13 Foods To Eat & 9 Foods To Avoid When Getting Pregnant

13 Foods To Eat & 9 Foods To Avoid When Getting Pregnant

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You and your partner have decided to start trying for a baby! That’s great and you probably already know about how to chart your cycles, and you may have already visited your doctor because that is what must be done in order to properly attempt to achieve a healthy pregnancy. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

Foods to Eat + Foods to Avoid When Getting Pregnant Infographic


You may have already been told to be sure to get yourself to an acceptable weight and have a BMI of anywhere between 18 to 25, though you can still safely conceive if you have a BMI from 25 to 30 as well.

However, you have to be cautious if you are overweight and trying to get pregnant. Being mildly overweight is not a huge concern, but if your BMI is closer to 30, you could be at a higher risk of ending up with complications like gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia, or hyperemesis gravidarum, which is excessive nausea and vomiting. Being obese puts you at a higher risk of ending up with these complications.

What to Eat and what not to eat when ttc

Now, this leads to the topic of what to eat as well as what not to eat while you are trying to get pregnant, and while you are already pregnant. You must know this for several reasons. The first reason is that when you are trying to conceive, certain foods will help you get to a healthy weight and help your hormone levels level out so you will have healthy ovulatory cycles- which is what you need in order to properly conceive! The same foods will also be very good for your unborn baby’s development once pregnancy is attained.

And we will also go through the list of foods that are not safe to eat while trying to conceive and at the same time to not eat while you are pregnant because it will have a negative impact on the development of the growing fetus. We will also talk about what foods that do not have to be avoided completely but to limit so your cycle is not affected, and the unborn baby won’t be harmed if you limit yourself to certain foods.

Now, let’s focus on what foods to eat while trying to conceive:


Foods to Eat While Trying to Conceive

If you have not heard of the fertility diet, you will now because the foods to eat while you are trying to conceive and after you get pregnant are excellent for you. These foods will help not only boost your fertility but after you do conceive they are great for your unborn baby.


Let’s now take a look at some of these:

Green leafy vegetables

Vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard, cabbage, romaine lettuce, watercress, broccoli, celery, and asparagus are loaded with amazing vitamins and minerals, which includes folic acid that is not only good for your hormones but is important for your unborn baby’s development. Folic acid prevents serious neural tube defects, so you want to make sure you have it in your system even before you start trying to conceive.

green leafy vegetables for fertility

Full-fat dairy products

Stay away from skim milk or low-fat dairy because ironically, it is not good for your hormonal levels while you are trying to conceive. Full-fat dairy helps regulate ovulation and is good for your developing fetus as well. This includes whole-milk, full-fat yogurt, and hard cheeses. Dairy is rich in calcium which is important for you and your baby’s bones, as well as other vitamins and minerals including magnesium and zinc, which is also important for regulating your cycles.

And rumor  has it, the more dairy, the better your chances of conceiving a girl!

Lentils, chickpeas, and beans

This group of legumes are crucial for your hormonal levels and will help balance them out, and they are also great for your developing baby since they are loaded with vitamins and minerals as well as folic acid.


These are also sweet potatoes, and they are loaded with great vitamins such as vitamin A that will help with tissue development and the eyesight of the baby. Yams also contain properties that will increase the woman’s fertility as well. Sweet potatoes are one of the best fertility foods around!

yams for fertility


This fish is essential to take before you try to conceive because it has plenty of healthy fats like Omega 3 that will help regulate your cycles, which will increase your chances of ovulating. This fish is also excellent for your developing baby after pregnancy has been achieved as it promotes brain health. Unfortunately, because many fish has mercury, pregnant women stop eating salmon after they find out they are pregnant. Salmon is safe, especially if it is Atlantic salmon and are not notorious for having high mercury levels. Pregnant women can safely eat salmon 2-3 times a week if they are concerned. It’s an excellent food for fertility and after pregnancy has been confirmed. There is also plenty of Vitamin D in this fish which will help improve bone health and increase the immune system’s function.


Eggs are one of the best fertility foods out there as well as it has properties to help balance out hormonal levels, and therefore increase the chances of ovulation. It is also an excellent food to eat while pregnant because eggs contain a mineral called choline which is essential for brain growth for the unborn child. If you are allergic to eggs, you can always take choline supplements.

Lean meat

Poultry and lean pork are packed with minerals like iron and B-vitamins that are needed. Iron is essential for women who are trying to conceive because it helps regulate hormonal levels, and it is essential after pregnancy to prevent anemia.


It doesn’t matter if they are blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries. These great tasting fruits are packed with water, which is needed for hydration, as well as healthy carbohydrates for the energy you need, and are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They are an excellent fertility food to help with keeping your cycles regular and are great to eat after the pregnancy is confirmed. It provides the vitamins and minerals needed to support the developing fetus.

berries for fertility

Whole grains

Whether it is whole grain bread, or pasta, or crackers, or whole grain cereals like oatmeal, these are packed with essential minerals and vitamins, and complex carbohydrates which will provide you the energy that you need to keep your body functioning without causing your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. They are excellent for the developing baby as well!


