We all know that most people feel much better and work better when they are eating a well balanced diet. Planning and following a good diet before pregnancy ensures that your developing fetus receives good nutrition during the first few weeks or months of your pregnancy.
Usually a woman takes good care of herself once she knows she is pregnant. By planning ahead, you will virtually guarantee that your baby has a healthy environment for the entire nine months of your pregnancy and not for just the six or seven months you discover you truly are pregnant. When you make your nutrition plan, you are preparing the environment in which your baby will be conceived and will develop and grow.
Before trying to get pregnant, you need to pay attention to your weight. Do not be too overweight or too underweight. Either of these conditions can make pregnancy more difficult for you.
Do not diet while pregnant or when you are trying to get pregnant. And absolutely do not take diet pills, unless you are using reliable contraception. Consult your doctor if you are considering a special diet for weight reduction or weight gain before you even attempt to get pregnant. Dieting may cause temporary deficiencies in vitamins and minerals that both you and your developing baby need.
Do not self medicate with big doses of wild combinations of vitamins, minerals, or herbs. Believe it or not, you can actually overdo these. Certain vitamins, such as vitamin A, can cause birth defects if used in large amounts. As a general rule, cease all extra supplementation at least 3 months before pregnancy. Eat a well-balanced diet and take one multivitamin or one prenatal vitamin a day. Most doctors are thrilled to prescribe prenatal vitamins if you are planning a pregnancy.
Folic acid is a B vitamin which will help in enjoying a healthy pregnancy. If a prospective mother consumes 0.4mg of folic acid every day, beginning at three or four months before the pregnancy begins, it may protect her developing baby against various birth defects of the spine and brain, called neural-tube defects.
One such defect, spina bifida, afflicts about 4000 babies born in the United States every year. It generally develops during the first few weeks of pregnancy. Studies have indicated that around 75% of all these cases could have been prevented if the mother had taken folic acid. As you plan your pregnancy, consult your physician about supplementation.
Do not forget that the trick to proper nutrition is balance. Stick to eating a balanced diet. Going to extremes with vitamins or fad diets can be harmful to you and your growing baby. It could even make you feel very run down during pregnancy.