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Pregnancy and Nutrition

How to Handle Pre–Pregnancy Concerns

Thinking about having a baby? If so, now is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your lifestyle habits and consider whether they provide what you need for a healthy pregnancy. 

What’s good for your developing baby, before birth and after, is also good for you. In fact, research shows that a healthy diet, lifestyle, and body weight can influence fertility so that you can have a baby sooner. Beginning a pregnancy with a fit body and a healthy eating style will give you and your child a head start to lifelong good health.

Since many women do not know they are pregnant until after a critical growth period occurs in the fetus, it is especially important to meet nutrient needs with a healthy diet before becoming pregnant. The healthiest diet is one built from plant foods and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. To maximize nutritional content and good health with a vegetarian diet, choose whole plant foods, limit highly processed foods, and make sure you have a source for vitamin B12.

Your fitness level is important, too. Women who start their pregnancy at a healthy body weight and body composition are better prepared for the physical challenge of making another person. They are also less at risk for complications such as hypertension, diabetes, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Regular exercisers who continue their physical activity with care during their pregnancies have been shown to have healthier pregnancies than less active women.

As you can see, there are some great reasons for looking at lifestyle habits before a pregnancy. By making wise choices about food and exercise, you can give your child the best chance for a healthy beginning.