Ideally you would aim to be within the healthy weight range several months before you start to try to become pregnant, although fertility may improve with weight loss of 5-10%.
When trying to conceive, certain nutrients are needed in higher amounts. You should eat the same foods recommended for any healthy diet, with special care for the following nutrients:
- Most women will need to take a folate supplement for at least two months before trying to become pregnant and for the first three months of pregnancy. It is difficult to achieve the recommended intake to reduce the risk of neural tube defect with normal foods alone.
- Many women have low vitamin D levels and may require either additional safe sun exposure or a vitamin D supplement.
- Some areas of Australia are deficient in iodine and so dietary intake may be insufficient to support healthy brain development in the baby during pregnancy. Good sources of iodine include eggs, meat, dairy and bread (made with iodised salt), however you may want to discuss taking an iodine supplement with your doctor.
- Calcium requirements are not increased in pregnancy but remember you need to be having 1000 mg of calcium per day. This can be provided by three serves of reduced fat dairy or calcium supplemented soy foods each day such as milk, cheese or yoghurt. You will need to take a supplement if you do not usually consume dairy or calcium supplemented non-dairy milks, yoghurts and cheeses.
The Jenny Craig menus will, on average meet the nutritional requirements of the general population. The menus are developed by Accredited Practising Dietitians to reflect current nutrition recommendations outlined in the Dietary Guidelines formulated by the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC). However, your doctor may recommend a specially formulated vitamin and mineral supplement to be taken in conjunction with following the Jenny Craig menus.
Healthy pregnancy weight – maintaining a healthy weight during your pregnancy.
Post-pregnancy weight loss – returning to your ideal weight while breastfeeding.