The effects of a mother's diet on her baby can start even before conception and last as long as the baby is breast feeding. Diet is absolutely critical to giving a child the best possible start in life. Women who are pregnant or considering getting pregnant should consult with health professionals and do extensive research to ensure proper nutrition before, during, and after pregnancy.

Foods to avoid are just as important as those that should be included. Foods containing toxins or microbes affect the baby as well as the mother. Unpasteurized dairy products, insufficiently cooked meat, certain types of seafood, caffeine, and alcohol, are potentially harmful and should be eliminated during pregnancy and breast feeding.

Beneficial Foods

Ginger Safely relieves nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

Beneficial Nutrients

Chlorophyll Improves milk production.
Iodine Iodine deficiency can cause infertility, stillbirth, growth abnormalities, and mental retardation. Iodine plays an important role in the maturation of the reproductive system.
Iron Helps prevent anemia in pregnant women, thereby preventing low birth weight and premature birth.
Phosphorous Essential for proper utilization of zinc and iodine for the reproductive system. Essential for the proper formation of genetic material.
Vitamin B9/Folate Critical for proper development of the fetal nervous system. Deficiencies can lead to neural tube defects like spina bifida. It is recommended that expectant mothers take care to consume 400-500 mcg of folate starting 1 month before conception and through the first trimester of pregnancy.