What You Eat before Pregnancy
Will Impact on the Health of Your Baby
Maintaining a healthy diet before pregnancy can help ensure the foetus gets all the nutrients it needs.
Having a good healthy diet before getting pregnant is so important. Waiting until you are already pregnant to start eating nutritious foods is not ideal. If you are already pregnant, then don’t worry.
Just start eating well from today! If however, you are not pregnant then now is the time to evaluate your diet and eat healthier foods while removing some ‘toxic’ processed foods.
Did you know that it is in the first four weeks of pregnancy that your baby’s neural tube develops? So you can see that by the time you find out you are pregnant it is probably already too late.
This is why it is recommended to get your recommended daily intake of folate well before falling pregnant. You must build up your stores of folate at least 1 month before falling pregnant.
FYI – this is the tube that forms the spine and controls the nervous system. You want to do all you can in your power to help avoid abnormalities in the neural tube as it can significantly affect the health of your baby and cause conditions such as spina bifida and mental retardation.
If you lack the knowledge on nutrition for pregnancy (or pre-pregnancy) then we recommend you book in a session with a registered dietician or nutritionist. Your doctor can recommend a Dietician in your local area.
Deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals can also affect your baby’s development before you realise you are pregnant. This is why we are discussing ‘pre-pregnancy diet’ now. If you are deficient in calcium it might affect your growing baby’s bones and teeth.
If you are a Vegan and do not eat meat (rich in protein, iron) then you may have difficulty sourcing all your micronutrients from your diet. This is where a quality pre-pregnancy supplement may help.
If you are someone who has special dietary requirements then I highly recommend you go and see your doctor or qualified nutritionist for advice on how to improve your diet before becoming pregnant.
By looking after your health through eating nutritious foods before getting pregnant will not only protect your own health, but also optimise the health of your baby.
If you are not eating well (or consuming enough calories) before falling pregnant, your baby may not grow enough and may be born at a very low and birth weight. Low birth weight babies tend to have greater health problems throughout their lives. This may include:
1. Mental development impairment.
2. Higher risk of death.
3. Are more likely to develop chronic health conditions such as type 2 diabetes mellitus in adulthood.