Trying for a baby in 2018? We’ve rounded up some expert advice to help you along the way
“We are either making stress hormones or reproductive hormones,” says naturopathic nutritionist Ciara Jean Roberts (whollyaligned.com). “When I heard this statement at a clinical hormonal nutrient seminar I attended a few years ago, it really landed. An over excited stress response can have a very comprising effect on the body’s ability to make reproductive hormones. This is why for some women who have experienced a deep trauma or sudden illness, their menstruation ceases for a time as the body seeks to rebalance. The body prioritises survival over reproduction.
“So managing your stress levels is key to healthy fertility. Take time to self-care, even if this means tucking yourself up in bed early a couple of nights a week or retreating for a long Epsom salts bath one evening. This is especially important as often those early nights are for nurturing your intimate relationships. Conception is part of the joy and the health of both mother and father at this point contribute to the health of the growing child.”
“As well as looking at what you eat and drink there is now a great deal of scientific knowledge about the use of nutritional supplements and their beneficial effects on boosting fertility,” says Dr. Marilyn Glenville (marilynglenville.com), one of the UK’s leading nutritionists and author of Getting Pregnant Faster. The most important nutrients for fertility are zinc, folic acid, selenium, vitamin E, vitamin C and omega 3 fatty acids.
“And avoid the three main fertility busters: caffeine, alcohol and smoking, as they have all been linked to an increased risk of infertility in men and women,” she adds.
Prep for 3 months
“I have found that if a couple embark upon a fertility boosting diet and lifestyle plan for three months before trying for a baby, then their chances of getting pregnant faster increase significantly,” says Dr Marilyn. “The operative word here is ‘couple’. Both the male and female must make the changes. Both need to participate fully. It is extremely important that both the female and the male take all of the steps to change lifestyle.”
Why three months? “Three months is the recommended period of time for preconception care because it takes approximately three months for the follicles on the ovaries to develop before one is mature enough to release an egg at ovulation,” she says.
“On foods, use cold pressed organic olive oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil – which is best to cook with,” says nutritionist Julie Silver (fertilityfairy.co.uk).
“All hydrogenated (trans) fats should be avoided and it is best not to cook with any oils at very high temperatures. Have whole grains such as brown rice, millet, oats and quinoa and buckwheat instead of white rice, pasta and potatoes. Eat plenty of vegetables, especially the green leafy variety which contain calcium and magnesium. Avoid processed soya products and choose fermented soya such as tempeh, natto, miso and fermented tofu. Plant-based proteins like aduki, black beans, pinto, haricot and mung beans, as well as chick peas, split peas and lentils are ideal.
“Consuming foods and drinks from plastic should be avoided as much as possible as the chemicals found in plastic will affect the hormonal balance.”
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