nutriMum Knows Best – Nutrition For Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
Last month I was invited down to London for the nutriMum Knows Best Pop-Up Nutrition Experience. It was an informative and intimate event focusing on nutrition for pregnancy and breastfeeding. There to help were dietitian Lucy Jones who we often see on TV and midwife Clemmie Hooper who you might know from the Gas & Air blog.
The event was held at Food at 52 which is a lovely cooking school in London. We started the evening with Lucy talking us through some interesting facts about nutrients needed for pregnancy and breastfeeding. Recently, nutrimum conducted a survey of 250 pregnant or breastfeeding women across the UK and it showed that most women know about the importance of folic acid and recognise it as a nutrient recommended by the Government during pregnancy. However, less than a third were aware of the importance of vitamin D in pregnancy and breastfeeding even though it’s part of the Department of Health’s guidelines to take 10 micrograms of vitamin D per day throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Supplementing your diet with these nutrients is of great significance as folic acid plays an important part in protecting against neural tube defects and vitamin D is essential for building strong and healthy bones for both mum and baby.
The survey also shows that mums are unsure about which other key vitamins and nutrients are important to their baby’s health and development. Half were unaware of the role of omega 3 (DHA) on babies’ brain and eye development and only half of the women knew that they should increase their iron intake. A healthy intake of iron supports normal blood formation and the function of the immune system.
The recognition of the need for Iodine was really low and only 11.8% knew of the importance of Iodine. Iodine contributes to normal cognitive function and during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy it contributes to babies’ brain development. I read lots of pregnancy books when I was pregnant with my daughter and I can’t recall reading about Iodine so this is something that needs to be highlighted better. Luckily it’s available in lots of foods that most people eat regularly.
One worrying discovery from this survey is that almost a third of women thought that they should take a vitamin A supplement during pregnancy. This is a concern because vitamin A can pose potential health risks to unborn babies and you are actually supposed to avoid foods high in vitamin A during pregnancy.
After talking this through, Clemmie held a true or false quiz about common misconceptions about what you should and shouldn’t eat when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It was very interesting. I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t eat eggs so for me the main things I needed to change for pregnancy were to avoid alcohol, cut down on caffeine and to not eat soft, mould-ripened cheeses or unpasteurised ones, especially not when they’re not cooked.
Then it was time for a cooking lesson. Lucy had designed some recipes for the occasion and we were taught to cook breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes full of healthy and essential nutrients for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
On the menu were:
- Breakfast: Greek Style Scrambled Eggs on Toast / Mushroom and Spinach on Toast (Vegan option)
- Lunch: Rainbow Lemon and Herby Chicken Salad / Rainbow Lemon and Herby Tofu Salad (Vegan option)
- Dinner: Trout Fillets with Toasted Pine Nuts with Herb, Spinach and Puy Lentil Rice / Fried Tofu with Herb, Spinach and Puy Lentil Rice (Vegan option)
All the dishes were really fast and easy to cook and very fresh and tasty. My favourite was the lunch dish — you could really feel the goodness in all those vegetables! I’m so happy there were egg-free and vegetarian options so that we could all join in.
It was such a great event and I feel very well informed after attending it. It was lots of fun too! Read more about nutrimum on their website and check out my nutrimum review for more information about the pregnancy and breastfeeding products that they make.
Thank you to nutrimum for inviting me to this event!