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Getting Pregnant

Pre-Pregnancy Diet

While it will be of supreme importance to maintain a healthy diet when you are pregnant, recent research has found that pre-pregnancy diets can actually have an impact on your baby’s DNA, too.[1.Briggs, Helen. (2014 April 30). Pre-pregnancy diet ‘permanently influences baby’s DNA. BBC News. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/health-27211153.] Therefore it is in a mother’s best interest (and that of her baby) to establish healthy eating habits prior to conception. While a well-rounded diet of whole grains, varied vegetables, fresh fruit, low-fat dairy, and lean proteins is recommended for all individuals who are trying to develop healthy eating habits, you may want to take special care to incorporate certain nutrients in your diet while TTC. Your general physician or ob-gyn may recommend supplements for you and many of the nutrients you need during pregnancy can also be found naturally from food sources. For instance, folic acid can be found in certain nuts, beans, citrus fruits, and leafy vegetables. However, taking a supplement is a guaranteed way to ensure you’re getting enough folic acid. You need approximately 400 micrograms of folic acid per day. This powerful nutrient helps reduce the risks of certain birth defects, including spina bifida. While it is most beneficial during the first 28 days following conception, many women do not realize that they are pregnant until after this window has passed. Thus, taking in adequate levels of folic acid is crucial while TTC. So if you’re trying to get pregnant, start taking folic acid now.[2.Horowitz, D. and Poulson, B. (n.h.) Nutrition Before Pregnancy. University of Rochester Medical Center. Retrieved November 09, 2015, from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=90&ContentID=P02479.] Iron is also beneficial for strengthening a woman’s body in preparation for pregnancy. Because of monthly menstruation, many women experience iron deficiencies. Food sources containing iron are: lamb, beef, pork, organ meats (such as liver), chicken, duck, dark turkey and green leafy vegetables such as kale and collards.[3.Horowitz, see above.] In case you have an iron deficiency you should see a doctor who will give your supplements or iron injections, but if you have a healthy iron level it’s important to keep it up by eating those foods containing iron. Finally, you may also want to consider consuming extra servings of dairy products, such as milk or yogurt, while TTC. This will ensure adequate calcium intake – it is a crucial nutrient for your baby’s health, and your own. aim to take in about 1,000 milligrams of calcium per day.[4.Horowitz, see above.] Visit this page to find out how to get the right amount of calcium.     [avafootnote]

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