6 changes you can make now in preparation for a healthy pregnancy

6 changes you can make now in preparation for a healthy pregnancy

Are you trying to conceive, or planning to in the next few months? Here are 6 changes you can make now, to prepare your body (and your partner’s) for a healthy pregnancy.

Did you know, making 5 or more diet and lifestyle changes may improve your fertility by 69%? That was the result from a study by the Harvard School of Public Health1.

The key is to start planning early, as it takes around 90 days for eggs to mature before ovulation, which means that you have an opportunity to increase egg quality and maximise your chance of a successful pregnancy.

It is also important to get your partner involved, optimal sperm health is just as important as egg health, after all it takes 2 to tango, with male physiological factors responsible for 25% of infertility cases 2. Sperm take 2-3 months to develop and they too should be nurtured by positive diet and lifestyle changes during this time.

So here is what you can do:

  1. Start a prenatal: the NHMRC recommends starting supplementation at least 3 months prior to conception. Folate is important to prevent the risk of neural tube defects, but there are other key nutrients you should look at as well, such as choline, zinc and vitamin D. Check out more information on supplementation here.
  2. See your doctor for a blood test: this is important to check for any nutrient deficiencies, review AMH levels and discuss any other specifics relating to your personal situation (such as medications, medical conditions or vaccinations).
  3. Limit or cut alcohol, stop smoking and drug use: the negative effects of alcohol and smoking during pregnancy are well studied. There is no amount of alcohol known to be safe at any stage of pregnancy, with one meta-analysis finding it increased the chance of miscarriage by 19%3.
  4. Reach + maintain a healthy weight: Research has found an increased risk of infertility in women with BMI’s below 20 and above 244. Being of healthy weight can also reduce your risk of pregnancy complications, such as gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia. Consider the support of a nutritionist for weight loss or gain and advice on healthy diet & lifestyle changes to improve pregnancy outcomes.
  5. Reduce exposure to environmental toxins: Exposure to pollutants, such as BPA, PCBs, heavy metals and air pollutants can impact on both female and male fertility5. Making simple changes such as soaking your fruit & veg in bi carb soda for 20mins after purchasing, buying organic grains and animal products and reviewing your personal care and makeup routine are some ways to get started to reduce the toxic load on your body.
  6. Consider the Mediterranean Diet: This diet is characterised by increased intake of mono and polyunsaturated fats (including omega 3’s), lower processed meat and animal proteins and higher intake of plant-based protein, fruit and vegetables. Evidence consistently points to the anti-inflammatory nature of this diet as being beneficial to those experiencing fertility challenges6.

Kelly Benton – Pregnancy & Baby Nutritionist

Kelly Benton is a nutritionist specialising in maternal and baby nutrition. She is a mother of two, right there in the thick of it with you. After experiencing maternal nutrient depletion through her first pregnancy and postpartum period, Kelly saw a need to educate and empower other women to proactively take health into their hands so they can have a more positive experience. Kelly is available for 1:1 consults, to book please visit her website or Instagram page.



1: Chavarro JE, Rich-Edwards JW, Rosner BA, Willett WC. Diet and lifestyle in the prevention of ovulatory disorder infertility. Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Nov;110(5):1050-8. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000287293.25465.e1. PMID: 17978119.

2: Salas-Huetos A, Bulló M, Salas-Salvadó J. Dietary patterns, foods and nutrients in male fertility parameters and fecundability: a systematic review of observational studies. Hum Reprod Update. 2017 Jul 1;23(4):371-389. doi: 10.1093/humupd/dmx006. PMID: 28333357.

3: Sundermann AC, Zhao S, Young CL, Lam L, Jones SH, Velez Edwards DR, Hartmann KE. Alcohol Use in Pregnancy and Miscarriage: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2019 Aug;43(8):1606-1616. doi: 10.1111/acer.14124. Epub 2019 Jul 3. PMID: 31194258; PMCID: PMC6677630.

4: Rich-Edwards JW, Spiegelman D, Garland M, Hertzmark E, Hunter DJ, Colditz GA, Willett WC, Wand H, Manson JE. Physical activity, body mass index, and ovulatory disorder infertility. Epidemiology. 2002 Mar;13(2):184-90. doi: 10.1097/00001648-200203000-00013. PMID: 11880759.

5: Pizzorno J. Environmental Toxins and Infertility. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2018 Apr;17(2):8-11. PMID: 30962779; PMCID: PMC6396757.

6: Alesi S, Villani A, Mantzioris E, Takele WW, Cowan S, Moran LJ, Mousa A. Anti-Inflammatory Diets in Fertility: An Evidence Review. Nutrients. 2022; 14(19):3914. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14193914

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.