You have decided to have a baby and you don’t want to wait too long. But getting pregnant fast is not just about tracking your ovulation and timing your sex right; it’s also about making sure your body and your partner’s body are ready for conception. When the egg and sperm meet, they need the best conditions to form a healthy embryo that will grow into a healthy baby.
Getting pregnant quickly is not always easy, but you can do some things to increase your chances. Here we're offering some practical advice for you on this amazing journey to becoming parents.
Eat These Foods for a Balanced and Nutritious Diet
You and your partner need to make sure your bodies are getting the suitable types of foods to get pregnant. It’s vital to nourish your body and give it the energy to mature and support eggs (or to create healthy sperm!)
Follow a Mediterranean diet to get pregnant faster
Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet helps women improve their fertility and get pregnant faster. Firstly, these foods supply you with the correct vitamins and minerals that the body needs to conceive. Secondly, the diet avoids inflammatory food which can cause all sorts of problems and can also affect ovulation.
Foods to stock up on:
- Organic proteins, vegetables, and fruit
- Dark leafy greens: kale, collard greens, broccoli
- Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, millet, organic steel-cut oatmeal
- In terms of cooking oils: extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil
- Healthy fats: nuts, avocados, legumes
- Superfoods: wheatgrass, chia seeds, maca, acai, goji berries, spirulina
Foods to avoid:
Choose a diet that improves egg quality
There is now plenty of research that suggests that poor egg quality can be a reason that it takes a couple longer to achieve pregnancy. There’s also more promising research that shows egg quality can be improved by making dietary changes.
Although a woman is born with all of her eggs, they will need another 90 days to mature to be ready to be released. This 90 days period is when the eggs require specific nutrients to be healthy enough for conception to happen.
Foods that will give your eggs that super-boost of energy needed for conception:
- Avocados - high in good fats which help maintain good reproductive health
- Lentils and Beans - High in Iron and minerals that are vital for reproductive health
- Nuts (but don’t overdo it!) - Brazil nuts especially are high in selenium, a mineral that decreases chromosomal damage in eggs.
- Sesame seeds - These are high in zinc and help produce hormones responsible for optimum egg health.
- Green Leafy Vegetables - Spinach, kale, and other leafy vegetables are high in folate, iron, manganese, calcium, and Vitamin A.
- Ginger - This superfood has anti-inflammatory properties that increase blood circulation and promote healthy digestion.
- Cinnamon - Known to improve ovary function and encourage proper egg production by stimulating insulin resistance.
Take These Supplements for Better Health
Our bodies need to be strong and healthy to conceive. After all, carrying a baby for 9 months requires a lot of energy! That’s why a balanced diet is so important to get these but it’s not always possible.
How to cover shortfalls you might have in your diet? You may need suitable supplements to give your body a boost of the right vitamins and minerals.
Below are 7 supplements that women who are TTC will often take.
Zinc It supports fertility by regulating normal hormone function, cell division and ovulation. It is important that women wanting to become pregnant make sure they’re getting enough amount since our bodies don't store zinc.
Iron Studies show that not only can low iron stores prevent ovulation, but it can lead to poor egg health, which leads to harder conception.
Magnesium Magnesium is often referred to as The Pregnancy Hormone. It is important in the production of progesterone which helps prepare the womb and the body for housing the baby.
Vitamin D Better levels of vitamin D were linked to higher fertility. Vitamin D is beneficial for your own personal health and also for your baby’s health by supporting healthy bone development.
Omega 3 fatty acid It regulates hormones, helps ovulation and increases cervical mucus - so you can see how it helps with fertility! Both fish oil and flax oil are high in Omega 3.
Probiotics Sometimes the presence of bad bacteria in your vagina can prevent you from becoming pregnant. Bad bacteria can attack sperm, causing them to clump together which prevents the sperm from fertilizing an egg.
Folic Acid (this one is more for baby than you) Folate plays a vital part in DNA. It’s important for women to have enough of it as it reduces the risk of neural tube defects and congenital abnormalities like cleft palate and heart defects in fetuses.
Adding vitamins and minerals can help you get pregnant faster by boosting your fertility. It’s best to see a nutritionist if you’d like to tackle specific fertility concerns using supplements.
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Optimize Sperm Health with These Tips
Fertility isn’t just about the woman’s health. Too often a man’s fertility can be overlooked. Ensuring both partners are healthy can help you get pregnant faster. Try the listed tips to improve sperm quality and quantity.
Cut out alcohol High amounts of alcohol can change the shape and size of healthy sperm. As well as mess with sex hormones. The good news is that just 3 months of lowering alcohol consumption can reverse any damage and see sperm fit and healthy again.
Exercise regularly Regular exercise increases testosterone, which in turn increases sperm amount and quality and it also improves mood and increases libido! Overdoing it though has the opposite effect.
