Where can I buy MamaCare?

In Australia, MamaCare nutritional pregnancy supplement is registered as a Food for Special Medical Purposes and therefore it is only available for sale from pharmacies or our online shop. You can find pharmacies who stock MamaCare using our online store locator.

If your local pharmacy does not stock MamaCare, you can ask them to order some for you or they can email us at info@mamacare.com.au and we can organise stock.  We don’t charge pharmacies any shipping fees, so it’s easy for them to order the quantity you need.

Can I buy MamaCare online?

Yes, we have an online store that sells our product range. You can also check our store locator to find a pharmacy near you.

Why is Folic Acid essential for pregnant women?

Folate is important for the baby’s development, particularly in the early stages of pregnancy. In the first four to six weeks of pregnancy, the neural tube closes and fuses. This tube later becomes the baby’s brain and spinal cord. Folic Acid is Folate in supplemental form. A diet low in Folate can increase the chances of the neural tube not closing properly, which can result in a neural tube defect (NTD), such as spina bifida. It is recommended that pregnant women and women planning to conceive take at least 400 µg of supplemental Folic Acid daily for at least a month prior to conception and three months after to prevent NTDs. MamaCare is a great source of Folic Acid for women of childbearing age, with 500 µg per serve.

The total requirement for Folic Acid during pregnancy is 600 µg, with the extra 100 µg easily achieved by eating folate-rich foods – foods naturally high in Folate such as asparagus, spinach, broccoli, bananas and strawberries and foods fortified with Folic Acid such as bread and some breakfast cereals.

Why is Iron essential for pregnant women?

Iron is important to help form red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. Demand for Iron increases during pregnancy to account for the rise in maternal blood volume and the growth of the fetus and placenta. Requirements for Iron increases by 50% during pregnancy. Iron supplementation can help cover the increased needs during pregnancy and can help prevent dietary Iron deficiency. MamaCare is a good source of Iron which is necessary for normal neurological development in the fetus but can also reduce tiredness and fatigue for mothers-to-be.

The form of Iron in MamaCare is mild on the gastrointestinal tract. MamaCare provides a moderate amount of Iron, providing 38% of daily requirements to supplement Iron in the diet. This is in contrast to many other pregnancy supplement tablets which provide more than 100% of daily requirements and may contribute to constipation, nausea and vomiting in pregnancy.

The best dietary sources of Iron are meat, fish and poultry, especially red meat and organ meats as they are high in haem iron which is well-absorbed. While there is iron found in high levels in plant foods like legumes and wholegrains, this type of iron called non-haem iron is less easily absorbed by the body. Combining these foods with a food rich in vitamin C like orange juice can increase the absorption.

Why is Calcium essential for pregnant women?

Calcium is essential for all women, though requirements for Calcium do not increase during pregnancy. Pregnant women may be missing out on vital sources of Calcium if they can’t stomach their breakfast cereal and milk or are skipping their lattes to reduce caffeine intake.

As MamaCare is made with Australian milk powder, it is a good source of Calcium, with one serve contributing 40% of daily requirements, which is necessary for normal teeth and bone structure as well as nerve and muscle function. MamaCare also contains Vitamin D which assists with Calcium absorption.

Why is Vitamin D essential for pregnant women?

While Vitamin D requirements do not increase during pregnancy, Vitamin D is important for Calcium absorption, so pregnant women should make sure they are getting enough. Vitamin D contributes to normal function of the immune system. Vitamin D status of the mother affects the Vitamin D status of the baby in the first few months of life.

Sunlight is the main source of Vitamin D, however it can be difficult to get enough in many circumstances, for example during winter or if using sunscreen on a regular basis. One serve of MamaCare provides pregnant women all of their daily requirements. Some foods such as fortified margarines, eggs and oily fish such as salmon, herring and mackerel provide some Vitamin D.

What should I eat when trying to conceive?

When trying to conceive, there are some lifestyle changes you can make to ensure your body is healthy and ready for pregnancy.

