Breast milk is best for your baby

Breast milk is best for babies. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and Health Promotion Board (HPB) recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. Unnecessary introduction of bottle feeding or other food and drinks will have a negative impact on breastfeeding. At around six months of age (but not before 4 months), infants should receive nutritionally adequate and age-appropriate complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Consult your doctor before deciding to use infant formula or if you have difficulty breastfeeding.

Abbott Singapore fully recognises breast milk’s primacy, value and superiority and supports exclusive breastfeeding as recommended by the WHO.

The content on this website is intended as general information for Singaporean residents only and should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice from your healthcare practitioner. The HPB recommends that infants start on age-appropriate complementary foods at around 6 months, whilst continuing breastfeeding for up to 2 years or beyond to meet their evolving nutritional requirements. If no longer breastfeeding, toddlers can switch to full cream milk after 12 months. This should be complemented by a good variety of solid foods from the four main food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, meat and alternatives). For more information on the nutritional requirements of infants and young children, please visit

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How can mothers benefit from maternal milk?

As your body changes for pregnancy, so do your nutritional needs. Maternal milk can help you obtain the appropriate amounts of nutrients for pregnancy to fuel the changes your body will go through, and for the baby’s growth and development in the womb.


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What happens to a mother’s body during pregnancy?

Hormonal changes mark the start of a pregnancy. Once a fertilized egg implants in the uterus lining, the body will produce hormones that jumpstart a variety of processes , preparing the body for pregnancy.1

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First and foremost, the body has to ensure that nutrients can be delivered to the womb. Estrogen, one of the primary pregnancy hormones, stimulates the uterus to thicken its lining, growing more blood vessels that allow for nutrient transfer.2 Once the fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall, this egg (called a zygote) is able to grow into an embryo and, eventually, develop into a fetus, thanks to the absorption of key nutrients and building blocks for growth.3

Nutrient absorption, through the mother’s body, is what supports the pregnancy to term. The mother’s nutrition during pregnancy is integral not just to the development of the fetus in the womb, but also in the delivery of the baby, and for the mum and baby’s health after birth.

Pregnancy Nutrition: Important Nutrients For Mother And Baby

Pregnant mums have increased nutritional requirements. These vitamins and minerals in the right amounts, are vital to staying healthy during pregnancy:4

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Calcium is essential for building strong bones and teeth. Some studies have shown that taking calcium supplements during pregnancy can reduce the risk of hypertension during pregnancy, also known as preeclampsia.5



Iron is used to make haemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of your body, and the baby in your womb. Pregnant mums need twice as much iron as their usual intake.



Iodine is an essential mineral used to produce thyroid hormones that regulate the energy you derive from food. Expecting mums produce more thyroid hormones to support the pregnancy, which means they need more iodine than the daily recommended intake.14



Choline regulates mood, memory, and muscle control. It enables cells to build cell walls, particularly in the central nervous system.15


Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for maintaining healthy skin and vision. It also helps the immune system and various organs in the body function properly.16 However, ingesting high amounts of vitamin A may be detrimental to your pregnancy.8 Make sure that you’re not exceeding the recommended amount in your daily diet, and avoid foods rich in vitamin A, such as liver or liver products.


Vitamin C

Vitamin C is essential to both the mum and baby during pregnancy. It’s vital to boost the immune system. It helps in the production of collagen, which, in turn, aids in tissue development and repair. It also helps mum absorb more iron to boot.9


Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps expecting mums maintain healthy bones and teeth.10 It aids in calcium absorption and in regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body.


Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 helps the mum to metabolise macronutrients like proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. It also helps mum produce more red blood cells, which is crucial during pregnancy.


Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 aids in the production of red blood cells and in maintaining nervous system health. It’s also important to making DNA in cells and in reducing the risk of anemia.17


Folic Acid

A type of B vitamin integral to growth and development, folic acid has been shown to lower the risk of neural tube defects (NTDs), or birth defects of the central nervous system.6

Pregnancy food: Types of food for pregnancy

Food is the primary source of mum’s and baby’s nutrition during pregnancy. It is of utmost importance that expecting mums maintain a healthy, balanced diet, consisting of these major food groups:12

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables

Experts recommend eating at least ½ a plate of fruits and vegetables each day.14 Fruits and vegetables provide many essential nutrients, as well as fiber, which helps prevent constipation.

Milk and Cheese

Starchy Foods

Starchy food like bread, potatoes, cereals, rice, pasta, and noodles provide much-needed energy in the form of carbohydrates. These foods should make up a little over a ¼ of your healthy plate.14

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Beans, fish, eggs, meat, poultry, and nuts are rich in protein. Experts recommend eating two portions of fish each week, one portion of which should be oily fish like salmon, sardines, or mackerel, for essential omega-3 fatty-acids.

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Milk, cheese, and yogurt are excellent sources of calcium. Expectant mums should aim for 3 servings of these during pregnancy. Pregnant mums are advised to opt for low-fat milk to avoid excess calories and avoid eating unpasteurised cheese.

Benefits of Maternal Milk for Mothers

Busy, working women may struggle to find fully balanced nutrient dense meals every single day. Using maternal milk as supplements can fill the nutrition gaps across a range of nutrients.

Where a typical daily diet can fall short, supplements like maternal milk can ensure that pregnant mums get the appropriate amount of nutrition during pregnancy. Maternal milk is enriched with the essential vitamins and minerals that are needed by pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.

When choosing a maternal milk, opt for one that contains DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that improves cardiovascular health, regulates blood pressure, and boosts brain development.

Also, choose low fat maternal milk for it to be an ideal supplement not just during the pregnancy, but during postnatal care and the breastfeeding stages. It helps new mums, manage their weight, and improve their overall wellbeing, whilst making sure their body can provide for their baby’s nutritional needs.

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