The Ideal Nutrition Guide for Moms-to-Be

There is certainly a lot of information, advice and support out there for mums-to-be, especially around eating well during pregnancy. But some of this advice can be conflicting. HARTMANN Direct take a look at the latest nutritional guide for pregnant women in the UK.

This nutrition guide is exactly that – it is meant as a general guide to healthy eating during pregnancy. For specific concerns or if you have questions, seek answers for your doctor, practice nurse, pharmacist or midwife. 

It’s a special time in your life and one in which many women think about their diet and lifestyle. Being pregnant and eating well not only helps you but has an impact on the short and long-term health of your baby.

Essentially, the basic principles of a healthy diet stay the same. You should eat a balanced diet of carbohydrates, include plenty of fruit of vegetables along with a moderate amount of lean meat, fish and other protein sources, such as eggs and pulses.

You should also eat moderate amounts of dairy, limiting food and drinks that are high-fat and high-sugar.

But it isn’t just about what you eat, but about how you prepare it. During pregnancy, you need to alert to food preparation and good hygiene too.

As well as a balanced diet, you may find that you need supplements during pregnancy but always check that anything you take is safe during pregnancy.


Folic acid 

You may already know that increasing your folic acid as you are trying to conceive and in the early months of pregnancy is considered an important move. It is naturally present in much but increasing your intake of folic acid will lower the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs).

The recommended dose is 400 µg daily.

Find out more about folic acid during pregnancy here.

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is important in the growth and development of baby’s bones, as well as maintaining the health of yours too.

Our body makes vitamin D when it is exposed to sunshine but you can also get vitamin D from food such as oily fish, fat spreads and eggs.

We don’t always get enough vitamin D all round from the sun in the UK so it may be necessary to take a vitamin D supplement. Your midwife will guide you.

Vitamin A 

Another important vitamin for your health and your baby’s, you need to be aware that too much vitamin A can lead to problems.

In pregnancy, avoid eating liver and products containing liver, such as pate as they are very high in vitamin A. neither should you take any supplements that contain fish liver oil or vitamin A.



You may need more iron during pregnancy to ensure that your baby receives enough oxygen and nutrients.

However, iron supplements are not automatically offered during pregnancy because the body adapts to absorbing more iron during this time.

But some pregnant women can develop an iron deficiency and this should be medically managed rather than by taking supplements.

Eat red meat, as well as pulses, nuts, eggs and green, leafy vegetables. As well as iron-rich foods, make sure you eat plenty of foods containing vitamin C at the same time as this aids the absorption of iron.

Omega 3 fatty acids 

Found in oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, omega 3 fatty acids are important for the development of your baby’s brains and eyes.

But don’t overdo it – eat oily fish in moderation, around two portions a week. It is possible for fish to contain low-levels of pollutants but don’t give up fish completely.


An important nutrient for strong bones, calcium demands tend to be higher in late pregnancy. Nature is amazing with your body adapting in late pregnancy to give your baby all that it needs, including the 20 to 30g of calcium for the baby’s skeleton.

Make sure your diet contains calcium-rich foods, such as yogurts and milk, but opt for lower-fat options such as semi-skimmed milk and so on.


Staying hydrated during pregnancy is also important although some women struggling with incontinence may cut back on what they drinking and when.

During pregnancy, you may find it better to sip water through the day tailing off your drinking in the early evening to help manage your sleep and night time toilet visits.

But don’t stop drinking because being dehydrated during pregnancy is uncomfortable and may also increase the problems of urinary incontinence.

Eating a varied diet and staying active are both helpful during pregnancy. If you have any questions, talk to your midwife.

Providing a discreet delivery service as well as high-quality incontinence products, many pregnant women and new mums rely on HARTMANN Direct during and after pregnancy.