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Pregnancy Eat Right

Pregnancy Eat Right - What it is

Eat "Right" Before Having a Baby

For most mothers-to-be, pregnancy is the time when they begin to eat a balanced and nutritious diet. Few women realise that it is important to prepare their bodies before planning a pregnancy. Being well-nourished and of a healthy weight at the time of conception is one way of helping to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Grossly underweight or overweight men and women have reduced fertility and higher miscarriage rates. Obese women have problems with ovulation while massively obese men have reduced sperm count.

Under-nutrition at the time of conception is also associated with a higher rate of perinatal mortality and low birth weight. Nutritional imbalances during the early stage of pregnancy could have an adverse effect on early foetal development. This nutritional vulnerability will be present even before the pregnancy is suspected, which highlights the importance of planning ahead.

Pre-conception nutrition counselling by a dietitian can help to ensure that healthy eating habits are adopted by the time conception occurs. Pre-conception nutrition care is especially important for the following groups of women:

  • Those who have had three or more pregnancies in the past two years, as their nutrient stores may be depleted
  • Those following restricted diets e.g. slimmers, recent vegetarians and those with poor or irregular eating habits
  • Those who are underweight or overweight. Nutrition counselling should ideally be given 3 - 4 months before the intended time of conception. This will give them time to work towards an acceptable body weight and build up stores of nutrients in their bodies
  • Women with established diabetes or other chronic diseases
  • Women with a history of poor pregnancy outcome

While planning a pregnancy, it is also advisable to stop smoking, drinking alcohol and using drugs inappropriately as important stages in your baby's development start right after conception.

Lastly, women who are planning a pregnancy should not make drastic changes to their diets or take over-the-counter nutrient supplements without their doctor's or dietitian's advice.

Pregnancy Eat Right - Symptoms

Pregnancy Eat Right - How to prevent?

Pregnancy Eat Right - Causes and Risk Factors

Pregnancy Eat Right - Diagnosis

Pregnancy Eat Right - Treatments

Pregnancy Eat Right - Preparing for surgery

Pregnancy Eat Right - Post-surgery care

Pregnancy Eat Right - Other Information

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