It often goes unnoticed that nutrition plays a big role in both egg and sperm production. If you are trying to conceive, take note that what you eat matters, and the decisions you are making now can either increase your chances of healthy conception or decrease your chances. Take comfort in the fact that you don’t have to alter your entire lifestyle necessarily but there are certain things you can do to contribute to a healthier and faster conception and, ultimately, a healthier pregnancy.
Why Good Health During Conception Matters
A healthier diet will increase sperm production in men and induce a healthy, regular menstrual cycle in women. This will create a higher chance of conception. It will also help to regulate and maintain proper body weight which can directly impact the birthweight of your child. It is more likely that a woman who is underweight will have a smaller child and a woman who is overweight is more likely to have a larger child. Both can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery and a healthy diet is the best way to minimize those risks.
The demands of pregnancy on a woman’s body are many, and tough. If you aren’t receiving proper nutrition it will only exacerbate these demands when you have conceived. Undereating can lead to a malnourished baby and overeating can cause a baby to become diabetic or overweight in the womb. The good news is that eating healthily for conception is not all that different from healthy eating in general, and the habits you create now can drastically alter your lifestyle for the better pre and post-baby! Here are some tips for maintaining healthy nutrient levels during the conception stages:
Commit to the Changes You Need to Make
If you want to change your eating habits for a healthier conception period you are going to have to commit to it. It can help to figure out exactly what changes you need to make instead of just taking a shot in the dark. You can check in with your doctor to see if anything specific needs to happen if you are currently on medications that can affect fertility but generally, you can assess the basic changes you need to make from your home. Consider the following:
- Are you maintaining a healthy weight? (Calculate your Body Mass Index to find out)
- Is the majority of the food you’re eating helping or hurting your chances of conceiving?
- Is your menstrual cycle regular or irregular? An irregular cycle can make it much harder to know when you’re ovulating and thus decrease your chances of conception.
Once you decide what exactly you need to do to better your lifestyle you can focus on making those adjustments. Don’t worry about changing everything overnight unless that’s something you really want to do. Making sustainable changes don’t usually happen super quickly, they happen over time.
Healthy Eating Tips:
Here are some tips for healthy eating you can apply as soon as you decide to make the switch!
- Increase your fruit and vegetable consumption
- Reduce or eliminate processed foods
- Add in more calcium-rich foods such as milk, cheese, yogurt, almonds, sesame seeds, and soy products.
- Eat lean protein. This includes chicken breast, fish, eggs, and lean beef.
- Iron is important and can be found in leafy green vegetables. Opt for collard, kale, and spinach.
- Get your energy from a healthy carb source like whole wheat bread or pasta, brown rice, and whole grains.
- Keep in mind that bright fruits are high in antioxidants which will sustain a healthy immune system.
- Take a prenatal vitamin to button up any loose ends and ensure you are meeting your daily requirements.
- Stay hydrated! This allows toxins to move through your body and helps facilitate regular menstrual flow.
Prenatal nutrition is essential in the conception process. There are many ways to adjust your diet to give you the best shot at conceiving as quickly as possible and set the pace for maintaining a healthy lifestyle once the conception is successful. Be gentle with yourself and make small, sustainable changes. Once these changes are implemented, the conception process not only benefits, but early pregnancy health is established, allowing you to continue with your healthy diet without unhealthy withdrawals from sugars, fats and poor food choices.