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Pregnancy Nutrition Resources

If there is one thing for certain, it is this: When a woman decides she wants to have a baby, or after she becomes pregnant, she is bombarded with a plethora of information, recommendations and "tips" from those around her.

How is she supposed to absorb it all? Know what to believe? If you're going to listen to any friendly tips at all, here is one to hold on to: To learn how your eating can affect the ability to become pregnant, or baby's growth, read information from a dietitian and professors of nutrition. Let all the other books, columns and websites fall to the wayside.

Just like you want to get the most for your dollar when shopping and the most from your calories when eating, so do you when it comes to time spent reading about nutrition and pregnancy.

Looking for good, reliable sources for pregnancy nutrition? Here are three top choices for any mother-to-be:

#1- Eating Expectantly from Bridget Swinney, M.S., R.D.

Designed to help expectant mothers meet nutritional goals before, during and after pregnancy, the author is a dietitian and mother of two. She offers real-life answers to common pregnancy questions (i.e.: I've heard that woman who breast-feed could have a lower risk of osteoporosis later in life. Is that true?). Swinney also lists tips and facts for convenience and fast foods and provides tasty trimester-specific menus with nearly 300 recipes. She writes in a manner in which you feel you are having a conversation with a wise friend versus a scientific reference book.

#2- Expect the Best from Elizabeth M. Ward, M.S., R.D.

Elizabeth Ward's book is filled with lots of current, sound, nutrition information great to keep on hand for answering the questions that come up unexpectedly during your pregnancy. For example, “Is it better to eat six times a day or three?” You will also find 34 pages of “Quick and Delicious Recipes” and a five-page section of resources you'll most definitely find helpful!

#3- The Fertility Diet from Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH and Jorge E. Chavarro, MD, ScD

As doctor's Willett and Chavarro explain “For one in seven American couples, though, conception doesn't ‘just happen'.” After working with the data for the Nurses' Health Study, they have come to one conclusion- one specific type of infertility, ovulation-related infertility, can be helped by nutrition. They offer “10 simple changes that offer a powerful boost to fertility” while discussing the science behind types of infertility and the recommendations they make. You will find meal plans and recipes at the end of the book as well as plenty of citations to support their conclusions.

When contemplating pregnancy, and during your pregnancy, it's important to remember what you eat and the type of lifestyle you lead may affect your fertility and impact the growth and health of your baby. Keep the books listed above in mind for when the pregnancy bug bites you or the women in your life!