Cat How important is nutrition in pregnancy?
In order to grow your baby draws on your own reserves for any nutritional element that it cannot get from your daily nutrient intake. The better your diet has been before pregnancy, the better your nutritional reserves will be.
In addition, much research has been done to identify specific windows in pregnancy when you can influence key stages of your baby’s development by making sure you get plenty of certain nutrients. For example, the brain and spinal cord develop from an embryonic structure called the neural tube. This starts to form by the 28th day after fertilization and it has been shown that taking a folic acid supplement before and during early pregnancy significantly reduces the incidence of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida. Another example comes in the second trimester when your baby has several growth spurts and needs a good supply of calcium. If you are not eating enough calcium-rich foods, the baby will draw on your reserves and, in so doing, will deplete your body of calcium. Similarly, if you are iron-deficient, your baby will draw on your iron reserves, leaving you anaemic and exhausted.