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Is nutrition something I should even worry about when I first begin trying to get pregnant?

I have been asked this a few times and I can understand why. When it comes to falling pregnant it's all to do with our body's physical ability right? What impact could nutrition really have on whether or not we conceive? Once we are pregnant our baby will just get what they need naturally won't they?

There are so many factors that nutrition plays when it comes to getting pregnant, our experience of pregnancy, and our baby's life that you absolutely should be paying attention to our nutrition when deciding to start a family. I could talk on this for hours so to simplify things- here are my top reasons why:

  1. Whether or not you conceive can be influenced by nutrition

There are many factors that influence whether or not we conceive and some of these have nothing to do with nutrition such as physical issues within the male or female reproductive system, while others do. The health of our eggs and sperm, whether or not we are ovulating, embryo development, and whether or not the embryo implants into the uterus are all steps of the conception process that nutrition can impact on.

2. Our baby is relying on us for their nutrient intake, brain development, and growth

I clearly remember being 10 weeks pregnant and wondering whether my baby really was able to get what she needed while my ongoing nausea limited my diet to Arnotts shapes and marmite on toast! The good news is though, that we can optimize our nutrient intakes to store away important nutrients in the 3-6 months prior to getting pregnant, to make sure that even if we can't eat properly, our baby can. This is where great nutrition and pre-conception supplementation comes into play!

3. We can begin shaping our baby's future long before conception even happens

It's incredible how many serious illnesses have been linked to epigenetics- which is influenced by our lifestyle including diet before we even get pregnant. If you and your partner can give yourself atleast 3 months (the time it takes for sperm and egg to develop & mature) of great nutrition and appropriate supplementation before you start trying then this will do wonders for your future kids.

4. Our experience of pregnancy (energy levels, nausea, reflux, and other symptoms) can be influenced by what we eat

There are so many things that we can do with our eating to improve energy levels, and reduce niggly pregnancy symptoms. Nausea is a common one but with simple diet changes such as portion size, meal timing, carbohydrate intake, and supplement advice e.g. B6 and magnesium, we can make a huge difference in how you feel.

So overall, yes nutrition is definitely something worth thinking about when it comes to starting your pregnancy journey. If you know that you are still 6-12 months away from even thinking about starting a family then now is the time to get started! We have the best possible chance of optimising fertility and pregnancy when we give ourselves more time so do not hesitate to start now. If you are already trying to conceive or already pregnant then it is by no means too late to start focusing on your nutrition. It's incredible what impact some simple food and supplement changes can have on the quality of your eggs and sperm, your chances of conceiving, and your baby's future health.

If you are interested in getting some personalised nutrition advice from a pregnancy and fertility dietitian specialist then go ahead and book now for your first appointment. I would love to meet you and support you on this incredibly exciting journey ahead.


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