nutrition and diet during pregnancy. Pregnant woman with fruits and vegetables Health & Wellbeing 01/02/18

Get yourself baby ready

Once you actually get pregnant there is a lot to do to get ready for the baby, be it taking your folic acid, decorating the nursery or embarking on a regime of perineum stretching! (Be careful who you mention this to though, it’s difficult to discuss without wincing!)

With just over half of pregnancies in the UK planned* and with most couples (84%) getting pregnant within a year of starting trying** there is a lot that you can do before a little one comes to join your family.

Physically either before or while you’re trying to get pregnant getting in shape can be a benefit. Being over or underweight can affect fertility in both mums and dads to be, *** so a healthy diet and regular exercise can make you feel better and help prepare you for birth.

When looking to eat healthily it’s worth looking at what key vitamins and minerals are important when trying for a baby. Folic acid is recommended by the medical profession to help the development of babies in the early weeks of pregnancy. It’s easy to pick up in most supermarkets or you can choose to take a specially formulated supplement which includes a mixture of recommended nutrients, although a healthy varied diet with lots of vegetables should help you achieve this.

For NHS advice on eating healthily during pregnancy click here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/healthy-pregnancy-diet/?

Get financially fit. Having a baby can put a strain on finances and having to manage on a reduced salary for 6 months plus and longer with childcare costs is something few of us look forward to. In 2015 it was reported that parents with young children (aged one to four) can expect to fork out 40% of their household income to meet the cost of nursery fees.**** Trying to reduce outgoings and prepare financially will help parents ease the adjustment to the costs that having a baby can bring.

Having a baby brings with it so many things to think about. A bit of preparation and getting your house in order can help make it all a little less overwhelming and that can only be a good thing, for you and for baby.

*Wellings K et al. The prevalence of unplanned pregnancy and associated factors in Britain (opens in a new tab). The Lancet, 26 November 2013.
**https://www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/2295.aspx?CategoryID=54
***https://www.babycentre.co.uk/a7170/how-to-get-your-body-ready-for-a-baby
****From The Telegraph article by John Bingham, ‘Average cost of raising a child in UK £230,000’ with Research conducted for LV= by Opinium Research conducted during January 2015.

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