Getting enough sleep, making time to stay active, maintaining a healthy weight, consuming only moderate amounts of caffeine (less than 200 mg/day or around 2 cups of brewed coffee or 1 barista coffee per day) and avoiding alcohol are all important. As well as these lifestyle improvements, eating a healthy and varied diet will provide your body with essential nutrients for pregnancy.

All women should eat a varied diet based on the five core food groups when trying to conceive:

Food group Recommended serves for pregnant women
Grains and cereals like bread, breakfast cereals, rice, pasta and noodles, ideally mostly wholegrain varieties 8.5
Vegetables and legumes 5
Fruit 2
Dairy foods including milk, cheese and yoghurt 2.5
Meat and alternatives, such as lean meat, fish, poultry, eggs, tofu, legumes, nuts and seeds 3.5

Nutrient requirements increase during pregnancy. We store some nutrients in our tissues, providing a bank for the body to draw upon as it needs. Maintaining a good store of these nutrients, for example Iron, means there are reserves to use when you fall pregnant and demand increases.

The first few weeks of pregnancy are a critical time in your baby’s development. It is important to have enough Folic Acid in the early weeks to reduce the baby’s risk of neural tube defects*. In these weeks you may not even realise you are expecting, so supplementing with Folic Acid before you conceive will provide the body with the extra Folic Acid it requires. MamaCare is a good source of both Folic Acid and Iron.

* For women of childbearing age. Consume at least 400µg of folic acid each day, at least the month before and three months after conception.

What steps can I take for a healthy pregnancy?

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to assist with a healthy pregnancy.

1. Take a pre-pregnancy supplement

Taking a pre-pregnancy and pregnancy supplement like MamaCare for at least three months before conception and during pregnancy provides your body with essential nutrients for pregnancy.

2. Eat well

Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your baby. Try and include a variety of foods from the five food groups – fruit, veg, wholegrains and cereals, dairy or plant-based equivalents, lean meats and alternatives.

3. Maintain a healthy weight

Healthy weight gain during pregnancy will help you return to your pre-baby weight more quickly and reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes. Healthy weight gain is generally between 11.5-16 kg, depending on your pre-pregnancy BMI.

During the first trimester, 1-2 kg of weight gain is considered normal. During the second and third trimesters, it’s normal to gain between 300-500 g per week. It’s best to consult with your doctor if you’re concerned about whether your weight gain is normal.

4. Get plenty of gentle exercise

Exercise helps you sleep better, gives you more energy and improves your mood. Try walking or swimming.

5. Cut out alcohol

Not drinking alcohol is the safest option when trying to conceive and during pregnancy. The risk of harm to the fetus is highest when women have high, frequent alcohol intake. 

6. Stop smoking

Giving up smoking before becoming pregnant will give your baby the best start in life, reducing the risk of harm to your unborn baby.

7. Get plenty of rest

It’s natural to be tired during your pregnancy. Your body is working very hard growing your baby, so listen to your body. If you are tired, get some rest – it’s good for both mum and bub.

8. See your dentist

Pregnancy can lead to dental problems in some women including gum disease and tooth decay due to increased hormones affecting the body’s response to plaque. It is important to continue with regular dental checkups.

9. Begin pelvic floor exercises

Pelvic floor exercises help to strengthen the muscles of the pelvic floor. These muscles come under great strain in pregnancy and childbirth.

10. Take extra care of yourself

This is a time in your life when you might forget to look after yourself. Listen to soothing music, read books and spend time with your family and friends. Try not to neglect yourself during your pregnancy. It is a beautiful time of your life, enjoy it!

How can MamaCare relieve morning sickness?

Nausea and vomiting in pregnancy is a common symptom of pregnancy. It can range from a bout of queasiness when you wake up in the morning to vomiting throughout the day and night. While most nausea in pregnancy is experienced in the first trimester, almost a quarter of women experience it throughout their pregnancy.

