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Nutrition for fertility

Nutrition within a fertility setting

Pre-conception health is a woman’s health before she falls pregnant. A healthy diet increases chances of conception by preparing your body for pregnancy. Studies have shown, parents diet at the time of conception influences a baby’s DNA, which can then affect and dictate a child health disposition in life. The importance of a well-balanced diet prior to conception therefore is crucial.

Fertility and obesity

Studies have shown a significant correlation between pre-conception weight and gestation weight gain (GWG).1,2 A successful pregnancy weight gain should be established by planning to get pregnant on the basis of their pre-pregnancy BMI. Recent studies have shown that GWG increases maternal fat stores in obese women.

One-third of pregnant women in Australia are overweight or obese, preventing excess weight during preconception therefore is a priority.3 Preconception overweight and obesity increases the risk of pregnancy complications including: birth defect, preterm delivery, stillbirth, gestational diabetes, shoulder dystocia and larger newborns.3

Fertility Foods 

Here are some foods that you can incorporate into your diet for added benefit during pre-conception;

OILY FISH - mackerel, salmon, herrings and sardines. These foods provide the good saturated fats.

PROTEINS - avocado, chicken, fish, low-fat yogurt and milk, cottage cheese, tofu, eggs, baked beans, kidney beans.

LOW GI FOODS - apples, plums, pears, peaches, cherries, apricot, grapefruits, all pulses (such as lentils and chick peas), green leafy vegetables such as broccoli, mushrooms, onions, garlic, asparagus and wholegrain or rye bread, nuts, and oat biscuits.


For more information about ways optimise your diet or weight, or for a referral to see a dietician, please get in touch with our rooms on (03) 94287572.

1. Cunningham FG, Gant NF, Leveno KJ, Gilstrap LC, Hauth JC, et al. (2001). Prenatal care. In: William's Obstetrics 21st ed. New York: Appleton and Lange.

Edelman LC, Mandle CL (2006). Health Promotion throughout the life span. 6th ed. St Louis: Elsevier.

3. World Health Organisation. Preconception care to reduce maternal and childhood mortality and morbidity. 2012



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