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7 Foods to Maximise Vitamin D Intake For Breastfeeding and Pregnant Mums 

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient which helps to build strong, healthy bones and teeth. While this is key for everyone, it is especially important for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

7 Vitamin D rich foods for pregnant and breastfeeding mums

While it isn’t uncommon for pregnant women to be deficient in Vitamin D, this can lead to abnormal bone growth, fractures or rickets in newborns. Symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency can be subtle – achy muscles, weakness and bone pain could all be mistaken for ‘regular’ aches and pains or tiredness. You can be deficient in Vitamin D without even knowing it.

We get most of our Vitamin D directly from natural sunlight, and for people in the UK it wouldn’t shock you to know this can be insufficient. However, there are some foods which pregnant and breastfeeding women can include in their diets to boost Vitamin D intake and provide essential nutrients for baby’s development and growth.  

 

Oily fish

Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel and fresh tuna. Oily fish is rich in lots of important vitamins and minerals such as omega-3. Steamed, baked or grilled fish is a healthier choice than fried fish.

 

Red meat

Beef, lamb and pork. Choose lean cuts of meat where you can, and make sure meats are cooked all the way through.

 

Eggs

The yolk is rich in Vitamin D. The NHS advises that pregnant and breastfeeding women can eat raw or lightly cooked hen eggs (such as soft boiled eggs, mousses and fresh mayonnaise) as long as the eggs are produced under a food safety standard called the British Lion Code of Practice. Eggs produced in this way have a red lion logo stamped on their shell. Other eggs should always be cooked thoroughly.

 

Fortified fat spreads

Some spreads are fortified with Vitamin D, making this a simple swap you can make to increase your daily consumption.

 

Fortified breakfast cereals

Some ready-to-eat breakfast cereals are fortified with Vitamin D, so you can kick off your day with a dose of vital nutrients.

 

Mushrooms

Organic mushrooms grown with plenty of access to sunlight contain high levels of Vitamin D. Some studies have shown that exposing a mushroom to an hour of sunlight before eating it produces the same levels of Vitamin D as a supplement.

 

Orange juice

Some juices are fortified with added nutrients like calcium and Vitamin D, making this a convenient way to add them into your diet.

 

 

For more information, read up on NHS nutritional guidelines during pregnancy and breastfeeding 

 

Pregnancy Nutrition Guidelines  https://bit.ly/2xnO6tK 

Breastfeeding Nutrition Guidelines  https://bit.ly/2x2Kafm