Stop smoking The chemicals found in cigarettes damage both the sperm and the egg as they mess with DNA and hormones. To add to this concern, second-hand smoke is almost as damaging!
Stop wearing tight underwear Keeping sperm at a cooler temperature and allowing lots of airflow to the scrotum can help create the right environment for healthy sperm. Also, choosing cotton briefs instead of synthetic ones will help control airflow and temperature.
Avoid hot baths or hot tubs Hot baths and hot tubs have been proven to affect sperm by overheating the cells and impairing their function. Sperm prefer to be kept cool, so if your partner can’t live without a soak, at least ask him to make sure the water isn’t too hot!
Add these to the diet
- Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acid
- Reduce stress
- Simple stress-management techniques (like taking a little more exercise) have been used to break the stress cycle and improve fertility.
Manage Your Stress Levels and Emotions with These Techniques
Stress and emotions can interfere with your fertility in various ways: It can disrupt your menstrual cycle, lower your sex drive, affect your hormone levels, and lead you to unhealthy habits such as overeating, drinking alcohol, or smoking.
You can identify stress if you notice the following symptoms: Joint pain, anxiety, loss of sleep, poor skin condition, jaw/neck ache, upset stomach, mood swings/irritability/tearfulness, dizziness, palpitations/shortness of breath.
Here are some tips to help you manage stress levels.
Get more sleep Cortisol levels reduce while you’re sleeping and your body gets a chance to recover from stressing out. Try to get at least 8 hours a night, and if possible head to bed before 10 pm.
Schedule ME time Doing things that make you feel good (like spending time with people who make you laugh, or doing a hobby) can put you in a state of “Flow” where you get lost in an activity and time flies past because you’re enjoying yourself!
Organize your days ahead of yourself Stress can make us feel like we’re chasing our tails…By taking the time to organize your day, perhaps the night before, you will start your day with a sense of calm and control. Sometimes all your mind and body need are a little pep-talk about what your day will contain, to help you feel confident and less stressed!
Practice meditation Mediation is a practice that teaches us to allow our thoughts to pass without us getting caught up in them. It teaches us to remain in the moment rather than playing negative things over in our minds and in doing so we can relax our body and therefore our mind. Meditation is a huge help when it comes to reducing stress.
Do regular exercise Exercise is a well-known stress reliever as it releases endorphins into the bloodstream which make us feel good. Sometimes even a gentle walk can help reduce stress so don’t feel that exercise has to mean running a marathon.
Avoid These 5 Things That Can Harm Your Fertility
Our bodies are more sensitive than most of us realize, and the things we eat, drink and do often cause stress and damage to them without us even realizing! By cutting out (or at least cutting down) on a few things, you can help your body get pregnant faster.
Alcohol In some cases, alcohol can shrink your ovaries, which again causes ovulation issues. If you’re wanting to get pregnant fast, the best thing to do is cut alcohol right down, or completely if possible.
Caffeine Tea, coffee, coke and even chocolate contain caffeine. Ok, so we aren’t saying you have to cut ALL your caffeine, but just knowing where it’s hiding is helpful! Although experts can’t say exactly how caffeine affects a woman’s fertility, they agree that high doses are likely to have negative effects when you’re trying to conceive. Many resources agree that one cup of tea or coffee a day should be fine - so at least you get your morning cuppa!
Smoking It’s been proven that couples who smoke are more likely to suffer from infertility or at least take a lot longer to get pregnant. Even if fertilization should take place, it's understood that smoking lowers the chances of the egg reaching the uterus and then implanting.
Chemicals in your home BPA: It is found in plastic containers, drinks bottles and takeaway trays. They can mess with your fertility and ovulation as well as seriously affect the health of sperm. Chemicals in your make-up: Unfortunately, there are also many harmful chemicals found in the products we use directly on our skin! Read labels and avoid anything that has the word “paraben" in it. Some examples include Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Isopropylparaben, and Isobutylparaben. Oil-based paints: Paint thinner and anything that contains lead or mercury is a no-go. Latex paints with ethylene glycol ethers and biocides should also be avoided as exposure to these chemicals can cause chemical pregnancies.
Trans fats Trans fats are found in processed vegetable oils used in margarine, pizza, biscuits, cakes and processed baked goods and pastries. Unfortunately, the more trans fats a woman eats, the more susceptible she becomes to ovulation-related infertility. It’s believed that these fats interfere with the normal functioning of a cell receptor known to be involved with inflammation, glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity, and now thought to be important in the ovulation process.
Round up! To improve your chances of getting pregnant and have a healthy body and reproductive system, you need to eat well and adopt positive habits. This will also benefit your overall well-being. Start making healthy choices today if you want to conceive, but don’t let anxiety and pressure affect you. Consult your healthcare team for the best advice for you.