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Being underweight or overweight can affect your chances of getting pregnant so if you and your partner are trying for a baby then it’s advisable to pay attention to your diet1.
When you are trying to conceive, its best to stick to a healthy, balanced diet, and the NHS’ Eatwell Plate (opens in new window) is a great place to start. You should avoid processed food2 as much as possible, and instead look to eat plenty of fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, while also cutting down on fat and sugar3.
Making smart choices is the key, but remember balance is also important, and as with anything there are recommendations and limits.
Of course, getting to and keeping to a healthy weight can also be helped by undertaking moderate exercise, alongside a varied and balanced diet4.
Having a healthy diet and lifestyle should provide most of the nutrients you need but there are a few supplements that are recommended when you are trying to conceive. As with anything medical, you should discuss these options with your GP first.
It is advisable to take folic acid when you are trying to get pregnant5. NHS Choices recommends taking a 400-microgram supplement of folic acid while you’re trying to conceive4 and up until you are 12 weeks pregnant to reduce the chance of birth defects, such as spina bifida6.
There are also certain foods which are high in folic acid, such as leafy vegetables, brown rice, granary bread, and breakfast cereals fortified with folic acid7.
Smoking while pregnant has previously been linked to a variety of healthy problems, such as premature birth, low birth weight, cot death, miscarriage and breathing problems during the first six months of life8.
When you smoke you breathe in over 4,000 chemicals from the cigarette, and this smoke goes straight from your lungs into your bloodstream9. This blood then flows into your placenta and umbilical cord, causing the placenta to not work as well as it should and this can affect your baby's growth and health10. It stands to reason that quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your baby11.
The government advises against drinking while trying to get pregnant, as you run the risk of harming a developing baby, while men who exceed three to four units a day may cause damage to their sperm and reduce their fertility12.
If you are trying to conceive, it is well worth doing everything you can to boost your fertility, and a good starting point is to have a discussion with your GP.
NHS Choices: Planning your pregnancy 
NHS Choices: What are processed foods? 
NHS Choices: Have a healthy diet in pregnancy [3,4]
NHS Choices: Why do I need folic acid in pregnancy? [5,6,7]
NHS Choices: Protect your fertility [8,12]
NHS Choices: Why should I stop smoking if I'm pregnant? [9,10,11]