Preparing For Pregnancy
Having a baby is one of the most important times in your life. It is important to ensure that you and your partner are in optimum health. Making a few lifestyle and nutritional changes may also help to give your unborn baby a good start in life. Remember, it’s not only a woman’s responsibility, men need to do their fair share too.
Mums and dads need to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Men should ensure they eat plenty of food rich in zinc, such as baked beans. Men and women’s diets should contain fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, poultry, pulses ( peas & beans ) and whole grains. Quit junk food. Avoid certain fish ( martin, shark, swordfish ), liver and alcohol.
Vitamins and Minerals
Women may want to consider a pre-pregnancy supplement containing folic acid. Men may wish to consider one containing zinc.
Work out when you are most fertile and make the most of it. The day you ovulate and those days immediately before and after are the best days to conceive. Your most fertile day is 14 days before the first day of your next period. Do not count forward from your last period, count back from your next period. If your cycle is irregular this becomes difficult to calculate. Ideally you should be having intercourse 2 days before you ovulate, on the day of ovulation, and 2 days after.
After intercourse do not get up. Lie in bed as long as possible, this will give the sperm a chance to spread out into both fallopian tubes.
Reduce Anxiety and Stress
High anxiety and stress levels are known to affect fertility. If you are working hard, staying up late, or trying to meet high pressured deadlines, make positive changes to reduce some of the stresses in your life. Think about taking a yoga class, listen to relaxation cd’s, or go for a long walk.
Cigarettes and Alcohol
Excessive alcohol intake and smoking are bad news for healthy sperm production, so both you and your partner should give up smoking and say goodbye to all those party nights.
You must take regular, gentle exercise – aim for three 30 minute sessions per week. Try walking, swimming or cycling.
Drugs and Medication
If you or your partner need to take any medications, make sure you tell your GP that you are trying for a baby.
Discuss Potential Issues
Before you start actively trying for a baby, discuss the potential issues that could arise from having a baby – because as any parent will tell you, the minute you bring a little person into the world, your lives will change forever.
- How will a child change your lifesytle?
- What are your attitudes to raising a child?
- Will either of you give up work?
- How will you cope financially?