Nausea in pregnancy can be debilitating, often leading to a sense of helplessness experienced by both women and their partners. 2019 guidelines from the Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand recommend that women suffering from nausea and vomiting in pregnancy discontinue pregnancy multivitamin tablets if they are contributing to nausea – it’s believed this can be caused by the high Iron content in some multivitamin tablets. However, the guidelines still recommend supplementing with Folic Acid and Iodine. One serve of MamaCare is a good source of both Folic Acid and Iodine and contains a moderate dose of Iron, in a form which is mild on the gastrointestinal tract.

Women experiencing nausea could also try ginger and Vitamin B6 supplements as these have been suggested to help with nausea. If nothing helps and nausea persists, it’s a good idea to mention it to your doctor as there may be pharmaceutical therapies such as oral anti-emetics to help.

Does MamaCare have any tips for new mums?

Motherhood is an exciting time for new mums, but it can also bring nervousness and worry. Here are our top tips for enjoying new motherhood.

1. Eat well

Breastfeeding is demanding on your body. It’s important to eat a healthy diet to make sure your body gets the extra energy and nutrients it needs to keep up with the increasing demands. Eating from the five food groups will provide you good nutrition, however you may also like to use a pregnancy and breastfeeding nutritional supplement like MamaCare to boost your intake, especially if eating enough is a challenge.

2. Get some rest

Life with a new baby can be exhausting. It’s important to get as much rest as you can. If your energy is flagging during the day, try taking a short nap next to your baby when they sleep.

3. Get some exercise

When you’re feeling up to it, put your baby in the baby in the stroller and go for a walk. It will clear your mind and remind you that there is a world outside of your four walls.

4. Accept offers of help

New motherhood is hard – you have a newborn baby in the house and you’re still recovering from the birth. If someone offers to bring over a meal or babysit for an hour, take the offer.

5. Prepare to be a bit disorganised

Newborn babies have their own schedule, which may make you feel a little out of control. For the first few weeks, just go with the flow, and learn as much about your baby as you can.

6. Finding a routine

Some parents opt for little or no routine at all and are happy to follow their baby’s lead. Other parents find that a very simple, flexible routine seems to help their baby, and helps them feel more in control. Try not to get bogged down listening to other parents’ routines and listen to your baby to find a routine that works for you.

7. Take care of yourself

Sometimes a good day will be just feeding and comforting your baby, getting out of your pyjamas and having a shower – this is absolutely fine. Try to rest whenever you can and give yourself time to get to know your baby. Just try to be as kind to yourself as you are to your baby. Remember this is new to both of you and you are doing a great job.

What are the essential nutrients for new mums?

Breastfeeding mothers require more kilojoules and protein than during pregnancy, due to the extra work required by the body to produce breast milk while recovering from childbirth. Women are recommended to consume more grains and cereals, legumes and vegetables  to make up the extra requirements for energy and protein.

During breastfeeding, requirements for some other nutrients such as Folic Acid, Iron and Iodine remain high. MamaCare provides these nutrients, as well as protein and energy in a convenient format that’s easy to make while breastfeeding or while carrying around a sleeping baby.

What are the major changes in your body during pregnancy?

Pregnancy is a profound experience for most women. During pregnancy, your body goes through many changes to accommodate the baby growing inside you. Pregnancy is physically demanding and often an emotional time in a woman’s life.

There are three stages of pregnancy known as the first, second and third trimester. Each trimester lasts approximately three months and has different characteristics.

During the first trimester, your body will undergo many changes as it begins to support your growing baby. These may include tiredness and fatigue, breast changes, morning sickness and food cravings.

Most women who experience morning sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy start to feel better in their second trimester. The nausea and vomiting usually begins to taper off and you may have more energy as a result. If you’ve got more energy, the second trimester can be a great time to tackle many of the tasks necessary to get ready for your baby.

At this stage, your belly will be growing and toward the middle of this stage, you might be feeling your baby’s movements. Some other changes you may experience are a bit of heartburn and indigestion and possibly swelling in your feet and hands.

During the third trimester, your body may begin to feel awkward and heavy. Everyday things like getting in and out of bed and getting a good night’s sleep may become difficult. Many women need to go to the bathroom more often and may experience shortness of breath due to the baby putting more pressure on your organs.

