Tips for a Healthy Diet for Pre-Pregnancy

The best gift to give your future baby is to have a healthy diet and nutrition plan before and during pregnancy. You don’t have to wait for good news of pregnancy to start taking care of your diet for pre-pregnancy.

By taking care of what you eat before pregnancy, you make a good start. You prepare everything for your baby to be born healthy. Researches up-to-date show that the food you eat before getting pregnant effects the health of your baby.

If you have been trying to get pregnant for a while, you do not forget that your eating habits and diet affects your fertility. For maximum possibility of getting pregnant, your body must be fit. When both you and your spouse start eating healthy, your possibility of pregnancy increases.

What is an ideal diet for pre-pregnancy?

Pre-pregnancy diet is the first step for a healthy baby

Diet for pre-Pregnancy

Do not get afraid of those diet plans increasing in number day by day. You do not have to give up your favorite food or count every calorie you take. You just need to consume from all food groups in a balanced way.

What to eat in a diet for pre-pregnancy?

Our goal must be to reach these pre-pregnancy diet guidelines.

  1. Try to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetable a day. By one portion we mean 1 glass of orange juice or two middle sized broccoli drink.
  2. Include plenty of starchy food, such as bread, pasta and rice in your diet, one portion of each meal must include this food. If possible, choose full-grain versions that are richer in fiber.
  3. Consume 2 portions of lean meats, chickens, fish, eggs and legumes, which are rich in  protein. Try to adjust the total fish consumption by two servings per week.
  4. Consume as much as 3 servings of milk and dairy products per day to make sure you have enough calcium. One of these three servings should be yogurt or half-fatty milk.
  5. Iron depots are important as they prepare for pregnancy. Therefore, save room for iron-rich foods such as red meat, legumes, dried fruits, bread and dark green leafy vegetables.
  6. Vitamin C helps you get iron from foods other than meat. So when you prepare an iron-rich meal, add a source of vitamin C, such as juice.

Folic acid and other supplements

From the moment you leave birth control, you should always start taking folic acid supplements until the 12th week of your pregnancy. This is a key factor of diet for pre-pregnancy.

Deficiency of folic acid is the most important cause of the disease called Spina Bifida, resulting from the inability of the spinal cord to develop in infants. Before pregnancy and until the 12th week of your pregnancy, taking folic acid protects your baby from this disease and other neural tube disorders that will affect his/her life.

You need to take a 400 microgram (MCG) folic acid supplement per day before pregnancy. Some multivitamin supplements produced for the mother candidates also contain the necessary folic acid. If you are using such a multivitamin, check the contents. If the vitamin supplement you receive contains sufficient folic acid, you do not need to take folic acid. If you are not sure, ask your doctor or pharmacy for help.

In the following cases, more than 400 micrograms of folic acid should be taken. If any of these conditions apply, always consult the Doctor:

  • If Spina bifida or another neural tube disorder was developed in an earlier pregnancy
  • If you have a neural tube disorder in your spouse or a first-degree relative
  • If you use epilepsy medication
  • Celiac disease
  • If sickle cell disease (sickle cell anemia)
  • If you have Mediterranean anemia (thalassemia)
  • If your body mass index is higher than 30
  • If diabetes is present

In addition to folic acid supplements, take care to consume abundant amounts of folate-rich nutrients, the natural form of folic acid. Dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and berries are natural folic acid storage.

Vitamins cannot substitute for healthy nutrition, but in some cases it can be used as a supportive in diet for pregnancy. Some supplements sold without a prescription contain very high doses of vitamins and may be harmful to your baby. Therefore, if you are going to use vitamin supplements, be sure to opt for products that are produced specifically for pre-pregnancy or pregnancy period.

Limit foods containing excessive amounts of fat, sugar and salt, such as cakes, cakes, donuts, soft drinks and fast food. This food creates a feeling of fullness but is not nutritious.

Another thing you should be careful about before pregnancy is your weight. If you are planning a pregnancy, it is ideal to have your body mass index in the normal range. It is recommended that the candidates of the motherhood must have a BMI  between 18.5-25 value and maintain this value.

Weight problems can make it harder for you to get pregnant. But more importantly, it increases the risk of low, premature birth, low birth weight and a lot more serious complications.

In short, if you are too weak or have excess weight, now is the time to be fit.

What to avoid in a diet for pre-pregnancy?

If you’re not pregnant yet, you don’t have to make too much of a restriction on your pre-pregnancy diet. Nevertheless, you can make a healthier start by reducing certain foods that you need to stay away from after you are pregnant. That way you’ll be more comfortable when you know you’re pregnant.

  • Vitamin A (retinol) found in animal foods may damage your baby during pregnancy. So stay away from foods that contain retinol such as liver and meat paste (pate). You are free to get Vitamin A (beta-carotene) found in vegetables.
  • Some multi-vitamins and dietary supplements may include retinol. Only use special dietary supplements for pregnant women and always check the content of the product you are using.
  • Do not consume more than two servings of oily fish, such as mackerel, sardines, trout, fresh tuna and herring.
  • Fish that contain mercury, such as sharks and swordfish, should not be consumed at all.
  • Unpasteurized milk and dairy products can cause food poisoning and should not be consumed.
  • Mould cheese and some types of soft cheese should not be eaten. (such as Camamber, Brie, Chevre, Roquefort and Gorgonzola cheese).
  • Products such as raw or undercooked meat, chicken, fish and eggs may contain harmful bacteria. Make sure that the products are cooked very well while eating.
  • If you still use cigarettes, release immediately. If you are having trouble quitting smoking, be sure to ask for help.
  • If you are a coffee enthusiast, you can also start reducing your daily caffeine amount in the pre-pregnancy period. If you are trying to get pregnant with IVF treatment, caffeine can reduce the chances of treatment success. So there is no place for much coffee in your diet for pre-pregnancy.
  • After conception, you should not consume more than 200 milligrams of caffeine per day. For approximate caffeine values, you can use the following table:
1 cup of nescafe100 mg
1 cup of tea50 mg
1 can of coke40 mg
1 pack of plain chocolate50 mg
1 pack of milk chocolate25 mg
1 cup of green tea20 mg
  • Even the most delicate pregnancy tests  can not detect pregnancy before 4 weeks for sure. So when you realize you’re pregnant, your baby’s going to be at least four weeks behind. So if you are planning a pregnancy, it is already worthwhile to stop drinking alcohol.
  • Your spouse’s use of alcohol makes it difficult for you to get pregnant because it will reduce sperm quality. Therefore, it is ideal that both wives do not use alcohol.

As you see, having a diet for pre-pregnancy period is very important for your future baby’s health. Of course you should see a doctor and have some test made before applying any kind of information on the web.

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