Preparing for Pregnancy: Staying Healthy

Everyone knows that once you are pregnant, there are a lot of things to change, especially when it comes to diet and lifestyle. But even when preparing for pregnancy, there are a lot of issues to consider and a lot to do. Actually, the right preconception preparation does not only help in fertility, but it can also help you have a healthier baby and a more comfortable pregnancy. What you eat before trying to conceive has a direct effect on the baby-making process. There are many benefits that come with following a healthy diet, such as a healthier menstrual cycle, a healthier and easier pregnancy and most important, a healthier baby. The most important step is to commit to change, to know exactly why it is important to make some changes and understand that it is not only you who will benefit from them. It might be hard at first to give up the snacks and unhealthy food and go straight to vegetables and fruits, but taking the decision of having a baby implies some sacrifices as well. Being overweight or underweight is not good at all, as it can interfere with fertility. This means you should focus on the quality of the food and not the quantity.

If you are wondering when to get started, well, it depends on your condition and how much work you have ahead. You should allow yourself about 3 months to release the bad habits and build up on the new ones. If there is a significant weight that needs to be lost or gained, then you should give yourself more time. In case there are other disorders that come in discussion, such as eating disorder, diabetes and others, you should consult your dietician or therapist to help you overcome the obstacles. To help you with the “fight”, you can always join some clubs or groups with other future mothers to help you along the way. If your partner also needs to lose some weight or make some changes, like quit smoking, alcohol and so, then you can get a healthy program together and team up for the baby to come.

Furthermore, it might be hard to give up on junk food or sweets, but throwing them from the kitchen and around the house will help greatly. A healthy preconception diet should not include refined carbs, such as cake, white bread, cookies and so, no sugar snacks, no soda and no saturated fats like burgers, chips, fries and others. Losing all these unhealthy foods will help you track your ovulation, so you will know better when it is better to conceive. The rapid digestion of carbs, junk food, will increase the blood sugar, leading to insulin and a disruption of the balance of the reproductive organs required for reproduction. All we eat has a direct effect on our body and it can be regarded as a cycle.

Now that you know what is not good to eat, you can focus on the right things to eat. There are a lot of alternatives and a lot of easy to make, delicious and nutritious foods, so you should not worry about the lack of possibilities. First of all, calcium is very important for the mother’s bones. Eating dairy products is a must, such as cheese, milk, yogurt and more. Almond, juices, veggies and certain soy products are also rich in calcium. Having enough calcium in your bones will also make sure the baby will develop its bones healthy and normally, without future problems. Moreover, lean protein is a must. You can find it in chicken, in eggs, beef, fish (but not those types high in mercury) and seafood. Why is lean protein important? Scientists say that switching one animal protein for a plant protein can boost the baby-making process. But overdoing the protein is also not a good thing. It is a matter of keeping everything balanced. Iron is important, as within the menstrual cycle, there is much loss of iron and having disruption in cycles can make it harder for women to conceive. Iron can be found in collard, spinach and other leaf greens, in oatmeal, dried apricots. To keep the insulin levels normal and the reproductive hormones in balance, women need complex carbs, like whole grains, whole bread and whole rice. These also provide a healthy dose of folic acid, which is a supplement that many recommend taking during preparation for pregnancy. Fresh fruits and vegetables should never be out of a meal, especially those that are brightly coloured, like carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes, berries, red peppers and more. These also produce antioxidants, essential for conceiving the baby. But your partner should also get a bite of them, as the sperm will swim faster to its target.

Not all fats are unhealthy, there are some essential for the body. Olive, nuts, seeds, canola, avocados are filled with healthy fats and you should choose to consume as many as possible. They increase fertility, especially fats that contain Omega 3 (walnuts, salmon and Omega 3 eggs).