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Question
Posted by: Jasmine | 2005/07/25

Preparation

I am 34 and hubby and I are about to start planning our first child. I am lucky in the sense that I am naturally healthy (good genes) and seldom frequent doctors consulting rooms. I play squash and gym once a week. But my eating habits are poor - yet I am healthy. I enjoy my wine each evening too plus I am a smoker. Now that we are wanting a child I realize that at my age I might need to do some additional planning as to get my body in a healthy condition for my pregnancy and to avoid any complications. What foods should I especially focus on? Vitamin suppliments? Please advise.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Jasmine
The first thing you need to do is to stop smoking as this can have a most detrimental effect on the health of your unborn baby including during the period of conception. You also need to eat a balanced diet that includes all the food groups (fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish (3 times a week), eggs, low-fat milk and dairy products, wholegrains and cereals, and poly- or monounsaturated oils and margarine. Take a complete vitamin and mineral supplement if you think that you are deficient, otherwise you should be able to obtain all the nutrients from your diet. Also take Salmon oil capsules for omega-3 and folic acid to prevent spina bifida in the unborn child. You also need to stop drinking alcohol if you fall pregnant because even a few glasses of wine can cause foetal alcohol syndrome - something that you need to avoid as much as possible. Click on 'Diet' at the top of this page and then on 'Eating throughout life' and read the articles on 'Pregnancy' to get further information
Good luck with falling pregnant
DietDoc

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