Whether you’re planning to have a baby or are already advanced in your pregnancy, diet and wellbeing are important. Here's some top tips on eating well, no matter what stage you’re at
Whether you’re planning for a baby or not, it’s important that your own body is a healthy weight with a varied diet and active lifestyle. The Eatwell Guide is the perfect way to help you get all of the nutrients that your body needs.
Folic acid is essential before and during pregnancy, helping to reduce the risk of neural tube defects in your baby. It's tough to get all this from your diet so a 400mcg folic acid supplement should be taken while trying to conceive, then up to the 12th week of pregnancy. If you are very overweight (BMI >30) you should take 5mg of folic acid every day when you are planning to get pregnant up to the end of the first trimester.
Iron is another essential nutrient while planning for a baby. Include plenty of rich sources of iron in your diet, such as lean red meat as well as plant-based sources: lentils, beans, wholegrain bread and dried fruit. These are harder for the body to absorb, so should be combined with foods rich in vitamin C, such as tomatoes, citrus fruit and peppers.
Dads: keeping fit and maintaining a healthy weight and balanced diet is just as important for future fathers. Zinc and selenium can boost fertility – great sources include lean red meat, wholegrain cereals, seafood and eggs.
A healthy balanced diet is key to providing the right nutrients for you and your baby. It's good to maintain a healthy weight so try and avoid falling into the 'eating for two' habit. Only in the last trimester should you increase your calorie consumption by 200 calories a day.
Nutrients you need more of:
Nutrients to avoid/limit:
If you're planning on breastfeeding when your little one arrives, again it's important to maintain a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fluids. The same nutritional information around fish, vitamin D, alcohol and caffeine should be followed as above, but if you do wish to drink alcohol, it’s best to avoid feeding for two to three hours per unit after drinking.
Make every meal healthy – explore our online selection of Eat Well products, which includes fresh fish, salad and fruit
From knowing how many calories your body needs to working out the right balance of nutrients, let us help you make better choices