Nutrition Before Pregnancy

If you are at a time in your life when you want to become pregnant it is wise to prepare your body in the best possible way. Some practitioners recommend preparing for pregnancy up to a year in advance, if possible. Here are some ways that you can prepare your body to nurture the wonderful little life that is soon to be alive inside of you: 


Taking folate is recommended one month before pregnancy and throughout the first three months of pregnancy. Folate is a B-vitamin that helps prevent birth defects like spinal bifida. The general recommended dose is 400 micrograms daily.

Varied and balanced diet

Eating a healthy diet high in varied fruits and vegetables and whole plant food is highly recommended during the pre-pregnancy period. By eating a varied diet and including vegetables from all the colours in the rainbow, you will get an optimal level of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and protein. 


A fetus receives all of its iron from its mother, which means that mothers need a large iron store before becoming pregnant. Building up your iron stores can easily be done by regularly eating foods that contain iron, such as dark, leafy green vegetables, whole grain products like oatmeal, nuts, seeds and dried fruit like apricots and raisins. By accompanying these foods with some vitamin C, like drinking fresh orange juice or chopped red bell pepper, the absorption will be optimized (vitamin C  increases the absorption of iron, while tea and coffee inhibit it). Be careful to exercise some caution when taking iron supplements, since large amounts of it can be harmful and many supplements are highly constipating. Before becoming pregnant, it is always recommended to see a health practitioner to get your blood tested, so you may take the exact supplements you need.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is essential for normal fetal development, but too much Vitamin A can also cause fetal malformations. Please consult your health practitioner, as it is not advised to take vitamin A supplements on your own.

If you drink coffee, it is recommended to reduce your intake to 1-2 cup per day, or best of all, switch to a fragrant, low-caffeine tea found at your local health food store.

*The best prerequisites for a healthy and comfortable pregnancy are to start with a healthy weight for your body type, a varied plant-based diet and a habit of regular exercise. Try ensuring you eat regular meals with lots of vegetables and fruit, and take refreshing brisk walks in the park or nature-hike once a day.

(This section is intended as general guidelines but should not replace the advice of your health practitioner.)

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