Throughout your pregnancy and into new motherhood, make sure you get plenty of rest and gentle exercise and enjoy a nutritious diet which might include a nutritional supplement like MamaCare to provide a boost of nutrients at a time when your body is changing so rapidly.

What are the essential nutrients during your pregnancy?

During pregnancy, you are not only responsible for your own health, but for the healthy growth and development of your baby. The requirements for some nutrients increases during pregnancy to accommodate fetal growth and development.

Eating a healthy and varied diet will provide you with most of the nutrients you need for pregnancy, however it is still recommended to supplement key pregnancy nutrients – Folic Acid and Iodine. Other important nutrients in pregnancy include protein, Iron, Calcium and Vitamin D, all of which are found in MamaCare.

MamaCare can help pregnant women consume essential nutrients for pregnancy as it’s a convenient, tasty, vanilla-flavoured shake based upon the nutritious goodness of Australian milk.

What do healthcare professionals need to know about pregnancy nutrition?

Food and nutrition are hot topics during pregnancy as they have a major impact on both the health of the mother and the development of the growing baby. It’s an area fraught with confusion and often contradictory advice with many women not knowing what to do – common confusions include “fish is good for Omega-3s, but what about the high levels of mercury in some fish?” or “I’ve been told to take Iron supplements, but they are making me feel sick”.

Pregnancy is a time where women’s diets often change for the better as eating a nutritious diet during pregnancy is well-known to be linked to good fetal brain development, a healthy birth weight, and reduces the risk of some birth defects like neural tube defects.

But how many times have you heard a woman mention that she is eating healthier because she is going to try to get pregnant? New research suggests that the mother’s diet during the first 1000 days, from pre-conception until the baby’s second birthday, is crucial as epigenetic programming during this time determines the child’s genetic profile. There is a growing body of evidence showing that the mother’s diet and other lifestyle factors have the ability to affect offspring health through epigenetic programming, with methylation of the genome linked to dietary components such as Folate the key mechanism that switches genes on or off. This is important as many women are not achieving optimum nutrition before they become pregnant. For example, around 9 out of 10 women aren’t meeting their daily vegetable and grain serves which are important sources of key nutrients like Folate and B Vitamins for cellular function.

This means there is a need to focus on optimising nutrition both for pre-conception and pregnancy to achieve the best possible outcome, a healthy thriving baby and healthy mum.

Sources:

McGowan, P. O., Meaney, M. J., & Szyf, M. (2008). Diet and the epigenetic (re) programming of phenotypic differences in behavior.  

What are Australian women eating during pregnancy?

Many mums-to-be are missing out on critical pregnancy nutrients. Studies of Australian women’s diets have found many have unbalanced diets in pre-conception and during pregnancy, with multiple findings showing most women do not achieve the recommended number of serves of core healthy foods that provide the nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy.

Of concern, the studies found pregnant women tended to over-consume discretionary or ‘treat’ foods like cakes, biscuits, muffins and chocolates which are high in energy (kilojoules) but low in essential nutrients. These findings show many women are entering pregnancy with poor nutrition making it hard to “catch-up” once they are pregnant, as their body already faces additional nutritional demands because of the growing baby at this stage.

For example, many women are not meeting their dairy and alternative needs which are an important source of Calcium, Protein and Vitamin B12 in the diet and most are not meeting their vegetables or grains and cereals needs which are key sources of Folate and B Vitamins in the diet.

Key reasons for poor dietary intake in pregnancy are nausea, vomiting and morning sickness. This is relatively common with around seven out of 10 (69%) women reporting they have experienced nausea or vomiting in pregnancy and 34% stating they reduced their food intake due to nausea. Women with severe nausea had poorer diets than those without.

  1. Note the AHS does not compare consumption of discretionary foods to guidelines as they are not core foods.
  2. For discretionary foods, this indicates the % of women exceeding the recommended intake.

