The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age


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1. Take prenatal vitamins.

Eating certain foods and avoiding others has been medically proven to improve the ovulatory function of a woman and increase her chances of becoming pregnant. There are other factors that can lower your chances of getting pregnant. Being overweight or underweight can lead to menstruation disorders, which can cause a woman to stop ovulating. Below are some things to be aware of when thinking about diet and nutritional or vitamin supplements as you try for a baby. As studies have found that high levels of insulin appear to inhibit ovulation, it is wise to avoid eating refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice and cakes, which our bodies digest quickly and turn into blood sugar.


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These carbs are digested more slowly, having a more stabilising effect on insulin and blood sugar. When trying for a baby, it is therefore important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet that has plenty of good quality protein, fruit and vegetables and is low in saturated fats and high in fibre. Lean organic poultry, quinoa, beans, seeds, nuts and tofu provide a healthy source of protein for women trying to conceive.

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Can you get all the vitamins you need to get pregnant in your diet? Even if you are consuming a healthy, nutritional, well-balanced diet, you still may want to take vitamins or fertility supplements to fill in any nutritional gaps in your diet that may help you conceive and, if you do become pregnant, are important for healthy foetal development.

If you do decide to take fertility vitamins and supplements when trying for a baby, it is important to only take ones with recognised standards, as such supplements can vary significantly in quality. As well as a healthy balanced diet and an active and healthy lifestyle, there are a number of vitamins that have been identified as really aiding female fertility.

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Whilst they are certainly not essential for conception, if taken at the appropriate dose, they can increase your chances. Folic acid is an important vitamin, not only for women trying to conceive, but during the first three months of pregnancy. It is recommended that women trying to conceive take at least micrograms of folic acid daily and continue taking this supplement for the first three months of the pregnancy.

Studies have shown that folic acid also has fertility benefits for men, increasing the quality and quantity of sperm. Coenzyme Q10 is a natural antioxidant, which is found in many foods and available as a supplement. Our bodies make CoQ10 and our cells use it to produce the energy the body needs for cell growth and maintenance.

Studies have found that CoQ10 supplements in older women trying to conceive can improve their chances of pregnancy success. By regulating the hormones, promoting ovulation and increasing cervical mucus, as well as the flow of blood to the reproductive organs thereby improving the overall quality of the uterus Omega 3 Fatty Acid has been scientifically proven to help fertility. As the body cannot make Omega 3 Fatty Acid, it is particularly important we gain this nutrient through our diet or by taking supplements. Fish oil and flax oil are rich in Omega 3. Women trying to conceive or who are already pregnant are advised to take at least mg of fatty acid each day.

If you do become pregnant, switch to a pregnancy omega 3 formulation which contains higher amounts of DHA for foetal brain health.

The Fertility Diet: What to Eat When Trying to Get Pregnant

It is recommended that women trying for a baby and during pregnancy take 27mg of iron per day. It is recommended you seek medical advice before taking an iron supplement as some people store iron abnormally which can lead to toxicity. Women trying for a baby should ensure they are getting the recommended mg of calcium a day in case they become pregnant. Vitamin D helps an unborn baby develop normally. It is therefore important to have sufficient stores of vitamin D when trying for a baby.

Are you TTC? A look at the 'fertility diet'

A vitamin containing 10 micrograms of vitamin D is advised for women who are trying to get pregnant. Research shows that giving women vitamin B6 can increase their chances of becoming pregnant. Foods naturally rich in vitamin B6 include pork, fish, bread, eggs, soya beans and chicken. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin B6 is 10mg. Experts agree that the diet has positive attributes, but some question whether the real benefit comes from losing weight rather than the quality of one's diet.

Carrying excess pounds can affect egg quality, explained Dr. Amanda Kallen, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the Yale Fertility Center. Also, women who are overweight or obese are more likely to have imbalances in insulin levels, in testosterone levels and in levels of FSH and LSH, and these hormones drive the growth of follicles and ovulation, Kallen explained.

The question is, did they get pregnant because they lost weight, or because they followed the other recommendations from the fertility diet? That, to me, is number one," McKittrick said. But a woman with PCOS can be lean and still be insulin-resistant, which can interfere with ovulation -- in which case the diet quality becomes a more important factor, McKittrick explained. For these women, eating fewer processed carbs and more whole-grain carbs such as quinoa, farro and whole-wheat bread over white bread can result in a slower rise in blood sugar and a lower insulin production, which is favorable for fertility.

In some patients, [these] dietary modifications can increase the likelihood of spontaneous ovulation," said Dr. Alan B. Copperman, director of the division of reproductive endocrinology and infertility and vice chairman of the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Science at Mount Sinai Medical Center. Chavarro and Willett's research reveals that eating more full-fat dairy foods instead of low-fat or fat-free dairy can improve chances of conception among women having trouble ovulating. This is due to the presence of specific hormones in milk fat.

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But consuming more calories from full-fat foods can get tricky if weight loss is part of one's pregnancy prescription. But to keep calories in check, she recommends cutting out an ounce of meat or a third of a cup of starch elsewhere in your diet. Experts say that even if fertility medications or procedures are in the conception cards, improving your diet can optimize your chances of conceiving. But studies suggest that diets other than the fertility diet may also be beneficial.

In one study , researchers concluded that diligently following the Mediterranean diet may help increase the chances of a successful pregnancy and birth for women undergoing in vitro fertilization. US fertility rates down, first-time moms getting older. In another study published last month and co-authored by Chavarro, a "pro-fertility diet" that included high levels of folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin D, as well as dairy, soy and low-pesticide produce, had a more favorable outcome on fertility when followed in conjunction with assisted reproductive technologies, compared with the Mediterranean diet.

With the "pro-fertility diet," the more compliant a patient was, the better the result. But researchers did not see the same relationship when they evaluated women with different levels of compliance with the Mediterranean diet and their assisted reproductive technology outcomes, Manaker explained. What's more, if you don't have an underlying ovulatory disorder, you may not get a lot of added benefit through diet. Kallen points out that while there is a possibility of benefit from following the fertility diet for women with ovulatory infertility, the data supporting it is based on relationships which don't prove cause and effect , as well as self-reported accounts of one's diet which can be inaccurate.

I don't think you can say that's the case," Kallen said. Copperman noted, "If you follow this diet, it doesn't mean you're going to get pregnant, and if you cheat, it doesn't mean that you're not going to get pregnant. It was a lovely study, and it was a huge study; there are tons of women who recorded their information Copperman is concerned that women may become overly adherent to a specific diet -- and unnecessarily blame their infertility on not following something stringently enough.

US fertility rate is below level needed to replace population, study says. Biologically, that makes no sense," Copperman said. If you decide to try lifestyle changes, your age should also be considered. That would make me a little bit worried," Menke said.


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    The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age
    The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age
    The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age
    The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age The Fertility Diet: How to Maximize Your Chances of Having a Baby at Any Age

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