Feed your pregnancy

What vitamins do you need when expecting a baby and what foods give you the best pregnancy diet?



Phosphorus, along with calcium and magnesium help make up bones and teeth. Lactating women need almost double the amount of phosphorous than other women.


The RNI for 19 years and over is 550mg per day. Breastfeeding women need an extra 440mg per day, making a total of 990mg per day.

Where do I get it from?

  • 600ml semi skimmed milk – 540mg
  • 50g sardines canned in oil – 260mg
  • 40g almonds – 220mg
  • 100g (individual pot) Greek yoghurt – 170mg
  • 20g sesame seeds – 144mg
  • 45g dried figs – 40mg

Vitamin B1

This vitamin helps convert protein and carbohydrate into energy. It is also used in metabolism and brain function. Deficiency can lead to tiredness, weakness, mood swings and lower birth weights.

The RNI for pregnant women rises from 0.8mg a day to 0.9mg a day.

Where do I get it from?

  • 20g tahini paste – 0.19mg
  • 20g (1tbsp) sesame seeds – 0.19mg
  • 20g (1tbsp) sunflower seeds – 0.32mg
  • 50g peanuts – 0.57mg
  • 200g baked potato – 0.74mg
  • 200g pork loin – 1.76mg


This is needed for healthy muscles, blood and energy levels. If iron is lacking it can lead to anaemia. During pregnancy, a baby is delivered enough iron through the placenta, which sometimes deprives the mother of iron.

The RNI (reference nutrient intake) of iron is 14.8mg per day for women. As the average intake in the UK is only 10.5mg it is very important to get iron intake up to avoid deficiency during pregnancy.

Where do I get it from?

  • 110g spinach, raw – 2.31mg
  • 2g (1tbsp) sesame seeds – 2.08mg
  • 20g (1tbsp) tahini paste – 2.12mg
  • 45g (3) figs – 1.89mg
  • 225g rump steak, grilled – 7.90mg
  • 20g (1tbsp) oat / wheat bran – 9.0mg


In the early stages of pregnancy, your body uses this mineral for the process of cell replication. Low intakes of zinc have been linked to low birth weight and slow growth rates.

The recommended intake is 7mg a day for women, even during pregnancy. Though your body needs more now, the guideline stays the same as your body naturally absorbs zinc more efficiently after conception.

Where do I get it from?

  • 225g baked beans – 1.6mg
  • 20g anchovies, canned – 0.64mg
  • 285g stewing lamb – 19.7mg
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts – 1.3mg
  • 50g green lentils – 1.95mg
  • 200g crab meat (½ crab) – 11mg
  • 200g chickpeas – 2.8mg
  • 20g pumpkin seeds – 1.3mg

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