What to Include in Your Diet before Pregnancy

As previously mentioned, make sure to include a large variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet before pregnancy.  Eat plenty of vegetables rich in folic acid like dark leafy greens.  The neural tube develops early in pregnancy, often before you even realize you are pregnant and for that reason consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables when you are trying to get pregnant is essential.  Ideally, all women of childbearing age would eat healthy diets rich in folic acid in order to prevent birth defects if they get pregnant even by accident.

Pregnant women need a lot of iron to prevent anemia so while you are trying to get pregnant, it is a good idea to build up your iron stores by eating a lot of iron-rich foods. Iron-rich foods include raisins, red meat, green vegetables, and prunes. A prenatal vitamin in addition to a healthy diet before pregnancy can further help your body get ready for pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins contain the vitamins and minerals required in large amounts during pregnancy.

What Not to Include in Your Diet before Pregnancy

Avoid foods that can make you ill and harm your baby if you end up getting pregnant. Unpasteurized dairy products and soft cheeses like blue cheese, brie, and camembert should not be a part of your diet before pregnancy because they can cause listeria infection. Also try to cut back on your tuna intake. Tuna contains relatively high levels of mercury. Swordfish, marlin, and tilefish should also be avoided for that reason. Raw or undercooked eggs can cause salmonella poisoning while raw fish can cause toxoplasmosis so stay away from anything raw to be on the safe side.

In addition to following a healthy diet before pregnancy and avoiding foods that can make you or your unborn baby ill, stay away from alcohol and quit smoking if you are trying to conceive. Not only can smoking and alcohol consumption decrease fertility, they can cause developmental problems for your baby if you get pregnant.

Now that you are armed with this information, make sure that your diet before pregnancy is just as healthy as your diet after conception. In order to have a safe and healthy pregnancy, birth, and baby, eating right and avoiding dangerous foods and substances is absolutely necessary.