A Pre Pregnancy Diet Plan for Healthy Moms and Babies
Obstetricians recommend that women focus on healthy, balanced eating for at least three months before becoming pregnant. A healthy pre pregnancy diet should include:
Two Servings of Protein per Day:
Not only is protein important for your general health, energy levels, and metabolism – it can also increase your chances of getting pregnant quickly. New research shows that egg fertility increased dramatically in women who ate two servings of high quality protein each day before becoming pregnant. Go for quality cuts of lean meat, fresh eggs, and oily fish. Vegetarians: eat plenty of nuts and legumes to up your protein intake.
Five + Servings of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Per Day:
There’s a lot of truth in the old saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Curb your hunger with at least five servings of fresh fruit and veggies every day. Make sure you get all your colors – leafy greens, antioxidant rich blueberries, carrots and sweet potato – there’s so much to choose from!
At Least one Serving of Dairy per Day:
A dose of calcium each day will help strengthen your bones for nine months of baby carrying, and also ensure that you have all the right nutrients to pass on to Baby. Drink a glass of full-fat milk every day, or indulge in a bowl of greek yogurt with fortified whole grains and fresh blueberries – the perfect breakfast!
600mg of Folic Acid per Day:
Most doctors recommend taking a daily folic acid (Vitamin B9) supplement in the three months leading up to pregnancy. Having a build-up of folic acid in your system significantly reduces the chances of birth defects such as spina bifida. You can also up your folic acid levels by eating folate-rich foods such as fortified whole grains, leafy greens (spinach, kale etc), and citrus fruits.
2000mg of Omega 3 per Day:
Omega 3 fatty acids are excellent for increasing your energy, stamina and brain power. They also do wonders for baby brain development. Get into the habit of eating oily fish (like salmon), adding chia seeds to your breakfast, or nibbling on walnuts at your desk. You can also make sure you get the Omega 3 you need by taking a fish oil or flax seed oil supplement each day.
A Pre Pregnancy Diet to Lose Weight:
Women who are within their healthy weight range before becoming pregnant experience fewer complications during pregnancy. If you’re overweight, you may want to consider a diet plan to help you lose a few pounds before you start trying to conceive. Here are a few pointers for pre-pregnancy weight-loss:
- Avoid crash dieting: It isn’t sustainable and can lead to other health problems. The goal isn’t to lose as much weight as you can as quickly as possible. Simply eat as much fresh food as you can and keep an eye on portion sizes. Your goal is healthy lifestyle changes, rather than rapid weight loss.
- Cut refined sugar out of your diet: Many women find that simply ditching the soda and candy over a period of three or four months is enough to reach their pre-pregnancy weight goals. The added bonus is that, if you cut out junk food before becoming pregnant, you’re much less likely to crave sugar fixes while you’re pregnant.
- Get active! Get into the habit of daily exercise by aiming to be active for at least 30 minutes per day in the three months leading up to conception. If you carry on this healthy habit right through your pregnancy, you’re much less likely to experience uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms such as back pain and prenatal depression.
More Articles on Preparing for Pregnancy
Becoming a parent is a big decision to make. Are you and your family ready for the adjustment? Work through our five-question quiz to find out if you’re ready to get pregnant.
Good preparation helps to ensure you’ll have a happy and healthy pregnancy. Making an appointment with your doctor and making sure you’re in good health before you get pregnant is a really good idea. Find out more about what to expect at your pre-pregnancy checkup here.
So you’ve got your pre-pregnancy diet menu sorted? What other considerations do you need to make when you’re planning for pregnancy? See our helpful pre-pregnancy checklist here.
Find out more about vitamins and supplements which help prepare your body for pregnancy here.