Sources:

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Consumption of food groups from the Australian Dietary Guidelines 2011-12.
  2. National Health and Medical Research Council. Healthy eating during your pregnancy.
  3. Rosic G, Badorrek S, Wang T, Williams K. A comparison of the dietary intake of pregnant women attending a Western Sydney antenatal service with national guidelines. Poster presented at: ANZOS-ASLM-ICCR Conference; 2019 Oct 16-18; Sydney, Australia.
  4. Malek L, Umberger W, Makrides M, Zhou SJ. Adherence to the Australian dietary guidelines during pregnancy: evidence from a national study. Public Health Nutrition, 2016; 19(7):1155-1163.
  5. McAlpine J, Vincze L, Vanderlelie J, Perkins A. The Maternal Outcomes and Nutrition Tool – Analysis of Dietary Behaviours in Pregnant Women of South-East Queensland. Abstract presented at: DAA Conference; 2019 Aug 12-14; Gold Coast, Australia
  6. Einarson TR, Piwko C, Koren G. Quantifying the global rates of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy: a meta analysis. 2013;20(2):e171-83.
  7. Crozier SR, Inskip HM, Godfrey KM, Cooper C, Robinson SM; SWS Study Group. Nausea and vomiting in early pregnancy: Effects on food intake and diet quality. Matern Child Nutr. 2017;13(4):e12389. doi:10.1111/mcn.12389

What do health care professionals need to know about pregnancy supplements?

The Pregnancy Care Guidelines from the Department of Health recommend pregnant women should aim to reach their recommended daily serves of foods from the five core food groups along with supplementation of two essential nutrients for pregnancy – Folic Acid and Iodine. The guidelines state:

  • Inform women that dietary supplementation with Folic Acid, from 12 weeks before conception and throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, reduces the risk of having a baby with a neural tube defect and recommend a dose of 500μg per day.
  • Advise women who are pregnant to take an Iodine supplement of 150μg each day. Women with pre-existing thyroid conditions should seek advice from their medical practitioner before taking a supplement.

Despite their best intentions, many women find it hard to meet the additional nutritional needs of pregnancy from diet alone, particularly if suffering from nausea and vomiting or specific food cravings and dislikes. Therefore, specially formulated nutrition supplements can play an important role in helping women meet the increased nutritional requirements of pregnancy at a time when they may not be able to eat enough or get enough variety from diet alone.

Supplementation is recommended for two essential nutrients before and during pregnancy – Folic Acid and Iodine – as it is not possible to meet the increased requirements from diet alone.

Sources:

Department of Health. Pregnancy Care Guidelines.

What do healthcare professionals need to know about the new guidelines for pregnant women suffering from nausea and vomiting?

The Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand (SOMANZ) have recently released new guidelines which encompass the role of diet and supplementation in women suffering from nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, also called NVP.

The 2019 SOMANZ guidelines that relate to diet include:

  • Discontinue prenatal multivitamin tablets if they are contributing to nausea: the two critical micronutrients which should be continued if at all possible are Iodine (150μg a day) and Folate (at least 400μg a day).
  • Eating small but frequent meals may help.
  • Having lots to drink to avoid lack of fluid or dehydration may help. Drinking little and often, rather than large amounts, may help to prevent vomiting.

The guidelines continue to recommend supplements with both Folic Acid and Iodine.

However, SOMANZ and the Department of Health recommend discontinuing multivitamin supplements with a high Iron content if suffering from nausea and vomiting.

One study found 45% of pregnant women in Australia are taking supplements containing high levels of Iron between 30 and 99mg per day. Taking a pregnancy nutrition supplement with a more moderate amount of Iron may be worth trialing for women who cannot get enough Iron from their diet or have been diagnosed with Iron deficiency or anaemia. MamaCare, a food-based pregnancy supplement, can be trialed as it contains a moderate amount of Iron in a form that is milder on the gastrointestinal tract and may be better tolerated.

Sources:

  1. Society of Obstetric Medicine of Australia and New Zealand.
  2. Department of Health. Pregnancy Care Guidelines.
  3. Chatterjee R, Shand A, Nassar N, Walls M, Khambalia AZ. Iron supplement use in pregnancy–Are the right women taking the right amount?