As a mother of 3, I see differences in my babies that I wish I could fix. My oldest daughter has lovely teeth! Just one slightly crooked one in the bunch. My middle child has a mouth that is so full of crooked teeth that she will probably need at least 4 permanent teeth pulled to have braces actually do their job.
If I knew during my pre-pregnancy and pregnancy what I know now about nutrition this would not have happened. So, I'd like to pass that knowledge on to those who are or will become pregnant.
First, pregnancy saps a ton of nutrients from your body. It's always wise to make sure your body is in the best nutritional shape before becoming pregnant. Prenatal vitamins really should be taken about 3 months before conception to actually help the growing fetus and placenta. Most women don't start taking them until around 6 to 8 weeks pregnant, and by then the important things have already formed! Also, cod liver oil (the brand I suggest for the best nutrition- Blue Ice Fermented Cod Liver/Butter Oil) should be taken before, during, and after the pregnancy while nursing. It is high in Vitamin A which helps protect against eye, skeleton, and organ defects. Cod liver oil also helps supply Vitamin D, which will help reduce the risk of schizophrenia, diabetes, and skeletal disease. Plus, it'll help you have a smart baby! :)
Remember, that dad is also contributing to this child. He will also need to take some vitamins and fortify his health before conception.
A little hint for those trying to get pregnant. Moisture is nature's way of starting seeds growing. When you are fertile, you will have about 3 days where you will be "moist" or "wetter" than any other time. The timing is different for everyone, but the process remains the same. These three days a month are your window to conception, because that is when your body is the most fertile. For more information on this subject, please read the book Love And Fertility.
Once you are pregnant, the placenta will take the nutrients you ingest to mold your baby. If your diet is lacking in this area, your placenta will pull the nutrients from your own body. In the case of calcium, your bones and teeth will be sapped to supply the baby with the needed resources. I, myself, lost all the calcium in my back molars with my second pregnancy because I didn't know this! If your baby needs fats, and you are not ingesting them, your placenta will pull these from your brain to feed your baby. Mama will get some emotional instability and memory problems, but the baby will be somewhat healthy. The placenta will play the "lets make the best baby possible while not killing mama" game. For both of your sakes, please keep your vitamin and mineral intake high!
In her book Deep Nutrition, Dr. Shanahan makes mention of the Four Pillars of World Cuisine. These are the four basic foundational nutrition components that make up the healthiest mothers and babies. They are meat on the bone including the skin, organ meats, fermented foods and sprouted foods, and raw fruits and vegetables. The way you prepare and consume these four foods is just as important as how often you eat them. A good resource book on this is Nourishing Traditions.
Your baby will drain a lot of nutrition from your body not only during pregnancy, but also during breast feeding. It is important that you maintain good nutrition while nursing your baby.
So, a good balanced nutritional meal should contain good protein (eggs, meats, and other sources), raw vegetables, fermented foods (kefir, yogurt, saurkraut, kombucha, etc.), good fats (coconut oil, nuts, avacado), organ meats (liver, kidney, etc), bone broth, and a good multivitamin with a side of cod liver oil.
And, let your body rest between pregnancies. It needs to rebuild the nutrients to be able to produce another miracle! Around 3 to 4 years between pregnancies would be best for both the mother and the baby.
Links have been added for your convenience. The video below is an hour and 23 minutes long.