08.04.14 / Author: PSS
Having a baby is the most valuable phase of one’s life and to make it convenient and enjoyable, utmost care is required of the mother and the baby especially in regards to the diet. A mother should be healthy enough to carry the child and that is why proper diet is essential even before conception to prepare the mother for child-bearing. In case you have been trying to conceive for a while or just made up your mind to start your family, follow certain changes in your dietary routine to boost your chances of getting pregnant.
- Folic acid or folates: As folic acid is highly essential for the development of baby’s nerve cells and spine, start adding folate-rich food to your diet about three months before conception to lower the risk of birth defects. The foods rich in folic acid include spinach, lentils, peas, corn, oranges, asparagus, broccoli, fortified grains etc.
- Proteins: These nutrients are equally important for child bearing and must form a significant portion of your diet. Prefer plant proteins over animal proteins as the former has been proved to increase the fertility chances. Major protein sources include beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, low fat dairy products, fish, poultry etc. Eat fish with caution as the high mercury ones like swordfish, tilefish can be dangerous to the unborn baby. Go for low mercury ones like salmon which has an added benefit of being rich in omega 3 fatty acid that help regulate reproductive hormones and promote conception.
- Multi vitamins and minerals: Apart from folic acid (vitamin B9), various other vitamins like vitamin B6,C,D and minerals such as calcium, iron, zinc, copper are recommended for meeting the nutrient needs of the would-be mother.
- Ice creams: This is one dessert you can easily indulge into as one or two servings of ice cream a week helps to protect against infertility. But avoid over-indulging as extra calories gained will hamper the fetal growth.
- Caffeine: Though moderate amount of caffeine intake is permitted, ingesting about 300mg of caffeine a day decreases the chances of conceiving. Try substituting it with decaf coffee, tea, lemonade, juices etc. While for the men, drinking coffee seems to stimulate sperm motility and thus, increases their fertility.
- Alcohol and smoking: Quit smoking and drinking as these are harmful for the developing fetus and increase the chances of miscarriage.
- Artificial sweeteners and refined sugars: Excess of sugar in the blood affects the production of reproductive hormones and thus, it is advisable to skip bakery products, cookies, processed desserts and the likes.
Tips for would-be fathers
- Males also, need to quit smoking and drinking as it affects their sperm health too.
- Taking in vitamin C, E, folic acid, zinc and selenium are beneficial for healthy sperm production.
- Avoid hot baths and saunas as the heat tends to lower the sperm count.
Both the partners need to work for a healthy baby and eating a balanced fertility diet is the most important key to healthy parenthood.