There are a number of things you can do in the time when you are trying to conceive to help support a healthy pregnancy. It’s important to eat right, exercise, and start taking a prenatal vitamin to increase your intake of vitamin D, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, and folic acid. Women who consume healthy diets with adequate folate may reduce their risk of having a child with birth defects of the brain or spinal cord.
Folic acid, or folate (vitamin B9), is important in early pregnancy. You want to make sure that you are getting enough of it to ensure healthy development of the baby’s brain and spinal cord, which is one of the first things to develop in the early weeks of pregnancy (before you even know you are expecting!). When pregnant, you need 600 mcg per day of dietary folate equivalents, which is why it is often found in prenatal dietary supplements like OB Complete®. To get more folate in your diet, opt for foods such as steamed spinach or kidney beans. Dark, leafy green vegetables, like kale or collard greens, are also great sources. If you aren’t a huge fan of greens, try adding some nuts, eggs, grains, or seafood to your diet.