It seems obvious, but sticking to a healthy, balanced diet is essential when trying for a baby. To get pregnant and nourish a developing baby, your body needs to be healthy enough to do this. Being under or over weight can make you less likely to fall pregnant so making changes to your diet and maintaining these changes can increase your fertility.
And you know what accompanies a well balanced diet? Exercise. Regular work outs keep the body and mind fit and strong and is essential for keeping your weight in check. Exercise also boosts levels of endorphins, the body’s own ‘happy hormones’, which may help to reduce stress, which can detrimentally affect fertility and make it harder for a woman to fall pregnant.
Talking about stress, recent research has revealed that stress is a big factor in how likely you are to fall pregnant - with high levels of adrenaline hampering fertility chances. Research has showed that women with the highest levels of the hormone were found to be 12 per cent less likely to conceive in the first month of trying than those with the lowest. Hectic lifestyles we lead these days provide a perfect breeding ground for high stress levels so it’s important that we try to manage stress effectively and make the most of any ‘downtime’.
Smoking has been strongly linked to infertility and early menopause in women, as well as sperm problems in men so if you are trying for a baby, it will be vital to kick the habit to improve your chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby.
Alcohol also plays a role in a woman’s fertility chances so ensure you stick to the government guidelines when it comes to looking at how many alcohol units you are consuming week to week. Two to three units per week is the recommended amount - that’s around one and a half glasses of wine or a couple of single vodkas with a mixer. Not a lot is it? When trying for a baby it’s therefore important to ensure you’re keeping an eye on that as we know how easily one glass leads to two then three then four.
Mohamed Hefni, Consultant Gynaecologist at Benenden Hospital
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