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Becoming healthy before becoming pregnant:

Pre-conception nutrition is a vital part of preparing for pregnancy. Factors such as a woman's weight compared to her height and what she eats can play an important role in a mother's health during pregnancy and the health of her developing fetus.

Pre-pregnancy weight:

A mother's pre-pregnancy weight has a direct influence on her baby's birthweight. Studies show that underweight women are more likely to give birth to small babies, even though they may gain the same amount in pregnancy as normal weight women. Overweight women have increased risks for complications in pregnancy such as gestational diabetes or high blood pressure. Consult your physician about whether you need to lose or gain weight before becoming pregnant.

Pre-pregnancy nutrition:

Many women do not eat a well-balanced diet before pregnancy and may not have the proper nutritional status for the demands of pregnancy. Generally, a pregnant woman needs to add about 300 extra calories to meet the needs of her body and her developing fetus. However, those calories, as well as her entire diet, need to be healthy, balanced, and nutritious.

Food Guide Pyramid for Adults, USDA
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Using the food pyramid can help you plan the number of servings from each food group for a well-balanced diet. In addition, the following nutrients should be included in a woman's pre-conception diet and continued into pregnancy:

Click here to view the
Online Resources of High-Risk Pregnancy

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