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Early Life Nutrition

A mother’s 1000 days

In recent studies, conducted by FrieslandCampina Ingredients, on the needs of pregnant women, we concluded that a woman has 1000 precious days. These days cover her life from three months before pregnancy to months after giving birth, getting back to normal life. Download the full infographic

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During this research, conducted with women in US, Brazil, ANZ and the Netherlands, we gathered a number of interesting insights. These discoveries ranged from their perception and choices around nutrition through pregnancy, we but also learned about their “snack-in-my-bag” approach to this phase in life.

A journey to cherish

We have distinguished the 1000 days of a woman into 5 phases, namely (1) anticipation and preparation, (2) the 9-month journey begins, (3) embrace and recover, (4) baby and me, (5) back to work.

We learned that 39% of the women we researched in the US felt some stress or anxiety at some stage in these 1000 days. In ANZ we identified that 35% of the women were struggling with stress and anxiety during pregnancy which made it the number one concern in this region. In Brazil 24% of the women expressed stress and anxiety concerns during pregnancy, making it the second most important concern after morning sickness.

There were various triggers for this stress, but many women also felt anxious about how to ensure they have the right diet and uptake of various nutrients for themselves and their baby. Most women were conscious about their iron, folic acid and DHA intake. Interestingly 55% of the conversations in the US, mentioned DHA versus omega 3. Similar results were found amongst the women in ANZ with one exception, that vitamin D was in the top 5 nutrients discussed. In the US there was a growing interest in magnesium intake and its possible benefits.

With the consumer in the US as well as in ANZ we noticed that gestational diabetes was becoming a more prevalent topic in conversations as more women were seeking advice on this topic.

Delivering a full experience

In the research we were also able to identify that 9 out of 10 women had signed up for an app on their phones that gave them tips and tricks for these 1000 days. Of the women we spoke to, 57% adapted their usual exercising habits. The majority of the women remained active and followed some form of physical routine which included activities like swimming, yoga and walks.

All women we spoke to expressed that they were hungry more often which lead to their “snack-in-my-bag” approach. When we requested them to share what snack they had in their handbags we were exposed to various items they believed to be nourishing and conscious snacks. The women also expressed that they were using supplements as the choices today were limited within in the food matrix.  They are also not sure if the currently available functional snacks would be appropriate for them to consume while pregnant. When asked if they would be interested in a functional snack that would offer them the right nutrients for their pregnancy, 7 out of 10 were keen on it.

When shown visuals of 9 different food items and giving them the choice to pick their ideal snack, the first choice was conscious and the majority of the women picked the fruit-related options that were low on added sugars and flavor. When asked to pick what they would really enjoy eating, many women picked the more indulgent option then immediately mentioned that they tried not to indulge too much while pregnant. Another reason mentioned, when probed, was that they wanted to “get their body back” after pregnancy. One other factor that was prevalent in their explanation was the need for portion size meeting their needs. They expressed that even though they felt the need for a snack more often they felt fuller faster, requiring a smaller portion size.

Nutrition you deserve

This research was conducted prior to our newest range of maternal solutions being brought to the maternal market in 2020.  The women we spoke to mentioned that they deserve the best at this phase in their lives. We believe in nourishing life and want to be a part of giving them the best, be it for a healthy balance or to give them the confidence and relief they need to cherish this unique journey.  If you would like to know more about our new concepts for the maternal market, call us or email us at info@frieslandcampinaingredients.com.

Download infographic: A mother’s 1000 Days Journey

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