The Importance Of A Balanced Diet During Pregnancy

Christine Tjahjadi

We all know that having a balanced diet on a daily basis is important. However, the moment you fall pregnant, there is an added responsibility you carry with you when it comes to eating well. The food that the expectant mum consumes becomes the main source of nutrients for her growing fetus.

What you eat during pregnancy is important to support your nutritional needs and helps fuel the development of the fetus inside you. Therefore, it is important that you get sufficient amounts of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals throughout the pregnancy.

Your life’s special moments should be supported with essential nutrients to ensure an optimum pregnancy.

Why Do We Need to Have A Balanced Diet during Pregnancy?

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Mothers-to-be need to make sure they maintain a balanced diet during pregnancy. The following are some of the reasons why pregnant ladies need to get enough essential nutrients during their pregnancy to avoid the common pregnancy-related complications caused by under-nutrition, such as:


There is an increase in blood volume during pregnancy and adequate haemoglobin is important for childbirth as some amount of blood will be lost during delivery. Anaemia, which means a low red blood cell count, can cause pregnant women to feel tired and lethargic throughout their pregnancy. It can also increase the risk for low birth weight and preterm delivery.

Increased Possibility of Congenital Birth Defects

In some cases, birth defects and abnormality in the development of the fetus are not preventable. However, you can greatly reduce the risk of some birth defects in your fetus by eating nutrient-dense foods during pregnancy. For instance, deficiency in folate may increase the fetus’ chances of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida and anencephaly. This said, it is important for pregnant mothers to include food that are rich in folate or folic acid in their diets.

Higher Risks of Poor Pregnancy Outcomes

An adequate supply of nutrients and a good lifestyle are some of the main environmental factors affecting pregnancy outcomes. Maternal nutritional depletion may contribute to the increased incidence of preterm delivery, fetal growth retardation, miscarriage, stillbirths, and even maternal mortality.

Restricted Growth

Pregnant mothers who do not practise a proper balanced diet during pregnancy may cause slow growth of the fetus due to the lack of resources available in the pregnant mother’s body. Therefore, expecting mothers are encouraged to take sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals to prevent restriction of the fetus’ growth, which may adversely affect the unborn child in many ways.

Low Birth Weight

Low birth weight may signal a symptom of not growing well in the womb. Lacking essential nutrients during pregnancy may prevent proper growth and development of your unborn child, which can lead to low birth weight.

Loss of Calcium

Your growing fetus requires a necessary amount of calcium to grow strong bones and teeth. If you do not consume enough calcium during pregnancy, your body will actually take calcium that your fetus needs from your own bones and teeth. This may cause calcium deficiency and impair the mother’s health in the long run.

All things considered, to prevent the above from happening, as a soon-to-be mother, you need to increase the amount of foods that are rich in nutrients on your plate and restrict the intake of unhealthy foods. Remember, when growing a life within you, the old saying no longer goes: “You are what you eat” but it now aptly sounds: “You are what your mother ate (during pregnancy)”.

Important Pre-Natal Nutrients to Focus On

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Good nutrition helps you handle the extra demands of your body as the pregnancy progresses to support the development of the fetus.

Here are some of the key nutrients that you need during your pregnancy:

1. Folate/Folic Acid

Folate/folic acid, a B-group vitamin also known as B9, is important for the development of the nervous system. It helps prevent birth defects of the brain and spine, plays a crucial role in the formation of red blood cells, and aids the general growth and development of fetus and placenta. Folate can be found in foods like fruits, green leafy vegetables, beans, and whole grains. Besides that, pre-natal vitamins and pre-natal milk added with folic acid are also good options to take.

2. Iron

Iron is significant to support the increased production of red blood cells needed by the placenta and growing fetus. Iron is available from natural sources, such as green leafy vegetables, broccoli, dried fruits, fish, poultry, or meats.

3. Protein

Protein is essential for growth and helps build and repair body tissues. Good sources of protein, include meats, poultry, fish, dairy products, and eggs.

4. DHA

DHA helps in your fetus’s brain development. You can incorporate DHA into your diets by eating fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies, herring, mackerel, and sardines.

5. Calcium

If you want your bones and teeth to stay strong while growing a fetus inside you, get the calcium you need during pregnancy. Not only calcium builds strong bones and teeth, it also helps your fetus to grow. The best source of calcium is dairy foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Now that you are eating for two (or more!), be sure to maintain a well-balanced diet, pay close attention to the list of foods and drinks that you need to avoid during pregnancy, and control your calories intake by consuming nutritious foods that have the aforementioned key nutrients. In addition, do not forget to take the pre-natal vitamins that your health care provider prescribes, drink enough water, and add milk to supplement your everyday diet.

Why is Milk Important for Pregnant Mothers?

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Including milk into your daily diet during pregnancy may really be beneficial for you and your developing fetus’s well-being. It is recommended as part of a balanced diet as shown in Malaysian Food Pyramid. Milk supplies calcium, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, and proteins, which work together to keep you strong during pregnancy and allow your little one to grow to a healthy birth weight. If you have no aversion to milk, you should consume milk as part of your balanced diet every day.

Pre-Natal Milk Vs. Regular Milk

A pregnant mother is the sole source of nutrients for her growing fetus. When a woman is pregnant, her nutritional needs increase significantly to meet the extraordinary growth of her fetus – making sure her fetus is on the right track of growing well.

Many expecting mothers drink fresh milk, but is fresh milk good enough to fulfill pregnancy nutritional needs? The answer is: You have higher nutritional needs when you are pregnant. Pre-natal milk is specially formulated to support the increased nutritional needs during pregnancy.

Refer to the following chart to understand the nutrient content between Anmum™ Materna and regular milk.

As you can see, Anmum™ Materna, the no. 1* pre-natal milk in Peninsular Malaysia, is specially formulated to support the nutritional needs of you and your developing fetus during pregnancy.

*Based on retail audit for Health Food Drinks Category for 12 months ending February 2020 in Total Peninsular Malaysia (Copyright © 2020, The Nielsen).

With just two glasses per day, you will get 100% of your calcium and folic acid needs. It also contains DHA, GA (gangliosides – which is a key nutrient found in the brain), iron, zinc, prebiotic and probiotic (called Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, which is a type of good bacteria that helps in maintaining a good intestinal environment). Not to mention, it has no added sugars** and is low in fat too.

**Applicable for Anmum™ Materna plain variant only. Chocolate flavour is less sweet.

Nutrition in Every Glass

Due to lifestyle, it may be difficult to get the required nutrients you need when you are pregnant, but fret not, by consuming Anmum™ Materna pre-natal milk regularly, you will be able to obtain your pregnancy nutritional needs, especially folic acid and calcium, without worry and hassle. And it is highly recommended that you choose Anmum™ Materna as part of your balanced diet for the nutrition that you need during your pregnancy. As you know by now, your life’s special moments should be accompanied by specialised nutrition to support your pregnancy nutritional needs.

Check out the nutrient content that Anmum™ Materna provides in each glass below!

On a separate note, if you are uncertain about your pregnancy diet or the type of milk that suits you best, it is always best to direct your questions to your doctor for better assessment and advice.


After reading the facts above, are you now keen to eat better and experience all the goodness of Anmum™ Materna? If so, request for your sample of Anmum™ Materna here today!

Curious to know more about how Anmum™ Materna helps both mother and fetus get the nutrients they need? Head over to Anmum™ Materna‘s official website for more information and stay tuned on their Facebook page for more updates!

Last but not least, check out AnmumTV on YouTube to discover even more reasons to love Anmum™ Materna!