So you are thinking about trying to have a baby – now what? Part two.

So you are thinking about trying to have a baby – now what? Part two.

Welcome to our four part blog series on trying to have a baby. Part two covers diet and lifestyle changes for mum and dad when trying to conceive.

Diet and lifestyle changes

Now that you’ve decided to get pregnant it is a great time to think about your diet, lifestyle and weight. Being overweight before and during pregnancy can make things a bit more challenging, both physically and medically, for you and your baby.

If you’re a bit heavier than you should be, consider losing some weight before conceiving. General advice is to consume a healthy, balanced diet and increase your physical activity.

If you are overweight or obese any weight loss will be beneficial. We recommend aiming for a BMI (body mass index=weight(kg)/height(m)2) in the normal range (with a BMI of 20-25). If you’re carrying a lot of extra weight or have had difficulty losing weight in the past you may want to consult your GP or see a dietician for some specific advice.

Are there any foods I need to avoid prior to conceiving?

Providing you have a healthy and balanced diet the answer is no. There are various foods that are best avoided during pregnancy, but there is nothing you need to specifically avoid before pregnancy. 
Now might be a time to enjoy some soft cheese, smoked salmon or sushi if you’re going to miss them in the months ahead!

Alcohol intake is probably okay prior to conception, but should really only be in moderation. Alcohol is best avoided in pregnant women due to risks to the baby, so if there’s any chance you may be pregnant it’s probably safest to skip the alcohol.

If you are a smoker you should definitely try to stop smoking. Smoking is bad for health and wellbeing in general and it is particularly bad for babies. Now is the perfect time to quit, and for good. Your local doctor can provide you with additional information and support, and there are various resources available.

What about Dad?

Now is a great time for your partner to re-evaluate his health and wellbeing and implement any appropriate lifestyle changes. 

General recommendations are for Dad to have a healthy, balanced diet, a healthy weight, a safe alcohol consumption and to quit, or at least reduce, smoking. 

These changes can not only potentially improve the likelihood of conception they can also improve general health and wellbeing and provide a positive role model for healthy choices for your baby.


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For urgent assessment at any stage of your pregnancy, please present to your nearest emergency centre or Mater Mothers’ 24/7 Pregnancy Assessment Centre in South Brisbane.

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