The precious time surrounding pregnancy is the ideal opportunity for women to focus on their health, and establish nourishing habits for life! The right diet can improve the chances of conception, nourish your growing baby and get you back on track post-pregnancy. It can also be the most daunting, especially when it comes to what you eat.

Here’s the truth behind three maternal nutrition claims:

Myth or fact? Meal timing can enhance fertility.


Studies show that a bigger breakfast seems to boost fertility. Women who shifted the bulk of their calories to breakfast saw a 50% increase in ovulation rate due to its positive impact on insulin sensitivity and hormone regulation.

Myth or fact? Pregnant women should avoid seafood.


Although mercury is a concern for pregnant women, very few fish types need to be avoided (King mackeral, tuna, shark, tilefish, and swordish). Low-mercury omega-3-rich fish like salmon actually offers key benefits to both mom and baby. Omega-3s improve your baby’s eye and brain growth and early development. Taking in enough omega-3s can lower your baby’s chances of getting asthma and other allergic conditions. They also may lower your risk of giving birth too early, and of having depression after you have your baby (postpartum depression). Pregnant women should eat at least two servings of fish per week. Not a fish fan? Fish oil supplements may offer similar benefit, and are preferrable over plant-based (algae) omega-3’s. For a crowd pleasing fish recipe check out: Parmesan & Pesto Encrusted Fish

Myth or fact? A mom’s pregnancy diet can impact her child’s food preferences later in life.


Research shows that food flavors are transmitted from mother to baby through amniotic fluid. These flavors influence the baby’s food preferences into childhood. In other words, you can help establish a healthy eater by eating a variety of healthy foods during pregnancy yourself!

MNT Launches New Service Speciality: Maternal Nutrition 

We are excited to announce McDaniel Nutrition Therapy’s new Maternal Nutrition Services. During this special time, women are especially vulnerable to unsolicited and so-called “expert” nutrition advice. As a nutrition expert with two children of my own (and a third on the way!), Jennifer can give you evidence-based recommendations with real-life understanding. Whether you are interested in eating to optimize fertility, eating to support a healthy pregnancy, or trying to safely lose weight post-pregnancy, Jennifer can guide you through the myths and facts to reach your goals. Visit our services page to find out more!

Do you know a new or future mommy? Share reliable nutrition information with her by forwarding this email!

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.