Pre-conception Nutritional Counseling
For women attempting to become pregnant, Ob-Gyn Associates offers pre-conception nutritional counseling. This services helps patients ensure that they are healthy and prepared for pregnancy.
To book an appointment with our pre-conception nutritionist Judy Brady, please call our office. Pre-conception nutritional counseling appointments cannot currently be booked online.
Why is pre-conception nutrition important?
Sustaining a diet composed of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grains, and dairy products should provide you with the suggested dietary recommendation of vitamins and minerals for proper reproductive functioning. When your diet is balanced, ovulation and conception are made easier and the developing fetus will have a healthy home to grow in.
What are some nutrition basics for getting pregnant?
Begin making healthy changes 3 to 12 months prior to conception. Below is a list of recommendations for healthy nutrition before getting pregnant:
- Folic Acid: Women of childbearing age require 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid every day. This B vitamin assists to minimize a baby’s risk of neural tube defects including spina bifida. Folic acid can be obtained through leafy, dark green vegetables, citrus fruits, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and fortified breads and cereals. However, for pregnancy these foods often need to be supplemented with a prenatal vitamin.
- Calcium: Women should receive at least 1,000 mg of calcium, or three 8-ounce glasses of skim milk, each day when they are considering getting pregnant.
- Supplements & Vitamins: In addition to a healthy diet, several physicians will recommend that women take supplements to increase the likelihood that she is getting all the nutrients needed. Also, 2,000 units of Vitamin D daily.
- Caffeine: It is important that women wean themselves off of caffeine, including chocolate, because it can reduce fertility by 27 percent. Caffeine also impedes the body’s ability to absorb calcium and iron.
- Items to Remove: artificial sweeteners, alcohol, certain medications, cigarettes, and second-hand smoke can harm a developing baby and the mother.
When should I start taking prenatal vitamins?
Women should begin taking prenatal vitamins as soon as they begin trying to conceive. Remember that keeping yourself healthy will increase the likelihood of a healthy conception and a healthy pregnancy. By beginning prenatal vitamins as you are attempting to become pregnant, the body will be prepared and be in the best shape once you are pregnant. This will help reduce complications and ensure healthy fetal growth.