The Right Foods for Conception and Pregnancy

June 11, 2008

In this health-crazed society, many of us try to take care of ourselves all the time. It's often hard to know, however, exactly how to take care of ourselves when there are so many fad diets and so many philosophies on the market today.  When you are pregnant, nutrition becomes even more important.

Getting the most out of your nutrients each day and eating right for you and your baby will increase your chances of having a healthy baby.  

Prenatal Vitamins 

Prenatal vitamins are essential for anyone who is trying to get pregnant.  While some women take these vitamins once they realize they are pregnant, women should really start to take them before they become pregnant.  This is because a baby's organs begin to form somewhere around the 17th day after conception.  Most people don't even realize they are pregnant this early, and the vitamins can certainly help your growing baby.  Taking them while you're still trying to conceive will ensure that the baby is getting these nutrients from the very beginning.

Eating for Health and Pregnancy

Your food choices during your pregnancy will influence your energy level, your weight gain and your baby's development.  Choose leafy green vegetables, nuts and whole grains that have Vitamin B6 in them.  Eating foods that are full of calcium and rich in vitamin C will also give you energy and keep you healthy as you try to conceive and move through your pregnancy.  

Drinking for Health and Conception

Water is the best drink that you can have while you're trying to conceive and enjoying your pregnancy.  Make sure to have at least 8 full glasses of water a day.  Tea is said to help to enhance fertility, and it also contains antioxidants which help you to have a healthy immune system.  Be careful, however, about the caffeine in both tea and coffee.  Some recent research has linked caffeine to miscarriages, and caffeine is certainly not good for the developing baby or for you.  Coke, Pepsi and many other sodas have two strikes against them.  They are full of empty calories (or harmful diet chemicals) and they have caffeine.  Save the room in your stomach for something more nutritious.

Foods to Avoid

When trying to conceive, and once you are pregnant, avoid raw foods such as uncooked meat, eggs and sushi.  Avoid eating too much seafood and fish with mercury.  High mercury levels have been linked to birth defects and other problems during pregnancy.  Avoid processed foods with excess sugar and refined flour.  They create empty calories and short lived energy.  These foods can also cause gestational diabetes.

Enjoy this time as much as possible.  Think about your body as a vessel that is doing important work - the most important work - trying to create another life.  You want to supply that life with as much nutrients as possible to ensure a healthy baby!

 

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