Food as Medicine: Fertility and Pregnancy

Help your patients use foods and nutrition to assist in conceiving and achieving good pregnancy outcomes.

This course is part of the Using Food as Medicine in Healthcare Practice program, which will enable you to learn how to use food as medicine in healthcare practice .

Understand the role of food and nutrition in fertility and pregnancy

On this course for healthcare professionals, you will explore the latest evidence surrounding the role of nutrition on fertility and pregnancy outcomes. You will focus on two main topics: foods and fertility, and foods and pregnancy.

Foods and fertility will focus on optimising nutrition for fertility and pre-conception, including topics like the effect of food on reproductive health and dietary recommendations to improve fertility. Foods and Pregnancy will explore topics including requirements during pregnancy, and optimising gestational weight gain.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 12 secondsPROFESSOR HELEN TRUBY: Hi, I'm Helen Truby. I'm head of Nutrition and Dietetics here at Monash University in Australia. We're here to explore the exciting area of fertility and pregnancy, and how you as a healthcare practitioner might be able to use food as medicine. So what are the advances in this area? Is there a special fertility diet we should recommend? Can foods determine the sex of a baby? And should pregnant women really be eating for two?

Skip to 0 minutes and 37 secondsDR MICHELLE BLUMFIELD: People of childbearing age, really need to know that their dietary intake can impact their future children and potentially their grandchildren's health, and therefore it is really important that health professionals talk about these issues with their patients.

Skip to 0 minutes and 52 secondsPROFESSOR HELEN TRUBY: This course is aimed at health care professionals, and assumes knowledge of science, medicine and health care practice. We will explore preconception nutrition and how foods can be used to influence the long term health outcomes of offspring.

Skip to 1 minute and 7 secondsDR MICHELLE BLUMFIELD: While chromosomes and genes contain the blueprint of our physical characteristics, did you know that what your parents ate before you were conceived can affect how your genes are expressed and impact your long term health? A poor diet in both your mother and your father is becoming increasingly important as we start to understand its relationship with child development and long term health.

Skip to 1 minute and 32 secondsPROFESSOR HELEN TRUBY: Using practical demonstrations, case studies, and discussions. We're going to provide you with knowledge and skills to support your practice and how you might use food as medicine.

What topics will you cover?

  • The link between food and fertility
  • The effect of preconception food and diet
  • Weight and fertility
  • Dietary recommendations to improve ovulation and fertility
  • The physiology of pregnancy and nutrient metabolism
  • Weight management during pregnancy
  • Nutrient requirements during pregnancy
  • Food recommendations during pregnancy

Who is this accredited by?

Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation: Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation

When would you like to start?

Most FutureLearn courses run multiple times. Every run of a course has a set start date but you can join it and work through it after it starts. Find out more

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Generate a holistic multi-disciplinary approach to managing women peri-conception and during pregnancy
  • Describe the role of pre-conception nutrition in terms of fertility, foetal development and adult health
  • Provide evidence based food recommendations to improve ovulation and fertility
  • Define dietary recommendations for pregnancy and define strategies for achieving
  • Promote optimal nutrition pre-conception and during pregnancy by developing/providing handouts to women interested in having a family/considering conception. (Systems based patient safety learning outcome)

Who is the course for?

Places in this course are limited to 100, so please register early to avoid disappointment.

This course has been designed for healthcare professionals, specifically medical specialists, general practitioners and nurses.

However, the course may be of benefit to healthcare professionals such as dietitians and nutritionists with a background in nutrition, who may like a ‘refresher’ in this area of study.

You should have a good knowledge of science, medicine and healthcare practice.

Accrediting bodies and professional associations who have recognised this course

This course is recognised by:

  • Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF): this online educational activity is endorsed by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (ANMF) Federal Office. Completion attracts 8 CPD hours.

  • Association for Nutrition (AfN): endorsed for CPD.

This activity has been endorsed by the Association for Nutrition for the continual professional development of nutrition professionals. This AfN quality assurance mark identifies this activity as a reputable, evidence-based training in nutrition science.

  • British Dietetic Association (BDA): endorsement applies only to the educational content of the learning activity.

If you have any questions on the course, its accreditation/endorsement or how it may relate to your professional healthcare practice we encourage you to email your questions to

Who will you learn with?

Helen Truby

Helen Truby

I am Professor and Head of Department of Nutrition & Dietetics at Monash University. My professional background is paediatric dietetics and have research interests in clinical nutrition and metabolism

Melissa Adamski

Melissa Adamski

Melissa is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist involved in research and teaching at Monash, along with working in private practice. She specialises in nutritional genomics.

Who developed the course?

Monash University

Monash University is one of Australia’s leading universities, ranked in the world’s top 1% by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It was established in Melbourne in 1958.

  • Established1958
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia
  • World rankingTop 80Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019

Endorsed by

What's included?

This is a premium course. These courses are designed for professionals from specific industries looking to learn with a smaller group of like-minded individuals.

  • Learn best practices from experts
  • Learn from the experience of other health professionals
  • Fit learning around your schedule with unlimited access
  • Get evidence of learning outcomes and CPD hours
  • Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you're eligible
  • Download and print your Certificate of Achievement anytime
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