Preparing your body for pregnancy will not only improve your chances of conception, but it will also give your baby the best start in life. But what are the main ways that we can do this? What are the best tips of getting pregnant? Let’s take a closer look.
A healthy weight (that is a BMI of between 19 and 25) has been proven to improve chances of conception. A BMI of 30 or more can negatively impact fertility and increase health risks for both parent and baby. Similarly, being underweight (with a BMI of 18.5 or under) is also detrimental to fertility and can cause irregular menstrual cycles and too much stress on the entire body.
A balanced diet is important both before and during pregnancy. As what we eat directly affects our health and our hormones, a diet rich in protein, good carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables with a reduction in the intake of caffeine and alcohol are all advised.
But how much is too much?
Smoking, drinking alcohol and taking recreational drugs can all cause serious health problems for parent and baby, including increasing the risk of miscarriage. It is advised that cutting out all harmful substances is important if a person is trying for a baby as it is incredibly crucial to protect the developing fetus in the early weeks of conception.
The guidelines on alcohol safety during pregnancy have changed in recent years. The Department of Health now advice that it is cut out of a mothers diet altogether with 1-2 units of alcohol a week the absolute maximum, which is the equivalent of 2 small glasses of wine.
Why is alcohol harmful?
When a mother drinks alcohol, it passes from their blood through the placenta and to the baby. A baby’s liver is one of the last organs to develop and doesn’t mature until the latter stages of pregnancy and too much exposure to alcohol can seriously affect development.
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is a condition caused by heavy exposure to alcohol in utero (more than 6 units a day). Children with FAS are known to suffer from facial abnormalities, poor growth and learning difficulties.
Is it important to see a doctor before trying for a baby?
Most surgeries across the UK offer preconception care, a check-up service for couples trying to conceive. The check-up is often lead by a practice nurse where medical conditions such as epilepsy, diabetes and asthma are assessed and any changes to medication advised upon.
At the preconception appointment, patients are asked a series of questions including menstrual cycle regularity, health problems, eating habits and emotional well-being. Genetic conditions in both potential parents are also addressed as are any hereditary conditions such as sickle cell disease, thalassaemia or cystic fibrosis.
The medical professional at the appointment may also recommend that vaccinations are important. Preventable diseases such as rubella can cause birth defects and miscarriage so it is important that these are up to date, which can easily be detected by a straight forward blood test, also carried out at the preconception check-up.
What supplements can increase fertility?
Folic acid is the most important daily supplement advised before and during pregnancy. A tablet that contains 400 mcg can greatly reduce the chance of neural tube defects, such as spina bifida, so its extremely important in the early stages of pregnancy.
A multivitamin is also advised although too much Vitamin A can be harmful to a developing fetus so multivitamins specifically designed for pregnancy are recommended. A daily supplement of 10 mcg of Vitamin D is advised once pregnancy has been established.
Alyssa S. Privett is a freelance writer, blogger and enthusiast. She is very passionate about healthy living and has been writing some great and informative blogs about Food, Healthy Lifestyles, Pregnancy and Parenting. She started writing when she was young, and she love to read informative articles from time to time, it helps her gain more knowledge about things she could apply to my daily living.