How to Have a Healthy Pregnancy

In Nina Planck’s second book, Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby’s First Foods, the food writer, mother, and farmer’s market pioneer talks candidly about her experiences with food before, during, and after pregnancy. Below, read her musings on various topics, such as why she thinks it’s easier to get pregnant if you’re eating right, that it’s ok to have a little wine while you’re pregnant, and why you should breastfeed past the recommended age.


Do certain foods make you fertile?

If you’re ready to have a baby, change your diet first. Much of what makes you fertile (such as estrogen) or not (such as trans fats) lodges in your fat. Eating real food will replace and replenish the nutrients in your tissues, but this takes time. If you’ve eaten a poor diet for years, it might be worth losing a little weight and replacing it with new weight from good foods for a couple of months.

Trying to Conceive: Five Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating

Eating to conceive is easy. You can cover all the fertility nutrients with just five good foods. For vitamins A, D, and K2, drink whole milk. For vitamin E, be generous with extra- virgin olive oil. For folate, have a green salad. For iodine, eat wild salmon or any seafood. For zinc and vitamin B12, any red meat will do. It’s just plain real food—and substituting other real foods is fine. If you don’t like milk, eat cheese instead. If you don’t like salmon, try tuna. If you forget what to eat or why, consult the accompanying chart, and if you suspect you’re not getting enough real food, consider a supplement

TIP: Get some sun, too. Your body can manufacture vitamin D from cholesterol if your skin is exposed to sunlight. People most at risk of vitamin D deficiency have dark skin, keep their skin covered in public, live in northern climates, and spend their midday hours indoors. Getting twenty minutes of sunlight on as much skin as you can expose, even in the dead of winter, is an excellent idea. You don’t need to get tan or even pink, but be aware that sunscreen blocks vitamin D production.