There are many things that we know we aren’t supposed to do when pregnant: smoke…drink alcohol…drink caffeine…the list goes on.
But what about pre-pregnancy? Does it really matter what you do and don’t do before you get pregnant?
As it turns out – yes, it does. There are many things that you and your spouse can do (and should not do) to improve your chances of conception. Read on to find out some pre-pregnancy do’s and don’ts as it relates to diet, exercise/fitness, health/beauty products and lifestyle.
- DO take the right vitamins and supplements (for a list of the best supplements to take, get in touch).
- DO take prenatal vitamins every day with required folic acid (800 mcg daily) and DHA.
- DO limit alcohol to less than three drinks per week and no more than one drink per day.
- DO limit caffeine to less than 100 mg per day (about a cup of coffee or tea).
- DON’T eat processed, packaged or “fast” foods.
- DON’T eat a lot of animal protein (like chicken, beef and turkey). But DO find another protein source (like lentils, beans, eggs, some tofu and fish).
- DO avoid fish with high mercury (like king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish, ahi tuna and bigeye tuna).
- DO eat a whole food, plant-based diet (fruits, veggies, nuts, unprocessed grains etc).
- DON’T consume a lot of dairy products.
- DO drink filtered water (unfiltered water is ridden with chemicals, like chlorine).
- DO make sure that you have an exercise routine. Being in good shape is essential for early fetal development.
- DON’T do a lot of heavy lifting or high-impact, intense sports like running, boot-camp or skiing.
- DO try to keep your heart rate below 130 beats per minute.
- DO avoid ingredients like…
- Aluminum chloride hexahydrate (the chemical found in antiperspirants)
- Beta hydroxy acids (used in exfoliants)
- Benzoyl peroxide (used as an acne treatment)
- Avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, oxybenzone, octinoxate, menthyl anthranilate and octocrylene (chemicals found in many sunscreens)
- Diethanolamine (DEA) (found in hair and beauty products)
- Dihydroxyacetone (DHA) (found in spray self-tanners)
- Formaldehyde (found in hair-straightening treatments and nail polishes)
- Hydroquinone (a lightening agent)
- Parabens (found in toothpaste, lotions, lipsticks, shampoos)
- Phthalates (found in products with synthetic fragrances and nail polishes)
- Retinol (found in some anti-aging treatments)
- Thioglycolic acid (found in chemical hair removers)
- Toluene (found in nail polishes)
- DO look for all-natural alternatives, free from chemicals. (Tip: If the ingredients are words you don’t understand, then chances are, they are toxic.)
- DO get eight hours of sleep per night. Much less than this can cause a drop in the hormonesthat are essential to conception.
- DON’T stress. Women who are stressed generally have a harder time getting pregnant, since stress affects the hypothalamus, the part of the brain that tells your ovaries to release eggs.
You might sometimes feel like getting pregnant is out of your control, but the reality is that there are many things that you and your spouse can do to increase your chances of getting and staying pregnant.
Keep in mind that this list is by no means exhaustive. And remember that everyone is different, so before starting anything new, you should talk with your doctor or fertility specialist to make sure that it’s the right decision for you.
If you have any concerns or want to find out more about how to increase your chances of getting or staying pregnant now or in the future, please get in touch. We’d love to help you grow your family!