Nutrition & Diet

The First 1000 Days: giving your baby the best nutritional start

The First 1000 Days

This article may help answer:

Why are the First 1000 Days so important?

What are my nutritional requirements before, during and after pregnancy?

How can I make sure my baby is getting the right nutritional support for the First 1000 Days?

What can my partner do?


The First 1000 Days, from conception to a child’s second birthday, are a critical window to lay the foundations for lifelong development and health1. It’s a time where the brain, body and immune system develop significantly. To put this in perspective, the baby develops from 1 cell to 500 trillion cells during the First 1000 Days!
There is even evidence to suggest that the protective effects of good nutrition during the first 1000 days can help maintain health later in life.
Your growing baby will rely on you to get the right nutrition during their First 1000 Days of life. Before, during and after pregnancy, your should try to maintain a healthy diet from a range of food groups, to help ensure you and your baby are getting enough essential nutrients.
It can be difficult to meet your nutritional requirements from diet alone, especially when you’re pregnant, experiencing morning sickness or just flat-out tired! This is where a prenatal multivitamin, like Elevit, can help you reach your recommended daily intake targets and help support your baby for the First 1000 Days.
Baby growth chart

Baby growth chart: timeline of the First 1000 Days

Frequently asked questions:

    It’s important to build up essential nutrients prior to pregnancy to support your baby’s healthy development from the very start of the First 1000 Days. Making sure there are adequate nutritional levels in the body at conception makes a fundamental contribution towards baby’s life-long health. After all, nutritional requirements increase by up to 50%2 as soon as you fall pregnant and a range of micronutrients are needed for critical developments that take place during the early weeks – often before you’ve noticed the signs of pregnancy! For example, folic acid (folate) helps prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida, and iodine supports brain development during this time. Beyond the first trimester, you will need higher amounts of nutrients to maintain energy and support your baby’s ongoing healthy development. It’s important to eat a balanced and healthy diet, alongside taking your Elevit pregnancy multivitamin daily.

    Learn more about diet & getting pregnant here.

    Learn more about diet during pregnancy here.

    Breastfeeding is the most nutritionally demanding time in a woman’s life, where nutritional requirements increase by up to 88%2. As a new mum, eating healthily will support breastmilk production and provide baby with all the essential nutrients – like DHA, betacarotene & iodine – they need for ongoing healthy development.

    After birth, we recommend switching to Elevit Breastfeeding, to support your new nutritional needs as a breastfeeding mum.

    Learn more about diet & breastfeeding here.

    Various salad bowls on white wooden table

    • Folic Acid – aids growth and development and helps to prevent neural tube defects like spina bifida.

    • DHA – supports healthy brain and eye development.

    • Iron – supports immune function, energy levels and helps transport oxygen in the blood. Low iron levels can have an impact on baby’s development.

    • Iodine – required for thyroid hormones and is essential for healthy growth, particularly cognitive development.

    • Magnesium – important for healthy structure of bones and teeth

    • Selenium – an essential mineral with antioxidant properties, which plays a vital role supporting immune system function & brain development

    • Vitamin D – helps the body absorb the calcium it needs to support muscle strength and bone health. It also promotes immune function and cell growth and development.

    • B Group Vitamins – the body needs B group vitamins to help it use the fuel we get from foods, such as carbohydrates, protein, and fat, which are all needed for energy.

    Having a baby is a team effort, so your partner should be eating well and keeping as fit as they can to help improve sperm quality and fertility. Quitting smoking, reducing alcohol, and remaining fit & active are all recommended.

    A daily supplement can also play its part. Menevit, from the makers of Elevit, can help support sperm health for men, who are an equal partner in the baby making equation.

    1. Linner A, Almgren M. Epigenetic programming – The important first 1000 days. Acta Paediatr. 2020;109(3):443-452
    2. National Health and Medical Research Council. Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand Including Recommended Dietary Intakes, 2006.

    Here to support you and your baby’s healthy development at every stage


    Elevit celebrates supporting 2 million Australian mothers & babies over last 20 years1


    Elevit is proud to be Australia’s most trusted, No.1 Pregnancy brand in Australia


    Elevit provides tailored formulations, based on scientific evidence, to support The First 1000 Days


    Elevit, together with Vitamin Angels, support 4 million under-served women & babies each year with vitamins & education

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