Good health and nutrition
Are you trying to conceive? There are many simple lifestyle changes you and your husband can make to increase your odds. Explore the helpful suggestions below about how to improve your diet and health for the best chances of trying to have a baby.
Good health and nutrition
Healthy habits can help you conceive
Getting your body ready needn't be too complicated or stressful. It mostly has to do with looking after yourself and preparing your body to create and carry new life.
Give your body a health check
Before you start trying to get pregnant, it's a good idea to give yourself a check-up. Consider these important facts:
Smoking will severely reduce your chances of conceiving. It may also be harmful to your baby's development and give you a higher risk of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. If you smoke, try and give up now. Your doctor should be able to help you.
Diet and exercise:
Being too over or under weight may affect your fertility. Both exercise and a well balanced diet will help you get your body in a better condition.
You should cut back on processed foods and foods containing high levels of fat and sugar. Make sure you're getting:
- plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions a day and from a variety of colours
- plenty of starchy foods – like rice, bread, pasta (preferably wholegrain which contains more folic acid), oats and potatoes
- protein with each meal – such as lean meat and chicken, fish (twice a week), dairy, eggs, nuts, seeds and pulses
If you're having a balanced diet you probably don't need extra vitamins. If you are taking supplements, make sure they're suitable for women trying to conceive. Regular vitamin supplements often contain Vitamin A which could be harmful in too large a dose.
Folic acid is important as it helps prevent some developmental defects, such as spina bifida. Folic acid is present in some foods, such as fortified breakfast cereals, bananas and leafy green vegetables. However, it's difficult to get enough every day to match the 400 micrograms recommended for women planning for pregnancy. That's why it's recommended you take a folic acid supplement during pregnancy. If you're not already taking it, it's a good idea to start now and continue until your 12th week.
Check with your doctor to learn if you are taking any medicines that may lower your fertility levels. In addition, talk to your doctor if you've recently been taking a contraceptive, as it may be a good idea to allow your body to adjust for a couple of months before you start trying to conceive.
Our modern lifestyles can often be stressful. Try to keep your stress levels to a minimum to help your chances of conception.