Written By: Leana Varvella
Baby fever on the brain? Time to start planning for the near future, which means eating the right things for you and your (soon to be) bundle of joy! Unless you are on a strict cheeseburger and french fries with a side of chocolate cake diet, changing your eating habits to prep your body for a baby is quite simple! Here are the top 6 things to do while trying to conceive.
1: Go Organic Studies have shown that eating produce containing pesticides are linked to certain birth defects. Dodge that bullet by buying from your local farmer’s market or by simply looking for the organic section in your supermarket. Tip: Double check and make sure the produce bar code starts with the number 9! Any other number is not certified organic and can contain pesticides.
2: Complete the Trifecta: Folic Acid, Calcium & Iron These three minerals are a crucial part to a pregnant woman’s diet, and taking them earlier is always better. Folate helps prevent neural tube and brain defects, calcium aids in the muscular and circulatory development and iron can lower the risk of preterm birth while helping the fetus’ muscles develop. These three nutrients can be found in produce and dairy, but also in a prenatal vitamin. Too much can be a bad thing though, so be sure to double check with your doctor before buying a prenatal.
3: Ditch the Alcohol and Smoking Not only do these two substances damage your organs and brain, but they also can affect your fertility. A study from the British Medical Journal stated that smoking in women has been shown to decrease conception rates in females by up to 40%, while alcohol use increases risk of miscarriage and lowers the fertility rate in men.
4: Maintain a Healthy Weight Obesity is a growing epidemic in our world, and with it comes many risks and challenges. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight before you are pregnant is important because remember: your health reflects on your baby. The American Society for Clinical Nutrition stated that pregnant women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of gestational diabetes and hypertension, as well as birth defects, premature labor and even mortality.
5: Get up and Move! Whether you love to run, practice yoga or strength train – starting these activities before you are pregnant allows your body to adjust to that certain type of movement and stress on the body. That way, when you do conceive, you are all set to go and have nothing to worry about! Many women think that exercising while pregnant can harm the fetus, but that is so far from the truth! If anything, working out only helps by increasing blood flow and nutrients to the baby.
6: Check In with Doc When doing anything that will alter your body drastically, such as having a baby, you should always make an appointment with your doctor to go over your health. Not only will your doctor go over any health issues you may have while becoming pregnant, but also answer any and all questions you may have to ease your anxiety and excitement through this amazing process.
Follow these 6 steps and you will be on your way to having a healthy and happy pregnancy! Remember, the healthier you are, the healthier your (future) baby will be!
Source: March of Dimes