Follow some simple lifestyle tips as you prepare for pregnancy. They’ll help you get ready to conceive and give your baby the best start in life.
1.Get your nutritional needs right
Eat a well-balanced diet, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, good quality protein, wholegrains, low fat dairy products and plenty of water. Good maternal nutrition will help give your baby the best start in life.
Even with the best intentions, it can be difficult to meet the increased nutritional needs of pregnancy through diet alone. For example, you’d need to eat the following amount of foods every day to reach the recommended requirements of the following 3 essential nutrients for pregnancy*:
Folic acid: around 700g of cooked spinach or 15 slices of bread
Iodine: around 200g of oysters or 6 eggs
Iron: around 900g of red meat or 250g of chicken livers.
*Estimates based on Food Standards Australia New Zealand, NUTTAB 2010.
That’s why pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplements like Elevit have been developed to help meet the increased nutritional needs throughout pre-conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Despite this, a healthy and well-balanced eating plan for both you and your partner, can support your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy.
Try to avoid substances that can cause problems with conception and in pregnancy, such as alcohol, recreational drugs, foods that may contain Listeria (such as soft cheeses, cold meats, pre-prepared salads and raw eggs) and fish containing high levels of mercury. It’s also advisable to minimise your daily caffeine intake
Fertility menu for her
Eat plenty of fibre-rich carbohydrates like fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
Choose whole milk over skim milk or eat a serve of low-fat yoghurt every day.
Reduce the amount of coffee you drink, and avoid alcohol and sugary soft drinks. Drink lots of water instead.
Cut down the amount of sugar you take. Use natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey or agave nectar instead of white table sugar.
Fertility menu for him
Men should increase their zinc and vitamin E intake. A supplement like Menevit is specifically designed for male fertility.
Include fenugreek in his diet as it has high levels of vitamins A and D, which can help with sexual desire and impotence. It can also increase the body’s metabolism, giving him more energy for sex.
Eat organic foods as much as possible. Pesticides can affect delicate hormone balances and male sperm production.
2. Take a pregnancy supplement when planning your pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of the most nutritionally demanding periods in a woman’s life, and the importance of good maternal nutrition for both mother and baby’s health is widely recognised.
During pregnancy, the need for some key nutrients is increased. Despite the best intentions, meeting these additional nutritional needs can be difficult through diet alone. Taking a pregnancy multivitamin and mineral supplement, such as Elevit, can help build up the essential nutrients required and help cover the needs of both mother and baby.
The first weeks of pregnancy are when your baby’s vital organs begin to form and this is the time you may not even know you are pregnant, so it’s important to start taking a pregnancy supplement daily from at least 1 month before you try to fall pregnant.
Men can also take a supplement, such as Menevit, to help support sperm health
3. Stay healthy and practice good food hygiene
Reduce your chances of picking up a food-borne infection by handling food correctly. Keep all your kitchen utensils and surfaces clean, wash hands and fresh fruit and vegetables thoroughly, cook your food right through and store everything at the right temperature.
4. Exercise regularly
Keeping active reduces the risk of some chronic health problems and improves your general wellbeing.
The National Physical Activity Guidelines for Australians sets out the minimum amount of physical activity you should try to do, in order to stay healthy. Keep active by making small changes like using the stairs instead of the lift, and take at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking or swimming, preferably every day.
Don’t overdo it though. Too much exercise can affect your hormones and that can make it harder to conceive.
5. Manage your weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential when trying to conceive. Your chances of getting pregnant are reduced if you’re carrying too much or too little weight, due mainly to hormone disruption.
To work out your ideal weight for your size, you need to calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI). You can do this by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared, or use a simple online BMI calculator.
The ideal BMI is between 18.5 and 24.99. If you need to lose or gain weight to be in the healthy range, talk to your doctor about how best to go about it.
6. Stop smoking
Smoking causes a number of health problems and can affect fertility in both men and women. If you or your partner smokes, planning for a baby is a great reason for both of you to quit.
If you need advice and support with quitting, speak to your healthcare professional.
7. Reduce stress
The pace of modern living and the effort of trying for a baby can leave you feeling tired and stressed. Reducing your stress levels, with relaxation techniques for example, can help increase your chances of getting pregnant. Activities like yoga, tai chi or meditation may be helpful.
8. Avoid too much heat
Avoid the excessive heat of a sauna or spa bath when you’re trying to conceive. Men can also improve sperm health and count by keeping cool.
9. Don’t handle the cat’s litter
Used cat litter may carry bacteria that can be harmful, so it’s best to wear rubber gloves when you clean out the litter tray, or ask someone else to do it. Wear gloves when you’re gardening for the same reason.
10. Take a look at your finances
Getting you and your partner financially ready for the journey ahead is essential. Ensure that you are both financially stable and have planned for the additional expenses that come with starting a family.
11. Ask about your family history
If you’re able to, it’s important to find out about your family history when planning a pregnancy. It can also play a part in shaping you and your baby’s life. You may need to discuss any family health matters with your healthcare professional before you start trying for a baby to determine if any factors may affect your pregnancy or your baby’s development.
12. Talk to family and friends
If you feel comfortable doing so, it’s also a good idea to talk to close family and friends about wanting to start a family. This may help you and your partner better understand what’s involved and the things you need to prepare for. It can provide both of you with an important support network too.
13. Are you ready for the journey ahead?
While the prospects of starting a family are exciting, it’s good to stop and talk to your partner before getting too carried away. Check that your partner is on the same page and you are both emotionally ready to start a family.
Come in store and speak to one of our pharmacists regarding more information on Elevit and Pregnancy.
All Information sourced from Elevit.com.au
Always read the label. Use only as directed. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet. If symptoms persist consult your healthcare professional. If you have had a baby with a neural tube defect / Spina bifida, seek specific medical advice.If you have any pre-existing thyroid condition, you should seek medical advice before taking supplements containing iodine.