You may know about the importance of eating well and gaining the appropriate amount of weight while you’re pregnant, but did you realize that there are things you can do for your future child before you even conceive? Taking care of your child-to-be begins with taking care of yourself.
The first step is to check you’re at a healthy weight. As well as having an impact on your ability to conceive, your weight can influence a healthy pregnancy. Being overweight or underweight before you conceive may have an effect on the healthy growth and development of your future child.
Approximately 40% of pregnancies are unplanned and you might be pregnant for days or weeks before you realise, so it’s a good idea to start preconception care early. Folic acid supplements will support your child’s spine and brain development, which is crucial in the early days after conception (when you might not even know you’re pregnant).
The wise woman’s guide to preparing for a healthy pregnancy:
- Strive for a healthy weight.
- Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that’s rich in nutrients.
- Consider taking a folic acid vitamin, or multivitamin/mineral supplement. Emerging evidence suggests this can have a positive effect on fertility. It will also help your child’s early development as soon as you do conceive.
- Stop smoking and drinking alcohol. There are no safe limits when it comes to drinking alcohol so it’s safest to cut it out completely.
- Limit high amounts of caffeine.
“Making diet and lifestyle choices before you conceive can promote your health in readiness for pregnancy, as well as influence the lifelong health, growth, and development of your future child,” explains Dr. Sanjeev Ganguly, paediatrician and Head of Medical Affairs at Nestlé Nutrition.
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Last revised: August, 2016
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