Health and Nutrition

Pregnancy

Pregnancy

Pregnancy and breastfeeding increase a woman’s nutritional requirements for kilojoules as well as key nutrients such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids and most vitamins and minerals including folate, iron and zinc. Adequate nutrition during pregnancy is essential to optimise the health of the mother and the baby. Eating a healthy well balanced diet is therefore important throughout pregnancy and lactation.

One serve of eggs* provides 581kilojoules, 31-42% of the additional kilojoule requirements during pregnancy and 28-29% during lactation, while providing up to 200% or more of the additional requirements for a selection of vitamins and minerals.

In particular, eggs provide useful amounts of protein, iron, iodine, vitamin B12, vitamin A and omega-3 fats and are a particularly good source of folate providing the same amount as a glass of orange juice. Eggs are one of only a few food sources of choline and provide more choline per kilojoule than most other foods. Choline is particularly useful in the diet of pregnant and lactating women as it is required for the normal development of brain tissue in infants and plays an important role in maternal nerve and brain functioning. Eggs are therefore highly recommended at this time of life. Eggs are also one of the main contributors of vitamin D to the diet of pregnant women which in turn is important for bone health.

Table 1 shows the extra nutrients required during pregnancy, and the amount provided by one serve of eggs*.

Table 1 Additional Nutrient Requirements During Pregnancy

Nutrient

Additional requirements during pregnancy

% additional RDI provided by one serve of eggs*

Protein

14g

91%

Iron

9mg

18%

Zinc

3mg

17%

Folate

200μg

49%

Iodine

70μg

61%

Vitamin B12

0.2μg

>200%

Vitamin A

100μg

>200%

 *one serve of eggs equals to two large eggs.