This a superfood that is high in folic acid, monounsaturated fats, and plenty of other vitamins and minerals which is excellent for balancing hormones and therefore helping ovulation happen. Continue to eat this after pregnancy too because it is excellent for the unborn baby’s brain and tissue development.


Flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds are full of excellent fatty acids and zinc so it is powerful for boosting your fertility and for helping the baby develop well.


You need to drink at least 6-10 cups of water each day to help keep your circulation going and to help remove any wastes from your body and to stay hydrated. It is important for your overall function, and continue to drink plenty of water after pregnancy is confirmed. Staying hydrated is important.

water for fertility

Prenatal vitamins and folic acid supplements

When you are trying to conceive, you may not get enough nutrients from food alone, so be sure to take a prenatal vitamin in addition to a folic acid supplement before and after conceiving.

Those are the must-have foods for when you are trying to conceive and to continue eating after pregnancy has been confirmed. Now that you know what foods to eat to help you get pregnant and help you carry a healthy pregnancy to term, let’s talk about the foods to avoid eating at all costs:

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What Not to Eat While Trying to Conceive


High-Mercury fish

Fish like shark meat and tuna must be avoided when you are trying to conceive. Not only could mercury that is built up in your system decreases your fertility and get in the way of ovulation, but if its built up in your system and you do get pregnant, it will be harmful to your unborn baby’s nervous system. So if you are ready to start trying to conceive, you need to hold off on buying tuna or shark meat for a while.


Avoid diet or regular soda when trying to get pregnant because it will decrease your fertility. Besides, it provides no nutrients for your unborn baby.

soda can cause infertility

Low-fat dairy

We have already discussed that high-fat dairy is essential in helping to not only increase fertility but it is excellent for the unborn baby’s development. Low-fat dairy actually increases testosterone levels in women and will interfere with the menstrual cycle. It is unknown if low-fat dairy will cause harm to the unborn baby, but perhaps it is best to avoid it as high-fat dairy is not going to cause you to gain weight if you eat it in moderation.


Excess alcohol will interfere with the menstrual cycle, but small amounts won’t. However, it is known that any kind of booze is bad for the unborn baby’s development, so it is best to avoid it at all costs while trying to conceive.

Unpasteurized soft cheeses

Cheeses like Brie, feta, gorgonzola and so on may not necessarily harm your chances of conceiving but they are likely to contain a bacteria called listeria, which will cause a miscarriage or stillbirth. Avoid at all costs while trying to conceive.

Deli meat

Like soft cheeses, deli meat, hot dogs, and smoked fish are likely to contain listeria so you do not want to have any of that in your system while trying to conceive, and after you find out you are pregnant.

avoid meat and hotdogs when ttc

Raw animal products

If you love sushi, sadly you will have to give it up while trying to conceive. The same goes for eggnog. Any raw seafood, meat, and eggs are likely to contain salmonella, coliform bacteria, or toxoplasmosis which are deadly bacteria that will kill off the fetus. You do not want to take that chance.

BPA bottled and canned drinks

Be sure that whatever you drink from does not contain BPA because that will reduce fertility in both men and women.


Soy can wreak havoc with your estrogen levels which can cause anovulation, and avoid eating soy while pregnant because it can also disrupt the hormonal development in the fetus which can cause him or her fertility problems in adulthood.

Those are the foods to avoid at all costs. Now I will talk about the foods that are not particularly good for you but will not affect your fertility or unborn baby if eaten in extreme moderation- such as once a week or so.


Junk food

We all know that junk food that contains trans fats and refined sugar is not good for you at all. That includes fast food, pastries, potato chips, candy, chocolate bars and so on. If you eat it every day, it will cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike which will harm your fertility. If you eat it too much while you are pregnant, you will gain a lot of weight which can increase the chances of developing serious complications like gestational diabetes or pre-eclampsia. However, if you indulge in it once a week, it won’t be enough to affect you before you conceive and after. Enjoy it in limited amounts.

junk foods can hinder fertility

Peanuts and nuts in general

It is still unknown whether eating too many peanuts during pregnancy can cause allergies in the unborn baby, but it is best to be safe and eat peanuts in limited amounts. Peanuts are not nuts but are part of the legume group, and they do have excellent vitamins and nutrients but are it best to limit it. The same applies to nuts.

Dried fruit

Even though dried fruit is packed with nutrients and minerals, it is also packed with added sugar. Enjoy in moderation.


It is known that caffeine can be detrimental to your fertility and baby’s development, but small amounts will not cause harm. If you stick to one cup of coffee a day while trying to conceive, and even after pregnancy is confirmed, it will be okay. The same goes for small amounts of chocolate.


Lean beef is probably fine to have several times a week since it is rich in iron which is needed, but beef in general is high in cholesterol and you want to be careful not to consume too much for that reason.

Now you know what foods to eat and enjoy while you are trying to conceive which will help your chances of getting pregnant as well as having a healthy baby. You also know what foods to completely avoid, and what to limit. Be sure to stick to this list, and best of luck!

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Maureen Stephens, BS, RN
Maureen Stephens, BS, RN | ConceiveEasy
Ms. Stephens has spent over twenty years in the healthcare world, specializing in obstretical and medical/surgical nursing. She joined ConceiveEasy as she has a strong interest in educating and empowering women and promoting fertility awareness.