There is much that can be done to optimise your health and wellbeing prior to conceiving. Infact, there is plenty of research to show the impacts that our diets and lifestyle have on fertility outcomes – from falling pregnant, to staying pregnant, to enjoying pregnancy! Taking 4-6 months prior to attempting conception to clean up your diet and lifestyle can have enormous impacts on your fertility journey – it can change the health of sperm – motility, morphology, DNA fragmentation; improve egg health, regulate menstrual cycle length and ovulation, reduce the risk of miscarriage, reduce the chance of birth defects, improve labour outcomes, and improve the health of the subsequent offspring’s health – from childhood allergies and eczema, to cardiovascular and mental health outcomes as adults, and even their IQ.
My top tips for optimising prenatal health, in both men and women:
- Focus on whole foods only – foods in their most natural state
- Choose organic where possible – take note of the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen – these are the twelve foods produced with the highest amount of chemical residue (so should be bought organic) and the fifteen foods with the least amount of chemical residue (so can be bought non-organic/conventionally)
- Drink filtered, bottled or mineral water only – no tap water
- Avoid all caffeine – coffee, black tea, soft drinks
- Avoid all alcohol
- Avoid trans fats – these are oxidised fats found in fried and processed foods e.g. crisps, chips, biscuits, cakes etc
- Avoid excessive and refined sugars
- Avoid consuming large fish such as tuna – the high levels of mercury can impact fertility and foetal development
- No smoking or exposure to second-hand smoke
- Avoid all plastics as these contain hormone disruptors which are linked to reduced fertility outcomes – avoid plastic wrap, plastic food storage options, plastic water bottles, etc
- Avoid household and beauty chemicals – choose organic home cleaning products, makeup, hair products, body wash, skincare, etc – the parabens, phthalates and other chemicals found in these products are known hormone disruptors and there is plenty of science showing that they reduce fertility outcomes
- Ensure you are getting adequate sleep – poor sleep impacts fertility outcomes enormously in both men and women. Please reach out if you need natural sleep support.