For many people, pregnancy comes as a surprise. However, if you are planning for conception, there are some makeovers to your preconception diet that will ensure you are at your healthiest when you do conceive.
The following foods can help ensure that both YOU and your baby have a healthy start right from the beginning:
1. Eat your GREENS: Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli have tunes of B vitamins and essential folate that can help to ward off neural defects that often occur in the earliest stages of pregnancy. By bumping up your intake of leafy greens before pregnancy, you reduce the risks of birth defects.
2. Drink your milk! Opt for low-fat options, and let milk products boost calcium levels. It takes your body a while to build up and retain calcium, and most women are lacking in this essential nutrient. By drinking milk in the months or weeks prior to conception you can help ensure your baby has a strong skeletal system. If you don’t like dairy, find other foods such as fish, and broccoli that also contain high amounts of calcium.
3. Avoid Alcohol! Go ahead and start abstaining from alcoholic beverages in the weeks prior to conception. Alcohol can affect your baby’s nervous system development even before you have missed your first period. Cleansing your body of alcohol in the pre-conception period ensures your health is in an optimal condition as well.
5. Increase your phytonutrients! Phytonutrients are nutrients that come from plant based foods, such as blueberries and raspberries. More importantly, they have tons of vitamin C. Since most women are Vitamin C deficient, experts recommend boosting your diet with food-based derivatives of Vitamin C. Plus, Vitamin C deficiencies have been linked to premature delivery.
6. Avoid certain fish products. Shark, mackerel, and tilefish have high levels of mercury. Mercury builds up in the body and can be harmful to a fetus. If you are a fish lover, take heart – as there are plenty of low-mercury fish options available that have the necessary Omega-3 fatty acids to improve your health.
Of course, you should also quit smoking and make sure you are exercising regularly. It is in your best interest to be at a healthy weight prior to getting pregnant. Planning early, and following tips from the pre-conception diet, can help to avoid health problems during pregnancy and make sure that your baby is given the best chances at healthy development.
Written By Stef, Mom of 4 @Momspirational
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2014. All rights reserved.