Nutritional Needs Before Conception
Nutrition is important not only for the expectant mother, but for the mother who is planning to try to conceive. By making sure that your nutritional stores are at their best, you can help to increase the chances that your pregnancy will be a healthy and successful one and that your baby will be at less of a risk for problems.
Each day prior to conception, you should try to eat a nutritionally balanced diet. You should have the following each and every before conception:
- You should get 2 to 3 servings of foods that are rich in calcium, such as cheese, yogurt, or low-fat milk.
- You should have up to seven servings of vegetables and fruits, two of which should be rich in folic acid. Foods rich in folic acid include spinach, broccoli, orange juice, and lentils. One of your fruits or vegetables should be high in vitamin C, including oranges, papaya, kiwi, or cantaloupe.
- To get a significant enough amount of protein, you should have lean meats such as poultry or other lean meats.
- You should have at least six servings of whole-grain foods, such as oatmeal, brown rice, or whole wheat bread.
- Be sure to get plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. This will also help to increase the amount of cervical mucus that you produce, which is a key component of conception.
In addition, many women choose to begin a prenatal vitamin prior to conception. A supplement that has at least 400 mcg of folic acid and 18 mg of Iron generally will work best. Taking these types of supplements can help to reduce many sorts of birth defects. Some studies suggest that these vitamins can reduce birth defects by as much as 70%.
If you use caffeine, it is helpful to reduce or stop your caffeine intake before conception. Some studies show that taking more than 300 mg of caffeine per day can negatively impact fertility. In addition, caffeine may hinder the ability of your body to absorb calcium and iron.
Ideally, you will establish these healthy nutritional rules as much as 3 months before conception.