Trying to conceive can be both an exciting and a stressful time for prospective parents.
The health of both future Mum and future Dad are important to maximise your chances of a successful pregnancy. Naturopath and nutritionist Teresa Mitchell-Paterson shares four things to consider before conception, to help pave the way for a healthy pregnancy.
Start before you ‘start’
Many eggs develop per month, whilst only one is released each cycle. The life cycle of an oocyte is three months.
Healthy oocytes are needed to boost your chances of falling pregnant, so I’d recommend visiting your healthcare practitioner three to six months before trying to conceive, for a check-up to see if you have any nutrient or vitamin deficiencies.
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Harness healthy habits
A healthy BMI for both Mum and Dad can be important for a successful conception. In the three to six months prior to pregnancy it’s time to clean up your diet and lifestyle habits.
I recommend consuming spinach and broccoli for folic acid; seaweed, dairy and eggs for iodine; lean meat, seafood and nuts for zinc and essential fatty acids; and leafy green veggies and red meat for iron. Regular physical activity is also beneficial for mental, physical, and reproductive health.
Nourish with nutrients
Metabolically active forms of folic acid and vitamin B6 may provide an extensive nutritional foundation during preconception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Choline is also required for normal healthy neurodevelopment of the growing foetus. Supplements that help support the methylation and expression of DNA may also be beneficial in pre-pregnancy and pregnancy for both mother and baby. Ask your healthcare professional’s advice about supplements that may best support your pregnancy needs.
Ask your HCP
While pregnant, your body is in overdrive creating a magnificent little human being inside you.
See your healthcare practitioner before conception for a health check, and to advise on the form, dose and timing of quality vitamin or mineral supplements. Checking in with your healthcare practitioner will make sure you’ll benefit from supplements you might need, and not wasting money on supplements you don’t.
Do you know anyone who has just announced a pregnancy? Share how you found out in the comments below!