Iron and calcium when planning a pregnancy

Getting enough iron when planning a pregnancy

Try to eat iron-rich foods 2 to 3 times a week. Red meat such as beef, lamb and pork are good sources of iron. If you do not eat meat, aim to include plenty of non-meat sources of iron in your diet, such as:

  • eggs
  • pulses - beans, peas and lentils
  • green vegetables - spinach and broccoli
  • breakfast cereals with added iron
  • dried fruit - prunes and apricots

Combine these foods with foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, kiwis, peppers and berries. Vitamin C helps your body to absorb and use the iron in your diet. Avoid tea or coffee around the time you are eating iron-rich foods. They reduce your body's ability to absorb iron.

Calcium in your diet when planning a pregnancy

Calcium is important for healthy bones and teeth. Try to eat 3 servings of calcium-rich foods each day. See the food pyramid for some suggestions on where you can get calcium in your diet.

Page last reviewed: 15 March 2018
Next review due: 15 March 2021

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