Healthy Eating

Having a new baby may take the focus away from your own nutrition and health, however it’s essential that you make eating and drinking a priority as it can help you to stay healthy and active, and ensure you are able to look after your baby.

Eating a varied well balanced diet is just as important in the weeks after your baby is born, as it was while you were pregnant.

Click here for healthy eating information for new mothers.

 

Vitamin D

All adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, need 10 micrograms (10mcg) of vitamin D a day, and should consider taking a supplement containing this amount.

Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are needed to keep bones, teeth and muscles healthy.

Our bodies make vitamin D when our skin is exposed to summer sunlight (from late March/early April to the end of September). It’s not known exactly how much time is needed in the sun to make enough vitamin D to meet the body’s needs, but if you are out in the sun take care to cover up or protect your skin with sunscreen before you start to turn red or burn.

Vitamin D is also in some foods, including:

  • oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines)
  • eggs
  • red meat

 

Vitamin D is added to all infant formula milk, as well as some breakfast cereals, fat spreads and non-dairy milk alternatives. The amounts added to these products can vary and might only be small.

As vitamin D is found only in a small number of foods, whether naturally or added, it might be difficult to get enough from foods alone. So everyone over the age of five years, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D.

Most people aged five years and over in the UK will probably get enough vitamin D from sunlight in the summer, so you might choose not to take a vitamin D supplement during these months.

 

Healthy Start

If you’re pregnant or have a child under 4, the UK Welfare Healthy Start scheme can help you buy basic foods like milk or fruit. It aims to improve the health of pregnant women, infants, children and their families on benefits or low incomes.

If you qualify, you’ll get vouchers worth £3.10 each to spend on:

  • milk
  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • plain frozen fruit and vegetables
  • infant formula

 

You can also get free vitamin supplements.

For more information speak to your Health Visitor team, ask at your local Children’s Centre or visit the Healthy Start or call 0845 607 6823