1. Folic Acid
When you are planning to have a baby, it is very important to prepare your body for this exciting time. The body needs nutrients and supplements to help with conception. A month before pregnancy, and during the first trimester, it is important to eat foods high in folic acid. You can also take a folic acid or folate supplement. Folic Acid is needed for proper cell growth and development of the embryo. It reduces the chances of neural tube defect for your baby during pregnancy. Foods high in folic acid are:
- Green leafy vegetables, romaine lettuce, spinach
- Orange juice
- Vegetables, peas, beans, broccoli
- Nuts and seeds
The recommended dose of folic acid for pregnant women is 400 micro-grams daily. Other important nutrients are calcium and iron.
Calcium is needed for the proper development of bones and teeth, and helps the mother from losing her own bone density. Foods rich in calcium are:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
Of course, an expecting mother may opt to supplement with calcium too!
Most likely, your iron levels will also need to be increased during pregnancy. The amount of blood in your body increases up to 30% to meet the needs of the baby. Therefore eating foods rich in iron or taking a supplement can help. Iron-rich foods include:
- Red lean meats
- Dried fruit
- Egg yolks
Of course, make sure you get your blood work done when it comes to iron. Too much iron in the body can lead to iron toxicity.
4. Vitamin C
The need for vitamin C is also increased during pregnancy; vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron. Foods that are high in Vitamin C include:
- Lemons and limes
Vitamin C supplements come in two common forms – tablets and powder. Powders are great for mixing into water and smoothies.
5. Overall Health and Nutrition
When deciding to get pregnant, and even while you are pregnant, it is important to always talk to your doctor about nutrition. This is to ensure the proper development of the baby and yourself. An easy way to boost your overall nutrition is by taking a prenatal vitamin before and during the pregnancy. You should also maintain your current exercise levels, while getting an ample amount of sleep.
A few general pregnancy rules to always remember are no:
- Drinking alcohol
- Consuming unpasteurized dairy
- Eating under cooked meats
Do you have a set of rules when it comes to pregnancy health? Share them with us in the comments below.