How well you eat during pregnancy determines how well your baby is nourished as it develops. But an adequate diet is just as important prior to conception. A mother’s pre-pregnancy weight has been shown to affect her baby’s birth weight. Therefore, it is important to eat well before pregnancy, and try to attain a weight that is appropriate for your height.
What can you do?
Eat well before you conceive. It’s best to start a pregnancy as physically healthy as you can be. Go over your diet with your doctor and determine any nutritional deficiencies you may have. Be honest about your eating habits and make as many healthy changes as you can. If you are overweight or underweight, it’s best to change that before you start trying to conceive. Special diets may not be appropriate for the first few months of pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about a plan that’s right for you.
As with many aspects of pregnancy, common sense is your best guide to determining a healthy diet. Use the four food groups as a basis for putting together a balances meal plan. You should have something from each of the following food groups every day:
- Milk and dairy products
- Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and beans
- Whole-grain or enriched bread and cereal
- Fruits and vegetables
Eating sensibly can usually supply all the nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy. Your doctor, however, may suggest vitamin or mineral supplements, it is important not to take more vitamins than your doctor directs, as large doses of some vitamins can be dangerous. Megadoses of vitamins A and D, for example, have been associated with abnormal fetal development.
For a detailed list of foods high in protein and iron please click here