Ok, there is no denying, there is a definite baby-boom among my friends right now. Is this really the age? Are we not too young for this people!? If you too have caught the baby-making bug and want a little dragon baby of your own (2012 is the year of the dragon in the Chinese calendar), the following tips could help you get there.
Healthy sperm play a crucial role in conception therefore men also have some preparing to do! Think ahead as for men, any action taken to improve sperm profile will not be apparent for 3 months as this is the time it takes for new sperm to mature.
Men fertility is optimal at a normal body weight (not over or under). It is important that vitamins C, E, B12, folic acid, selenium, zinc and lycopene are in adequate amounts in the diet for optimal sperm health. Men also need to also take care of avoiding hot temperature in the groin area therefore avoid wearing tight pants or underwear as well as spending a long time in hot baths and saunas.
For women a healthy body weight is crucial, as above or below normal body fat can hamper ovulation.
Folic acid supplements of 400 mcg a day is recommended. A high quality multivitamin (or pre-conception complex) is also a good idea if you do not feel you are getting the right amounts of utrients in your diet (see section below).
A healthy vaginal flora is also essential to conception as sperm can only live in healthy vaginal flora. Douching and a highly refined diet are only a few things that can perturb this delicate balance. Talk to your doctor or health practitioner about ways to keep your flora healthy.
TIMING & FREQUENCY
To assure sperm quality regular intercourse (2-3 times per week) throughout your cycle, has been proven to be best.
To improve chances of conception, it is of great help and very empowering for women to know when their fertile window is. This can easily be established by measuring and keeping track of your basal body temperature (body temperature at wake up time) as ovulation triggers a slight temperature rise. Your cervical fluid is another great tool for determining your fertile time; it usually resembles egg white at your most fertile moment. Read more about this on : www.fertilityfriend.com
Eat yourself Fertile LADIES!
- Eat a variety of whole grains (millet, oats, quinoa, buckwheat, rice…). These are high in important vitamin Bs and rich in fibre
- Avoid refined (white) carbohydrates: these have very little nutritional value and their high glycemic index has been shown increase your insulin level in turn this can disrupt reproductive hormones
FATS: Choose mono and polyunsaturated fats and incorporate Omega 3s
- Use high quality vegetable oils such as olive oil
- Nuts and seeds
- Avocados, coconut and olives
- Avoid transfats and animal fats
- Add and prefer more plant protein to your diet (legumes/beans)
- If you eat meat, aim to only have red meat a maximum of once a week as this is very acidifying
- Eggs are a great fertility food; they are high in iron, folic acid, B vitamins…
VEGETABLES & FRUITS:
- Choose arrays of varieties and colors
- Freshness is key (prefer seasonal and local)
- Minimum of 8 servings per day
- Drink filtered or bottled water, is the best drink for keeping you hydrated, flushing toxins from your body and it helps increase the quality and quantity of cervical fluid that is essential for successful conception.
- Herbal teas: such as nettle, ginger, chaï (without milk)
- Avoid sodas, they appears to promote ovulatory infertility
Vitamins and minerals important for the reproductive system and for fertility:
- B vitamins, including Folic acid and B12
- Vitamin A or beta carotene
- Vitamin C
- Get regular exercise
- Get a sufficient amount of sleep (7-9 hours)
- Manage your stress level
- Choose organic
- Avoid environmental toxins, lubricants, smoking, caffeine, alcohol and inorganic soy
In order to stay motivated, start integrating changes in your diet slowly and remember that you don’t have to be perfect all the time. If a glass of wine helps you relax, then treat yourself and have a good wine from time to time! The aim is not to feel restricted as this will cause unwelcomed stress and frustration, so find recipes you love that include foods that are good for you and enjoy them with your lover!
- Kaur, Dharam Sat. The Complete Natural Medicine Guide to Women’s Health. Robert Rose Inc.Toronto: 2005.
- Northrup, Chrisiane. Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Bantam Book:New York. 2010.
- Tessmer, Kimberly. Tell me what to eat if I am Trying to Conceive. Career Press: 2011.
- Adapted from The Fertility Diet (McGraw-Hill) by Jorge E. Chavarro, M.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett.
- Cannon, Emma. The Baby Making Bible. Rodale: 2010
- West, Zita. Guide to Getting Pregnant. Harper Thorson. 2005.
- Groll, J. and Groll, L. Fertility Foods.New York: 2006