June 21, 2018 | Categories: Pregnancy & Parenting
When you and your partner are trying to conceive, you might think that eating more veggies and cutting back on alcohol is pretty much all you can do to help your chances of getting pregnant and prepare your body for pregnancy. Luckily, scientific studies and our prenatal experts have a slew of information on some of the healthiest things you and your partner can do to better your chances of getting pregnant. We break it down into the best habits for you to adopt, those you should drop, the habits you’ll want your guy to start, and those he should ditch. We’ll tell you how to get healthier together so you can get pregnant.
Eat More of These Foods
When you’re trying to conceive, it’s important to increase the amount of healthy fats in your diet in the form of omega-3s to help build cell membranes. Aim to eat salmon twice a week, adding walnuts to your snacks, or eat fortified eggs. It’s wise to eat one serving full-fat dairy (yogurt, cheese, or milk) and ramp up the plant-based proteins you’re consuming—in the form of quinoa, nuts, and beans, for example.
Develop a Mind-Body Practice
When you’re trying to conceive, the process can feel stressful at times. Start a yoga practice for a healthy way to center your mind and body. In one Harvard study, 55 percent of women who participated in mind and body programs got pregnant, compared to 20 percent who didn’t practice. Learning relaxation and breathing techniques through a daily mindfulness meditation practice help you feel more present, less stressed, and help you have a healthier mental approach during this conception process. You might have used grueling workouts in the past to manage stress but that method isn’t recommended when you’re trying to conceive. Some women who take part in frequent, intense exercise may experience ovulation problems or interruptions with their periods.
Chugging tons of caffeine
Scientists still aren’t sure how much caffeine is “too much” when it comes to infertility and impacting your ability to get pregnant. You don’t need to rule out caffeine completely, but limit daily caffeine consumption to 200 mg per day, especially when you’re trying to conceive. That’s the equivalent of about one and a half, 8-ounce cups of coffee per day. An 8-ounce cup of black tea has 25-48 mg of caffeine and 8-ounces of brewed green tea has 25-29 mg.
Staring at a screen before bed
You’ve already heard that exposure to light too close to bedtime can impact your ability to fall asleep, but in a review of studies published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, a research team concluded that steady artificial nighttime light or even periods of light disruption when you’re trying to sleep can warp your internal clock, make it harder to conceive or even affect fetal development if you’re already pregnant.
Add These Foods to His Daily Diet
Eating more leafy greens, as well as foods high in zinc and vitamin C might help give your guy a fertility boost. Leafy greens are high in antioxidants and iron, which may give your guy’s sperm a boost when you’re trying to conceive. One study found that there was an improvement in semen quality after men received a daily supplement of vitamin C. Foods that are high in zinc, like lean beef, pork, and chicken—even oysters, nuts and beans—may also improve sperm quality.
Wearing Looser-Fitting Bottoms
If your guy wears tights under shorts while working out, he might want to reconsider his fashion choices if you’re trying to conceive. When the scrotum’s trapped in clothing that’s too tight, even a one-degree increase in body temp can reduce sperm production. Encourage him to switch from tight shorts and tight underwear to a looser fit, which will keep sperm cooler—maximizing the potential number and quality of sperm produced.
Tech Habits That May Mess with Sperm
When your partner rests his laptop on his lap while typing for hours, he could be interfering with his sperm production. Medical experts aren’t 100 percent in agreement as to whether this habit impacts fertility, but if you’re trying to conceive, ask him to use a pillow or some sort of a barrier instead. Another one the jury is still out on is whether cell phones in men’s’ front pants pockets are impacting sperm with either the heat they produce or electromagnetic waves. If you’re concerned about this tech placement, ask your guy if he’ll put his phone in his shirt pocket instead.
Hanging out in saunas and hot tubs
You’ve probably heard about hot tubs “cooking” sperm since the first times you stepped into ones with members of the opposite sex. Our experts suggest that if you’re trying to conceive, your guy should probably opt to skip the post-workout sauna or hot tub session to ensure he’s producing the most quality sperm possible.
Taking a multivitamin
If you’re already taking a multivitamin, you’re in good shape. If you’re not, start taking one now. In a study of over 18,000 women who were trying to get pregnant, researchers found a correlation between taking a multivitamin supplement and having a lower chance of ovulation problems. It’s a smart idea for your DH to take a multivitamin as well, one that contain s vitamins C, E, selenium, zinc and lycopene can help support healthy sperm.
Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight
It’s a good idea for you both to exercise daily and start at a healthy weight when you’re trying to get pregnant. Working out is beneficial to both of you for optimal energy, helping with blood flow for your sex organs, assisting you with achieving a healthy weight and it can help you better manage stress. Obesity in men is associated with a decreased sperm count and quality. You’ll also want to make sure you’re eating foods to lower high cholesterol. High cholesterol won’t just harm your heart–it can also negatively impact your ability to conceive, according to a recent study in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Removing toxins from your home
When you’re TTC, the home is where baby-making magic is happening, but it could also cause infertility if the environment isn’t ideal. Toxic substances could be lurking in your home in the form of BPA (usually leeching on cans and plastic), phthalates (plasticizing chemicals found in vinyl products and products containing artificial fragrances), pesticides, and GMOs in food, to name a few. Learn more about home toxins making you infertile in this article.
Practicing good stress-management skills
Ask any couple that’s been trying to conceive for a few months and the process of having sex to make a baby can certainly feel more stressful than it sounds to others who aren’t going through it. Try to have an open discussion with your partner when you feel stressed or worried, and look for healthy outlets to relieve stress, like meditation, listening to music, exercise, talking to a friend, and visiting our message boards!
BOTH: DAILY HABITS TO STOP
Staying up too late
Sure, you’re in bed working on growing a family but getting enough hours of quality sleep will help you both stay as healthy as possible, may help with weight loss, and it’ll help you make healthier eating decisions the next day. Encourage each other to stick to regular bedtimes so you’re giving your body time to regenerate and be the healthiest it can be.
Obsessing Over Your Fertility
Keep the romance alive with intimate conversations that aren’t about trying to conceive and make sure you’re having fun, regular date nights. Make a plan to do something different that you haven’t taken part in since you were dating. Maybe it’s bowling, mini golf, or an amusement park? Let loose and have fun, just the two of you. It’ll help blow off steam, remind you of why you chose one another, and get your mind off of trying to conceive.
Eating Food From Cans and Certain Plastics
Reheat your leftovers in a glass container or BPA-free package instead of plastics. The chemical BPA, aka bisphenol A, which is found in plastics like water bottles, food containers and even in the lining of aluminum cans. Some studies have led scientists to believe that high BPA exposure could mess with men’s and women’s fertility, potentially lowering sperm count or reducing the number of viable eggs. Limit your BPA exposure by avoiding canned foods and avoiding consuming anything from a plastic container with the recycling number 3 or 7 on it (usually on the bottom of the container).
Stop Smoking and Limit Drinking
You’ve been told a million times how bad smoking is for your health, but if you’re trying to conceive, smoking can lower his sperm count and increase your risk of miscarriage. Science also says it takes smokers longer to conceive. You’ll also both want to cut back on alcohol consumption when you’re trying to get pregnant. Frequent drinking can lower testosterone levels, reduce sperm count and quality and cause erectile dysfunction. For women, frequent drinking before pregnancy is linked to ovulation disorders, as well as irregular periods, lack of ovulation and abnormal estrogen and progesterone levels. All of these things will make it harder to conceive.
Check out these pregnancy tips and advice on how to get pregnant in an infographic on TheBump.com.
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