Are you thinking about getting pregnant? This may be your first or your sixth or anywhere in between, but whatever the case, there is some preparation that should go into getting your body ready for baby. Nutrition is a key component, and I want to share a few tips for what you should be doing right now if you are planning on getting pregnant in the next year.
1. Prenatal Vitamins Now!
The time is now to start taking those prenatal vitamins! Even if you are several months away from starting to try to conceive, now is the time to get that folic acid in your system, and to ensure that you have plenty of iron and other helpful vitamins and minerals. When you start to grow a baby these sources will quickly get depleted, so it’s best to start with a full tank, so to speak!
2. Vitamins for Him
Did you know that it takes approximately 90 days for sperm to become fully developed? That’s why your partner needs to be taking his own multivitamin, and ideally several months before you begin trying for baby.
3. Drop that Alcohol
You won’t be drinking alcohol once you get pregnant, so now’s the time to start weaning your body off of the sauce, especially if you drink socially on a regular basis. Limit yourself to one glass of wine or one beer per event, and limit the number of events where you are drinking altogether.
This one was the very hardest for me, personally. My drink of choice is iced coffee. Yours might be a latte or even a Diet Coke. Whatever your caffeinated beverage of choice may be, it’s time to cut back. Some studies have shown that high levels of caffeine can reduce the odds of conception. Caffeine can also interfere with your body’s ability to absorb iron and calcium, two things your body very much needs when growing a baby. Additionally, once you are pregnant, you will want to keep your caffeine consumption low, so it’s best to wean yourself off of it now rather than having to quit cold turkey. Take an honest assessment of how much caffeine you consume, and depending on how soon you want to start trying for a baby, you can determine a way to start switching over to decaf versions of the beverages you enjoy.
5. Whole Grain Goodness
I’ll spare you my soapboax speech about why refined grains are best avoided whenever possible. But you should know that refined grains (such as enriched flour) have been stripped of their vitamins, making them nutritionally void. By switching over to whole grains, you will start getting more iron and B vitamins that your body needs. I grew up on white bread and had to train myself to start enjoying whole wheat. It does take some time. You can find breads that have whole wheat AND enriched wheat in them. Start with those options for your transition, and then work your way over to whole grains. By eliminating enriched wheat from your diet, you’ll also help eliminate those insulin spikes they give you, which means that you won’t experience the corresponding energy slumps. And believe me, you’ll want to eliminate any and all energy zappers from your life once you are pregnant, as your pregnancy will claim most of your energy as it stands!
6. Colorful Diet
As a general rule, the more vivid the color of your fruits and vegetables, the more nutrient dense they are! So switch out your iceberg lettuce for romaine (or even better: spinach!). Switch out your baked potatoes for baked sweet potatoes. And go for as many blueberries as you want! Make the food you choose for your body be optimal fuel because that helps your body perform at it’s maximum potential (the same as giving a car with a sophisticated engine the higher grade gasoline!).
7. Fish Oil: It’s Easy!
The business of eating fish when you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant is a little bit tricky, because so many varieties of fish contain high levels of mercury. But getting your rich fatty acids is absolutely CRITICAL. So I suggest that you research the best fish to eat before and during pregnancy and how often you should have it, rather than eliminating it from your diet. And as a supplement, now is also the time to start taking a fish oil capsule.
All of these nutritional steps you can take are ones that don’t need to stop once the baby is born. A nursing baby will benefit greatly from these steps taken, and even after you have weaned, giving your body great fuel by way of a healthy diet and supplements will serve you well as your chasing that little toddler around! 🙂
Finally, if you are getting ready to try to conceive, you may want to look into conception-friendly lubrication. I wrote a post on some things to keep in mind when trying to get pregnant. For example, many people don’t realize that the lubrication they are using might actually impede their odds of a successful conception! Astroglide TTC is a fantastic alternative for you to have on hand so that the moment you are ready to start trying, you won’t have to sacrifice your comfort.
Any other tips for readers out there who are getting ready to start trying to conceive?
Astroglide TTC™ sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine