On a physical level, preparing for a pregnancy is in some ways like pregnancy itself: eat well, get lots of rest and plenty of exercise.[1] It is also important to take folic acid in supplement form for three months prior to conception.[2],[3],[4] Though supplements are not always the preferred way of getting nutrients, folic acid has been shown to help prevent neural tube defects in daily amounts above 0.4 mg a day or more,[5] amounts not usually available in a regular diet. Because folic acid is important at the very beginning of the pregnancy, at times of rapid tissue growth, it is important to have enough store in the body before pregnancy is noticed. If your diet has been poor, you may also consider doing a diet cleanse or a fast before trying to conceive, which one should not do when pregnant.

Because each pregnancy is different and some women don't have much energy or have nausea the first months of pregnancy, it is important to eat well and be fit before conceiving. It's a good idea to be at your optimum weight when you conceive, since being both over and underweight can have a negative impact on the baby, and being fit can be a great help during the pregnancy in reducing typical symptoms, increasing general wellbeing and for decreasing the delivery time in labour.[6] Find something gentle to do and refrain from pushing yourself too hard, and remind yourself that a key part of exercise is enjoyment.

See Diet and nutrition in pregnancy


Whole Food Cooking


[1] Davies, Gregory A. L., MD, FRCSC, et al.. Exercise in Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. JOINT SOGC/CSEP CLINICAL PRACTICE GUIDELINE No. 129, June 2003, researched August 2009 <>


[2]Folic Acid. Public Health Agency of Canada, September 2008, researched July 2009 <>


[3] Scholl, Theresa O. and William G Johnson. Folic acid: influence on the outcome of pregnancy. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, No. 5, 1295S-1303s, May 2000,

researched July 2009 <>

[4] Public Health Agency of Canada - What is Folic acid?, researched March 2010 <>


[5] Wilson, R. Douglas, MD, FRCSC. The Use of Folic Acid for the Prevention of Neural Tube Defects and Other Congenital Anomalies. SOCC Clinical Practice Guidelines, No. 138, November 2003, researched August 2009 <>


[6] Jacalyn J. Exercise Guidelines and Recommendations During Pregnancy. from The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout The Lifespan. Humana ress,, 2007, researched August 2009 <>

Birth of Venus (detail) by Alexandre  Cabanel

Birth of Venus (detail) by Alexandre  Cabanel

Detail of the Triumph of Galetia

by Raphael Santi