Importance of a Good Diet

A good diet is key to a healthy pregnancy. Here are some reasons why what you eat is so vital to you and your developing baby.

A good diet can:

  • Help prevent birth defects:
    Birth defects such as spina bifida have been found to have links to the mother’s diet. Good nutrients are the building blocks of healthy development.
  • Help for easier labor and delivery:
    When you are on a good diet, your body is healthier and in better shape. Certain nutrients such as protein and zinc have shown to have a direct influence on labor and the health of the uterus. Your baby and placenta are also healthier. This can all work together for better labor and delivery.
  • Protect you and your baby from infection:
    Vitamins such as C can strengthen you and your baby’s immune systems.
  • Lessen your chances of miscarriage:
    A good diet will enable the placenta to grow properly and better meet the needs of the developing baby. A healthy placenta is also less likely to detach from the uterus before labor which can also cause miscarrage.
  • Make your baby healthier:
    Diet can positively influence your baby’s birth weight and heath after birth.
  • Protect you from anemias:
    Not having enough iron is usually caused by a poor diet. Low iron is often the cause for fatigue and can lead to other complications.
  • Protect you and your baby from abruption of the placenta:
    If the placenta is not healthy, then it may break away from the uterus too early before labor begins. This can cause bleeding and about half of the time causes death to the baby.
  • Protect you and your baby from Metabolic Toxemia of Late Pregnancy:
    Metabolic Toxemia of Late Pregnancy is a condition caused by a lack of protein and minerals. This can affect proper liver functioning which can result in toxemia.

“Nutrition During Pregnancy,” The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. 1999.
“Healthy Beginnings: Guidelines for Care During Pregnancy and Childbirth,” The Society of Gynecologists and Obstetricians of Canada. 2000.
“Pregnancy and Nutrition,” The National Women’s Health Information Center. 2000.
“Folic Acid for Healthy Babies,” The Center for Disease Control, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 1999.
“Recommendations to Prevent and Control Iron Deficiency in the United States,” The Center for Disease Control, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 1998.

Last updated: 12/2006