Preparing for pregnancy - Food & drink to include

Eating a healthy and balanced diet whilst preparing for pregnancy can both improve your chances of conception and increase the chances of having a healthy baby.

Here are some foods you should try and include within your diet :

  • Folic acid – reduces the risk of neural tube defects such as spina bifida. Medical advice states to take this supplement before conception and for the first 3 months of pregnancy.
  • Protein – meat, chicken, dairy and pulses.
  • 5 portions of fruit and veg a day.
  • Carbohydrates – potatoes, rice, pasta and bread.
  • Fish, including oily fish (salmon, sardines, trout, and mackerel).
  • Calcium rich foods – milk, cheese, yogurt, tofu, leafy green veg, broccoli and canned fish with bones such as salmon. Skimmed milk contains more calcium than semi-skimmed or full fat milk.
  • Iron – contained in red meat, green veg, dried fruit and fortified cereals. Drink a glass of vitamin C rich juice with meals to aid iron absorption. Tea and coffee affect the body’s absorption of iron, so they should be avoided at meal times.
  • You should take a supplement for pregnant women.
  • Drink plenty of water, 2 litres a day is recommended.