Your diet during pregnancy and when you're breastfeeding is particularly important, as this is where your baby will get the nutrients that go on to make up absolutely everything about him – from their bones to their immune system and even their metabolism.


Zinc is one of these building blocks – and getting the right amount of it while pregnant is essential for growing a healthy baby.


What is zinc?


It's a trace mineral that our bodies need. It helps with the function, creation and repair of our DNA - the building blocks for every cell in the body. 


Zinc plays a big part in regulating things like taste, immune function, vision and insulin production, and is vital for wound healing and repair of our cells.



Why does it matter during pregnancy? 


Pregnant women require more zinc than when they’re not pregnant because they're busy producing a huge amount of new cells. 


Not only does zinc help to maintain health during their pregnancy, it assists with the baby’s development as well. 


A growing baby uses zinc from their mother’s diet to convert protein into tissue and muscle growth.


Zinc deficiencies in pregnant women have been linked to low birth weight, toxemia and miscarriage, although it is usually easy to get enough from a properly balanced diet and/or supplements. 


However, it's possibly to overdose on zinc, causing a range of other issues, so check with your doctor first. 



How much zinc do I need? 


Doctors recommend pregnant women get 10-15 milligrams of the mineral every day and while breastfeeding. 


Where do I get it? 


Fortified cereals and red meat are good sources of zinc. You can also get it from poultry, beans, nuts, wholegrains, and dairy products.