If you’re trying for a baby and want to boost your chances, there are many natural remedies available to improve fertility and help you get pregnant faster. A balanced diet and lifestyle are crucial, along with ensuring mother and baby have all the nutrients they need for a happy, healthy pregnancy.
When trying for a baby, it is important to make sure avoidable barriers in our day-to-day habits are dealt with. Frankie Brogan, senior nutritionist from Pharma Nord UK, explains that “if we are overweight or obese, or indeed significantly underweight, conception chances decrease. Reducing or quitting smoking and excessive alcohol are important considerations for both sexes, as these habits can reduce fertility. Finally, taking steps to control stress is important, as major stress can negatively impact ovulation and production of sperm.” Many women know to change these habits during pregnancy, but making these changes earlier can also improve the chances of pregnancy in the first place.
Consider your Diet
Similarly, while many women commit to clean eating during their pregnancy, it is important to consider a detox before pregnancy. As part of a fertility-enhancing diet, nutritionist Rose Holmes, education and training manger at Rio Health, recommends wholesome foods, plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, quality protein sources as well as essential fatty acids.
Brogan also points out that antioxidant-rich foods are a great choice for fertility. He explains, “Antioxidants are beneficial compounds which counteract free radicals. Free radicals are compounds present in the environment which, when in excess, can damage both egg and sperm cell.” To get a range of antioxidants in your diet, remember to ‘eat the rainbow’, as colourful fruits and vegetables each carry one major antioxidant.
Supplements for Men
It is just as important for men to consider their nutritional health when trying for a baby as their female partners, since male fertility can be improved through a variety of vitamins and minerals. Selenium is a vital mineral, as it can improve sperm motility, viability, morphology and count. The mineral is a trace element that can be found in various food sources, including cereals, dairy and meat.
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is another important nutrient for sperm function: a vitamin-like substance, CoQ10 is found in the mitochondria of our cells. As Brogan explains, “The mitochondria supply the energy needed to fuel the rapid tail movements that propel the sperm cell on its long journey to reach the egg cell.”
Could the Pill cause Nutrient Deficiency?
If you’re just starting to try for a baby, it’s very likely that you’ve just come off the contraceptive pill, and it is important to know how this will affect your body and fertility. Rachel Bartholomew, nutritionist for Nutri Advanced, explains, “Research has highlighted that the widespread use of oral contraceptives may be significantly affecting bodily levels of many essential vitamins and minerals”.
The key nutrients depleted by the pill are magnesium, zinc, folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin E, so you may want to consider taking supplements to restore normal levels and increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
The healthier you are, the more likely it is you’ll have a successful pregnancy, so ensuring you have a diet filled with vitamins and minerals is crucial. Holmes notes that good levels of iron, vitamin D and B will help boost fertility, along with plenty of vitamin C. A balanced diet, with additional nutritional supplements, can ensure that you have the best chance of welcoming a little bundle of joy.
Words by Riana Dixon