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Making Healthy Changes to Your Diet

  • Take your vitamins

    While it is no substitute for a healthy diet, taking a prenatal vitamin ensures that youíre getting enough folic acid and other nutrients to boost your chances of getting pregnant. Because some multivitamins contain large doses of vitamins and minerals that could be harmful to your developing baby, you should take one that is specifically formulated for pregnant women. Your doctor can recommend a vitamin supplement for you.

  • Get lots of folic acid

    Folic acid is one of the most essential nutrients in promoting a healthy pregnancy. It has been proven to reduce a babyís risk of neural-tube birth defects and is linked to a lower incidence of heart attacks, strokes, cancer and diabetes. According to the U.S. Public Health Service, most women of child-bearing age should get at least 400 micrograms (mcg) of folic acid daily, or 0.4 mg. Your prenatal vitamin should contain more than the minimum recommendation, between 600 and 800 mcg, the amount youíll need when you are pregnant. For some women, too much folic acid may hide a vitamin B-12 deficiency, which is sometimes a problem in vegetarians. Talk to your doctor if you think you are at risk.

  • Find your ideal body weight

    Being either overweight or underweight can make it harder to get pregnant, so shedding or gaining a few pounds while youíre trying to conceive is a good idea. If you are overweight, you are more likely to experience pregnancy and birth complications, so try to reach a healthy weight by following a low-fat, high-fiber diet and getting regular exercise. But donít overdo it. Aim to lose one or two pounds a week, the safe rate for weight loss. If you are underweight, you are more likely to have a baby with a low birth weight, so try to get some extra calories from a healthy, balanced diet.

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Featured Sites:

Cord Blood Registry
March of Dimes
Susan G. Komen

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