Trying for a baby?
Don’t wait until you’re pregnant to start considering a well-balanced nutritious diet for you and your baby. Pre-conception is the time to start planning for health and well-being in pregnancy. A holistic fertility plan can help you optimize your fertility, conceive naturally, and enjoy a vibrant, healthy pregnancy – to benefit you AND your baby!
We asked award-winning nutritionist Rosie Letts to share her tips for healthy pre-conception nutrition.
She says, ‘First and foremost, your approach to fertility should ideal encompass all aspects of your life, and since your body systems are so interconnected, it’s important to start viewing fertility as a whole-body event rather than something that is confined to your ovaries and fallopian tubes. Every couple is unique, but these simple guidelines will help you develop a holistic approach to conception and pregnancy.’
Nutrition is key
Without a doubt, nutrition is key to fertility, a happy pregnancy, and a healthy baby. Modest changes to your daily nutritional intake can make a MASSIVE difference. The optimum fertility diet supports your body in its reproductive efforts and includes foods that are bursting at the seams with the nutrients needed for egg and sperm health, hormone balance, and foetal development.
When you are trying for a baby, focus on these fertility-boosting food groups:
Forget low-fat diets; getting enough healthy fat in your diet is essential for nourishing your reproductive organs. Concentrate on eating plenty of nuts and seeds, fish, grass-fed butter and coconut oil.
Protein is the building block for all the body’s tissues and is essential for your baby’s growth. Eggs, lentils, beans, fish, and grass-fed meats are all great sources of protein and should be a regular part of your pre-conception diet.
Antioxidants will protect your eggs and sperm from DNA damage. Fruits and vegetables, especially dark green vegetables and berries, are great sources of natural antioxidants. Check out Rosie’s simple and delicious ‘Green Goddess’ soup recipe below …it’s bursting with antioxidants!
CoQ10 has been shown to increase sperm motility, and most men don’t get enough. CoQ10 can be found in seafood and organ meats. Feed them to your partner!
Rosie adds, ‘Many of the couples I work with are too exhausted to think sensibly about trying for a baby. We have had to become experts at juggling our work, social engagements, and home lives. Many couples try to fit having a baby around getting married, renovating their homes, or going for a promotion at work. I always ask my clients to stop and consider what else is going on in their lives and whether or not it can wait. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed at the thought of having a baby, there are lifestyle measures you can take to help restore your body’s natural balance.
- Getting enough sleep allows your brain to recharge and your body to rest. I have many articles on how to boost your sleep hygiene. This provides useful tips on how to get a better nights sleep.
- Exercising regularly can bump up your production of endorphins, improve your mood, and reduce your stress levels.
- Stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness, acupuncture, and meditation can help relieve stress.
- Don’t allow yourself to become completely consumed by the thought of fertility; it is still important to inject fun into your life and make time for your relationship.
Rosie Letts is a leading private Bristol nutritionist and functional medicine practitioner. She specialises in weight management, digestive health, fertility and sports nutrition, offering one to one consultations, diagnostic testing and supported online programmes.
Green Goddess Soup
Green, leafy vegetables are high in potassium and vitamin K – exactly what your body needs to keep muscles working and blood streaming…..and essential if you’re trying for a baby!
This green goddess soup will ensure your body is loaded with powerful antioxidants, vitamin C and collagen.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 brown onion
- 1 head of broccoli – cut into florets
- A handful of kale
- A handful of spinach
- 1 potato – peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 litre vegetable stock or chicken stock
- ½ can of chickpeas
- 50ml coconut milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- crème fraiche to serve (optional)
- Peel and roughly dice the brown onion.
- Place a saucepan onto low heat and add the olive oil.
- Place the onions in the pan and sweat for 10 minutes, ensuring that they don’t colour.
- Add the chopped broccoli, and sweat again for 4 – 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetable stock, kale, spinach and potato.
- Bring to the boil then simmer for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the potato is soft, then add the chickpeas.
- Remove the pan from the heat & blend.
- Add the coconut milk
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. If its slightly to thick add more coconut milk until the right consistency.
To serve, top with a teaspoon of crème fraiche and a handful of rye croutons.