There's so much about trying to conceive that's out of our control, so it always seems like truly good news to hear about something we can do that may make getting pregnant (and retaining a healthy pregnancy) a little more likely. That's why our ears pricked up at new research out of the Netherlands: A new study appearing in the medical journal Human Reproduction looked at the diets of Dutch couples who were planning to get pregnant, and then specifically at 199 couples who'd undergone their first cycle of in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).
Since we're already told you this is a story with good news, you might guess what the researchers found: The healthier a woman's diet before she got pregnant, the better her odds were of an ongoing pregnancy following fertility treatment.
Dutch dietary guidelines (what is defined there as a healthy diet) don't vary a lot from what the U.S. government considers healthy (see ChooseMyPlate.gov for more on that), so this is good news for American women as well, since what we eat is one thing we can do something about, in a host of things we can't influence. Says John Twigt, one of the study authors, from the department of obstetrics and gynaecology, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre Rotterdam, in the Netherlands: "We would like to emphasize the fact that the preconception period is the window of opportunity to optimize the diet in couples planning pregnancy."
What do you eat? Has your diet changed now that you're TTC? What have you given up, and what foods have you added?