If you have decided to try for a baby you want to get your body in top condition not only to increase your chances of becoming pregnant but also to ensure that if you do get pregnant, your growing baby will grow and be nurtured in a healthy and safe environment.
Asides obvious things such quitting smoking, cutting down and alcohol and doing regular exercise, couples who are trying to conceive should take a look at their diet.
Here are some of the dietary requirements and diet tips for couples trying to conceive.
Make time for breakfast
In providing us with all the energy and nutrients we need for the day, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, particularly when a couple is trying for a baby and when a woman is pregnant.
Instead of skipping breakfast make sure you eat an ample-sized nutritious breakfast each morning such as cereal with fruit and semi-skimmed milk.
Take folic acid supplements
If a woman is eating a healthy, balanced diet then the only supplement she is likely to need is folic acid. Folic acid helps to protect an unborn baby against neural tube defects such as spina bifida, and it is recommended that women take a 400 microgram supplement daily when they are trying for a baby and for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
A balanced and varied diet
Whilst we should eat a diet that is full of variety and includes plenty of fruit and vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, wholegrain and dairy products, it is particularly important those trying for a baby receive all the essential nutrients we receive when we eat a balanced and varied diet.
Monitor your Body Mass Index (BMI)
Being a parent is a highly demanding job and for a parent to look after their baby to their optimum ability, it is advisable for both parents to have a healthy BMI range. Although to nurture an unborn baby as efficiently as possible it is particularly advisable that women who are pregnant or are trying to conceive should aim to have a BMI of between 18.5 and 25.
Foods to avoid
Whether you are trying for a baby or are already pregnant, there are certain foods that could potentially harm an unborn baby and that you should therefore avoid.
These foods include pate, mould-ripened cheeses, liver, and fish that contain mercury such as marlin, swordfish and shark. Too much coffee and alcohol should also be avoided.