Getting in the best shape you can is certainly advantageous when you are trying for a baby. Hartman Direct take a look at what foods help your health to be as healthy as possible before pregnancy.
Adding to your family is an exciting prospect but pregnancy places pressure on your body. It makes sense to get yourself into great shape. So when pregnancy hormones are surging, you are in the healthiest state possible to cope with it.
Food and nutrition are key before, during and after pregnancy. Getting the right balance of vitamins, minerals and foods are important not just for you, but for the health of your growing baby too.
And, as you would expect, there are many different pieces of advice relating to what foods you should and shouldn’t be eating.
It is critical you get enough folic acid before pregnancy and in the first few weeks. It is a synthetic form of Vitamin B9, also known as folate. Folic acid is important because it prevents neural tube defects which can result in serious birth defects affecting the spinal cord or the brain.
As well as suitable folic acid supplements for pregnant women, increase your Vitamin B9 intake naturally with cauliflower, beans and leafy green vegetables.
A study of fertility found that a higher-protein, lower carbohydrate diet helped fertility rates. So, what does this mean in practice?
Increase your intake of protein by a quarter and half your carbohydrate intake can boost your fertility but this means choosing your proteins carefully.
Complete proteins contain all the amino acids and can be found in whole eggs, as well a white meat such as poultry and fish rich in omega-3, such as salmon.
For vegetarians, upping your intake of beans and legumes is essential, especially as they are iron-rich too.
Load up on lean chicken and salmon, adding more vegetables to your plate and reducing pasta, potatoes and other carbohydrate-rich foods. But make the changes slowly rather than all of a sudden, as this can be a shock to your system!
Low-fat to full-fat dairy
It is a nutritional message most of us have heard by know – dairy products are full of calcium and great for bones and teeth, with low-fat dairy is just as good as full-fat versions.
But again, fertility experts are suggesting that small, subtle changes in the dairy products we consume could make a big difference to fertility.
Not all fertility problems are the same and there is no suggestion that the answer to fertility issues lies in what milk you do or don’t drink but in one study, women who swapped one serving of low-fat dairy for a full-fat version decreased their chances of a certain kind of fertility.
Awash with calcium and protein, making sure you have plenty of dairy in your diet, but most experts agree that swapping from semi-skimmed to at least one full-fat serving of dairy once in a while is a move that will help your body prepare for pregnancy and a growing baby.
Fruit and vegetables
Part of a balanced diet, you should already be enjoying at least 5 servings of different colour fruit and vegetables a day. But if you are lacking in this department, you need to make changes before pregnancy!
Add an extra serving to your main meals as well as upping snacking on fruit and vegetables to get yourself into good habits ready for pregnancy and after the birth too. And when you are pregnant, you will probably need to increase fruit and vegetables even more.
Full of all kinds of nutrients, fruit and vegetables are also full of antioxidants, the unseen elements of food that help to decrease inflammation in the body.
Ditch the junk food
Not that having the occasional takeaway or treat is a bad thing but if your diet is full of junk food and refined foods, you are missing out on essential nutrients as well as fibre.
Tidying up your diet is important so that you get a balance of everything a healthy body needs but, with the needs of a growing baby in your womb, you need to make sure you are eating the right things, so your baby gets the best start in life too.
Ditch sugary sweets and snacks that cause a spike in blood sugar and by cutting out junk foods, you are ditching trans fat which is known to cause inflammation.
Eat well so that your body can support you and your growing baby!
HARTMANN Direct supply a range of incontinence products, all suitable for use during and after pregnancy.