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Epigenetic changes can affect pregnancy in several ways.
Epigenetic changes can occur in a person’s germ cells (egg and sperm), affecting their fertility, a woman’s ability to carry a pregnancy to term, or the health and development of an embryo, fetus, or infant. These changes to germ cells can occur anytime during the lifespan—in the germ cells of a developing fetus, or in the germ cells of a man or woman just before conception and pregnancy. Experiments in animals show that changing a woman’s diet just before or during pregnancy can affect the future health of her offspring. The time just before pregnancy is critical for women, especially in terms of diet.1
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