Becoming pregnant as a young person can be an exciting time, but it can also be frightening and you may have concerns about money, housing, education, relationships or family.
Every mum, young or old, wants the best for their baby. But studies have shown that young women are more likely to have premature birth, a baby with a low birthweight or start pregnancy underweight when compared to older women, and these are more likely to increase risk of health complications for the baby.
Eating the right food and drink is an important part of having a healthy pregnancy to help your baby grow and develop properly. Young mums also need to look after themselves; they may still be growing too.
The diet of some young women is sometimes not as great as it could be. For example, studies have shown young women may be more likely to skip meals, choose to eat fast foods on a regular basis or have too much sugar in their diets. Some young women may also lack nutrients in their diets that are important for themselves and their growing babies, like iron and calcium.
There may be particular challenges for younger pregnant women, for example, housing issues may mean they don’t have anywhere to cook. But it’s still a good time to think about diet and make some changes that will be good for mum and baby. Even small and simple changes can make a difference!
This section has been specially written to support young pregnant women (under 20 years old), and answer some of the questions they may have.