Advice on the link between diet and fertility with information on vitamins, supplements and foods you should avoid while you are trying for a baby.
Trying to get pregnant is an emotional and physically demanding time, and while timing may be seen as the important factor to think about, there are also several aspects to your diet that are important to monitor and address during this period.
Generally it is important to try and get close to your recommended weight whilst trying to conceive, as being over, or under, can hinder your chances of conceiving; to check your recommended weight it is best to consult your GP.
Whilst trying to conceive it is important to maintain a balanced diet, meaning a varied mix of all the main food groups, for example fruit and vegetables, aiming for the general five a day rule, carbohydrates, protein, diary foods to ensure calcium levels are high, and foods rich in iron such as red meat and pluses.
In terms of folic acid which is important during pregnancy, it is also recommended that women who are trying to conceive should also keep their levels high, taking a supplement of 0.4 milligrams daily, roughly from the time you stop using contraception, up until the 12th week of pregnancy.
While maintaining a balanced diet is the best way to keep your chances of fertility high, some women take vitamin supplements to ensure their diet is as nutritionally rich as possible. While over the counter vitamin supplements can be beneficial, it is sensible to switch to one specifically formulated for those trying to conceive, ensuring the right levels of the right vitamins are taken, again speak to your midwife or GP for further details on this.
While these are all things you should aim to be eating while trying to conceive, there are, of course, several that are best avoided to try and make conceiving that little bit easier. Try and avoid excess vitamin A, found in liver products and cut out any supplements containing this vitamin or fish liver oil; of course your do need some vitamin A, but excess could hinder your fertility.
Also, although there is no solid evidence that caffeine limits fertility and your chances of conception, this should also be monitored, as, since 2001, the recommendation is that pregnant women should limit their intake of caffeine to no more than 300 mg per day, as there are signs linking it to miscarriage and low birth weights.
There are, of course, lots of things to think about when starting, or already trying to conceive. Ensuring your diet is balanced, varied and nutritionally rich, means there is one more thing you can tick of the list.
Author : Elizabeth Stansfield
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