Health Tip: Preparing for Pregnancy

What's needed in your diet, and what you should avoid

(HealthDay News) -- At least three months before you try to get pregnant, you should start making sure that your body has the nutrients it needs to conceive a healthy baby.

The American Pregnancy Association offers these recommendations:

  • Make sure you get at least 400 micrograms of folate or folic acid each day, either from your diet or from a supplement.
  • Get at least 1,000 milligrams per day of calcium -- the equivalent of three 8-ounce glasses of skim milk.
  • Talk to your doctor about taking a special vitamin for women who are pregnant or are likely to become pregnant.
  • Reduce -- to no more than 300 milligrams daily -- your intake of caffeine, which can affect fertility and the body's ability to absorb calcium and iron.
  • Avoid alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and artificial sweeteners.

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