Am I pregnancy ready?
As we welcome in the new year, many resolutions will have been made. Did you know that statistics show that the majority of new year’s resolutions are based around health and positive lifestyle changes? For many, a new year could mean a new life being born and taking care of your health at the same time may help to make it happen.
Scientific research suggests that if we adapt a healthy diet and lifestyle the rate of conception taking place may be increased. Having the knowledge of the changes we can make before trying for a baby has the potential to prepare the body for a new life.
Read my tips below on how to prepare the environment for your baby.
Tip 1: Weight Management
With obesity on the rise, weight has become one of the major factors of disease today, impacting health in so many ways. Ensuring that we eat a healthy diet and exercise when we can are of great importance. It has also been suggested that weight may also impact the rate at which conception takes place. If you are trying to shed some of the holiday weight, try and reduce your sugar intake. Incorporate fruit in place of sugar if you are craving something sweet.
Try keeping a food diary. Recording what you eat and drink in a given day can really be an eye opener and you might be surprised. Many have lost weight by simply doing just that. Also, when going food shopping stick to buying fresh produce and avoid going into the aisles which you may be tempted to buying something that you know you should not be eating. Remember, if it’s not in the house, you won’t be eating it!
Choose foods which will help you to stay full for longer, such as eggs, brown rice and healthy fats. If you are full, you won’t be tempted to snack on unhealthy foods.
Tip 2: What Should I Be Eating?
Be sure to eat real food, such as 2-3 fruits and 4-5 vegetables per day. Protein sources are especially important for hormones. Healthy protein sources can be found in eggs, lean meats and quinoa. Healthy fats also take part in helping to balance hormones pre-conception. Healthy fats can be found in olive oil, avocado and nuts and seeds (if you can tolerate them). Olive oil is best when not cooked in order to retain its nutritional content. Drizzling olive oil onto a salad is a great way to incorporate this healthy fat into your diet. Antioxidants are important to help protect cells from damage. Berries are a great source and are easy to incorporate on a daily basis too. They can be used as a topping on a good quality granola or can even be eaten on their own. Iron rich food sources are also a bonus, as they help to keep the blood supply healthy for the reproductive tissues. Spinach is a great source and is also versatile as it can be eaten raw or cooked. Add it to your salad or an omelette for an even more nutritious meal.
Tip 3: Living the Healthy Way
It is extremely important to adapt healthy lifestyle habits when trying for a baby. If you smoke, try your best to stop. Try to also cut down on alcohol or remove it from your diet altogether. Have a mocktail instead if you are going out with friends. Try to stay active by incorporating about 30 minutes of exercise per day.
Tip 4: Goal Setting
If you are having trouble getting back on track to living healthy, set a goal for yourself and write it down. If your goal is to have a baby in 2017, think about what having a baby would mean for you? Write down what you would notice about yourself once your baby is born. What would you see, how would you feel? Is there anything stopping you from making any healthy lifestyle changes? If so, how can you overcome these obstacles? These questions will really get you thinking about what you want to achieve in more detail and will also make it more ‘real’.
Fatema Hafizji, NCD, BSc, MFHT, MANLP
Nutrition Coach and Life Coach