Nutritious foods, like fruit and vegetables, and also a supplement with folate/folic acid should be at the top of every expectant mum’s shopping list.*
A mother’s lifestyle, including her diet, can significantly affect her child’s future health. A recent study suggests: 25% of a baby’s health over its lifetime is purely pre-determined by genetics.
Up to 75% can be influenced by the interaction between the genes and the mother’s lifestyle, i.e. good nutrition healthy weight of both mother and baby, avoiding stress and not smoking, which is why leading a healthy lifestyle and eating a varied and balanced diet are so important.
400µg is the amount of folate/folic acid women should start taking in supplement form, in addition to a healthy diet at least one month before and up to three months after conception.*
* Supplemental folic acid intake increases maternal folate level. Low maternal folate level is one of the risk factors in the development of neural tube defects in the developing foetus. Therefore it is recommended that women should take 400µg supplemental folic acid daily over a period of at least one month before and up to three months after conception. The association between low maternal folate level as an important risk factor for neural tube defects has been scientifically proven. Apart from this, other factors such as hereditary factors, can also increase the risk of neural tube defects.
** Maternal intake of omega-3 DHA contributes to the normal development of the brain and the eyes of the foetus and the breastfed infant. The beneficial effect is obtained with a daily intake of 200mg DHA in addition to the recommended daily intake for omega-3 fatty acids for adults (i.e. 250mg DHA + EPA)