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Experts Corner

Nutrition / Children's Health

Why is it important to eat healthfully before I conceive?
By Mediconsult's Nutrition Services

Pregnancy is a time of excitement and change; a time when most women make a special effort to eat well and take care of themselves. But, preparing for a pregnancy should start long before conception. While balanced nutrition, regular exercise and a healthy weight range should be a priority for all women, this advice takes on new importance for women who wish to become, or have recently become, mothers.

Good nutrition helps a woman's body prepare for motherhood. The complex processes that occur during pregnancy and lactation require a rich supply of protein, vitamins and minerals for both mother and child. If the mother's body has built stores of nutrients over months and years before conception, the added demands of pregnancy and lactation can be met with modest adjustments to mother's diet. If, however, nutrient stores are low at the start of pregnancy, women run a greater risk of nutrition-related problems such as anemia or pregnancy difficulties.

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