To encourage you in your endeavour for conception, a radiant pregnancy and a healthy baby, the following information will assist you in getting off to a good start and give you some tips if ‘mum-to-be’ is suffering from some common ailments. So how much thought have you put to this? Many of us have heard that in order to have a healthy pregnancy, a woman and indeed her partner, need to look at diet and other influencing factors even before conception.
Pre-conception nutrition can be as important for baby’s well being, as what a woman eats during and even after her pregnancy. In fact, overall intake of foods, nutrients and toxins greatly influences the early development of the embryo – so much so that scientists now say that one can trace patterns of disease in adults all the way back to infant nutrition and the health of the mother during pregnancy. Since the male partner is responsible in about a third of infertility cases, it’s as important that he follows a healthy nutrition plan pre-conception, as the mother-to-be.
Improving Sperm Quality It takes 100 days for sperm to develop (74 to form and 20-30 to mature), therefore addressing sperm health three to four months before conception is of great benefit. Eating a healthy, wholesome diet including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – especially dark green vegetables – wholegrains, oily fish, nuts and seeds and organic produce where possible, is vital.
Specific nutrients are discussed below. Firstly – drink more water – semen is made mostly of water (your whole body is in excess of 70% water).
Things to avoid:
Alcohol interferes with the secretion of testosterone, speeds up the conversion of testosterone into oestrogen, lowers sperm count and sex drive. Smoking increases the number of free radicals in the body which damage many cells and reduces sperm count and motility, and increases the number of abnormally shaped sperm. Caffeine may impair sperm production, cause chromosomal abnormalities and effect sperm motility. Toxins and Pollutants Pesticides and heavy metals are terrible for sperm. Since the start of the use of pesticides, male sperm counts have plummeted. Note: pesticides are designed to disrupt the reproductive cycle of the insect, fungus, or weed it is trying to kill! Eat Organic as much as you can! Also watch exposure to X-rays, solvents, paint products, toxic metals and toxic chemicals in your personal care products.
Although exercise is good for you, excessive amounts punish the body, may lower sperm count and temporarily reduce testosterone production. In this instance it’s absolutely essential to supplement the minerals the body is losing and counteracting the free radicals formed through exercise.