Simple Diet Changes to Help Your Body Prepare For Pregnancy
There is excitement in the air as you ponder the notion that sometime soon you will have a beautiful baby growing inside your belly. You dream of what that baby will look like, how many cuddles you will give them and what sort of person they will be. You want to give them the best start in life, and doing that begins while you are pregnant. But what can you do to help your baby (and yourself) before you have even conceived? Here we explore a few simple diet changes that can help your body prepare for pregnancy.
Limit the Liquids (Alcohol and Caffeine)
If you are someone who likes to indulge in a few glasses of wine on the weekends, or a cup or four of coffee every morning, it is a good idea to begin cutting back before you are pregnant. Studies have proven that alcohol consumption during pregnancy can harm your baby, as well as consuming too much caffeine. To get ready for pregnancy, however, start reducing your alcohol and caffeine intake now, so that your body does not suffer withdrawals while you are pregnant. Plus, cutting back now will improve your overall health, which can make it easier to conceive!
Eating fish is extremely beneficial for women who are trying to get pregnant (and those who already are!). Fish contains good Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as being high in protein with an overall low-fat content. Omega-3 has been proven to aide in the brain development of babies in the very early stages of conception, so increasing your intake now will ensure that there is plenty in your body for the little bundle to absorb when they come along. Be careful, however, that you choose fish products that are low in mercury because mercury can harm your baby’s brain development.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and Minerals play a crucial role in ensuring your baby gets everything they need to be healthy. The most important nutrients to give your baby include folic acid, calcium and Vitamin D. Folic Acid aides in strengthening your placenta and avoiding numerous birth defects. It can be found naturally in oranges, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, beans and nuts (to name a few). Calcium is important for developing healthy bones and teeth, as well as muscles and nerves, and can help to prevent blood clots. Calcium can be found in high doses in dairy foods. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb and use the calcium you put in, and aides in brain function. Vitamin D is given directly from the sun, as well as milk and fatty fish. While you can eat all of these foods to gain some of the nutrients, it is highly recommended to take supplements to ensure that you are getting enough to support your baby’s development. Taking these regularly before conception will help to ensure that your body has enough to give to your baby when it comes along.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
A healthy pregnancy requires a healthy mum, and if you take the right steps beforehand to ensure your body is in the best shape possible, your chances of conceiving are higher, and you reduce the risks of any pregnancy issues. Start making healthy food choices now, including fruit and vegetables, protein and nuts and limit foods that are detrimental to your health (sugar, saturated fats, etc.). Additionally, begin a moderate exercise program if exercise is not something you regularly do. Walking every day has been proven to increase your chances of conception, as well as make you feel positive and be healthy.
Increasing your chances of conception, and having a healthy baby, can be as simple as making a few small changes to your diet before (and during) your pregnancy. If you start early, you will hardly notice the changes and your body will be in optimum condition to carry your long-awaited bundle of joy.