By eating healthy and exercising enough, you create the optimal basis for a good pregnancy and a healthy baby. You best start with that at the moment you want to become pregnant.
“It’s about getting your body in optimum condition before you get pregnant,” says Dr. Astrid Postma-Smeets, nutrition and health expert at the Nutrition Center. “You can use that period, the pre-conception phase, to prepare for your pregnancy. You can do this by paying attention to what you eat, by getting enough exercise and by trying to reach a healthy weight. A good weight is important for your own health, it reduces the risk of pregnancy problems, it has a positive effect on your fertility and it also has an effect on the health of your child. ”
A healthy lifestyle and some extras are the ideal preparation for your pregnancy
Extra folic acid, vitamin D and Calcium
Even if you already have a healthy lifestyle, it is wise to pay extra attention to your diet in the period before and during pregnancy. “Your body then needs a little more from a few nutrients. Consider, for example, folic acid. That substance has been important since conception, so even before you know that you are pregnant at all, it is important for the development of your child. You need more folic acid than you can get from your food.
The advice is to take 400 micrograms of folic acid per day from the moment you want to become pregnant and during the first ten weeks of your pregnancy. This reduces the chance that your baby will get an open back, cleft lip or open palate. Vitamin D is necessary for proper bone growth of your baby. It ensures that calcium from your diet is optimally absorbed. To ensure that you get enough vitamin D, it is advisable to take a supplement with 10 micrograms per day during your entire pregnancy. You get enough calcium if you take 300 to 450 milliliters of milk products and 40 grams of cheese every day. ”
Just like folic acid, vitamin B12 is also important from the moment you want to become pregnant. “Vitamin B12 is needed for the production of red blood cells. Those red blood cells are needed to carry oxygen in your blood. In addition, vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper functioning of your nervous system. Vitamin B12 is found in milk, fish and meat, among other things. If you use little or no animal products, then take a Vitamin B12 supplement. ”
Make sure you get enough vitamins and nutrients. If they are not in your diet, use supplements
Fatty fish and or fish oil
Omega 3 fatty acids are again very important for the development of the brain and the eyesight of your unborn baby. “The fish fatty acids are mainly in fatty fish and in capsules with fish oil,” explains Postma-Smeets. “If you do not eat fish at all, for example because you eat vegan, you only make a very small proportion of fish fatty acids. Fortunately, there are now capsules with fish fatty acids that have been extracted from algae. That is a good option for people with a vegan diet. ”
Vitamin C, Iodine and Iron
There are more vitamins that are important. “Too little iodine in your body can have major consequences for the development of your child and can even lead to dwarfism in extreme cases. Iodine is in fish and in bread. Pay attention because sometimes in organic bread no iodine is added to baker’s salt. Then you need additional sources of iodine. You need iron to make blood cells. It is in meat, in whole-grain products, in legumes, nuts, and vegetables. Vitamin C is important to be able to absorb that iron optimally. Eating fruit and vegetables with every meal helps you to get enough vitamin C.”
Eating and drinking healthy is important both before, during and after your pregnancy
Know what you eat and what you should not eat
During your pregnancy you can continue to eat and drink just about anything. “But some products can be harmful to yourself or your baby,” says Postma-Smeets. “That is why the Voedingscentrum has developed the ZwangerHap app. With that free app you can quickly and easily look up thousands of products if they are safe to eat or drink. ”