

Did you know that more than 80% of pregnant mothers don’t consume enough zinc? (WHO) Learn which zinc-rich foods can supercharge tissue and DNA growth for your baby during pregnancy. 

Known as the building block of life, zinc is a mineral present in many foods and supports protein synthesis, development of cells and tissue, and metabolism. Zinc also keeps your immune system strong by helping your body protect itself against infections1.

A Good Start for a Healthy Brain

During pregnancy, zinc plays an essential role. It supports your baby’s growth and aids normal brain development, which contributes to future learning and development2. At a time when your baby is growing from a single cell into a little person made of trillions of cells, you can help by ensuring a healthy intake of zinc by taking a well-balanced diet. Maintaining a healthy intake of zinc throughout pregnancy has also been linked to a lower risk of premature birth4.

Consuming Zinc During Pregnancy

Unfortunately, your immune system leaves you more vulnerable to infection3 during pregnancy. Thus, getting the right amount of zinc in your diet is especially important.

Rich sources of zinc include5,6:

•    Well-cooked oysters and shellfish

•    Red meat such as beef

•    Poultry

•    Oatmeal

•    Nuts, beans and soya

•    Dairy products and eggs

How Much Zinc is Enough?

The recommended amount of zinc for during pregnancy is 7 mg per day, which is the same for everybody else. However, your needs rise significantly while breastfeeding, increasing to 13 mg per day until your baby is 4 months old, and falling to 9.5 mg per day beyond that. Worry not if you can’t remember these figures – a well-balanced diet should be enough to supply all the zinc you need5

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8 april 2018

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