Making Healthy Changes to Your Diet
Congratulations! You and your partner have decided it's time to start a family. Mentally, you may be totally prepared. But what about physically? By making a few changes to your diet now, you can give your baby the healthy start she deserves. Below is a short list of ways you can make a change in order to significantly improve your chances of conceiving and giving birth to a happy, healthy baby.
Start eating healthy
You know how important it is to eat right and stay fit. When you’re trying to get pregnant, proper nutrition is essential. Forget fad diets and weight loss myths, and start practicing healthy eating habits: Eat at least three meals a day with food from all four food groups, ensuring that your body gets the vitamins and minerals it needs. The sooner you start eating well, the more likely you are to get pregnant. Make sure you are getting a sufficient amount of calcium by drinking plenty of milk and eating calcium-rich foods like yogurt and cheese. Folic acid is another nutrient that is essential to a healthy pregnancy. Eat plenty of citrus fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and whole grain breads and cereals. Food and fertility are linked, so a balanced diet will boost your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.
Cut back on (or cut out) the bad stuff
The three major no-no’s while pregnant or trying to become pregnant are cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. Any doctor will tell you to cut out alcohol (or at least only drink it occasionally), stop using recreational drugs and, if you’re a smoker, to quit. It is a well-known fact that each of these substances can be harmful to you and the baby you are trying to conceive.
Caffeine is another thing you might want to cut back on. Most experts agree that low to moderate caffeine consumption, less than three cups of coffee per day, won’t affect your fertility, but your doctor may recommend cutting it out completely just to be safe. Dads-to-be, on the other hand, can enjoy an extra cup, as caffeine may actually promote male fertility by stimulating sperm motility.
Fish is generally very healthy, but certain types should be avoided while you’re trying to conceive. Shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish are all high in mercury, which can be harmful to your baby. Instead, stick to lower-mercury fish, such as canned light tuna and salmon, once or twice a week.
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