Fetus growth every trimester
1-12 months old: Growth of crucial organs (eyes, heart, digestive systems, lungs)
13-27 months: Fetus gains weight, organ begins to operate
28-40 months: Fetus grows weight rapidly, organs mature
Nutritional status of a woman before becoming pregnant:
Determines early embryo and placenta development
The body weight of the mother at conception:
Being underweight or overweight mother puts a pregnancy at risk, and adversely affects later disease risk for the child
Are increased in pregnancy, particularly for some vitamins and minerals
Total food intake:
Mothers do not need to “Eat for two” but “Think for two”. Quality is the key.
Women should have folic acid supplements before pregnancy and during the first trimester, to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Plenty of women of reproductive age have bad Vitamin D status, which is why
Vitamin D is recommended in many countries
The requirements for zinc, omega 3 fatty acid (DHA) rises.
Experts recommend that pregnant mothers have enough intake of omega 3 fatty acid (DHA)
Breast milk is the best food for babies. Breast milk should be given exclusively during the first 6 months of baby's life and it is recommended for two-year-old children, with the appropriate complementary feeding. Infant formulas can be provided upon a recommendation of the medical personnel, only when the mother was unable to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding decreases the risk of:
Breastfeeding plays a central role in mobilising fat stores accumulated during pregnancy thus helping a mother return to her pre-pregnancy weight.
Breastfeeding “reset" maternal metabolism, thereby reducing maternal risk for metabolic disease.**
*Ballard, 2013, **Stuebe, 2009
Short Term Benefits
Protection against gastrointestinal and respiratory infection and allergy.*
Longer Term Benefits
1. Associated with lower incidences of obesity, diabetes
2. Lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure
3. Higher performance in intelligence tests **
(not all studies have demonstrated these benefits conclusively it depends on sample size, timings of end point measurement)
*ESPGHAN, 2009, **Kelishadi et al, 2014
Breastfeeding has benefits for mother & child.
The close contact between the mother and child stimulates the mother to make antibodies and to secrete these in her breast milk.
Two key reasons to start complementary feeding :
Breastfeeding alone is insufficient to meet the increased nutritional requirements in the rapidly developing child.
It is important that a child is introduced to solid food with new tastes and textures to develop healthy eating habits.
It is important to introduce appropriate complementary (or weaning) foods to children by 6 months of age.
Texture progression is important in the first year of life
Textures develop oral motor capabilities, reduce risk of feeding problems and optimise the acceptance of healthy foods.
Young Children have Specific Nutritional Requirement
They need up to 7 times more nutrients than an adult ( per kg body weight ). Therefore, with every spoon, a child has to eat significantly more nutrients than an adult.
Children in aged 1-2 years require nutrients ( per kg body weight ) higher than require of adults person.
Example young children need 5.5 times as much iron per kg as adults.
Dietary protein is essential for the supply of nitrogen and amino acids to synthesise body protein for muscles, organs and as the foundation of tissues, but too much protein may be a risk for the development of obesity.
Vitamin D (& calcium) are essential to bone health, key for children as they have a high rate of skeletal growth.
Iron, in the form of haemoglobin, delivers oxygen to the growing organs. Iron is also required for brain development , i.e. the formation of myelin and neuronal growth. Iron deficiency in early life is linked with developmental and behavioural problems.*
Iodine is a component of the thyroid hormones regulating metabolic activity and growth.
Zinc is essential for the structure or action of many enzymes that have a metabolic function, e.g. in cartilage growth.
Vitamin A is needed for growth, immune function and vision.