Everyone around you seems to be getting pregnant naturally through timed intercourse this summer, but it just hasn’t happened to you. Infertility rates are on the rise – especially for those women who chose education and career over family planning during their prime reproductive years. Don’t despair: There are a lot of easy lifestyle changes you can incorporate into your daily routine to increase your chances of conceiving this summer.
Boost your fertility and enhance the health of your baby with a few simple lifestyle choices. Women begin their journey to pregnancy by stopping the pill contraceptive. Studies show that women have an increased chance of getting pregnant within the first few months after they stop taking the pill. You should also begin taking a folic acid supplement as soon as you stop taking the pill. Starting a folic acid supplement regimen will increase your chances of maintaining a pregnancy and reduce the risk of birth defects.
Foods with folic acid:
- Leafy green vegetables
- Fresh fruits
- Dried beans, peas, nuts
- Enriched breads, cereals, other whole grain products
- Ask your fertility specialist to prescribe folic acid as a dietary supplement
Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
Studies show that women over 30 who drank seven or more alcoholic beverages a week were twice as likely not to conceive. Cutting out alcohol altogether while you try for a baby is the best plan because, once you conceive, your cravings for a drink will be diminished. If you don’t abstain completely from alcohol, opt for only three glasses of red wine per week – sorry, no chardonnay.
- No more than three glasses of red wine per week
- No more than 3 alcoholic drinks per week
- Red wine is preferred over hard alcohol
Watch Your Weight and Get Plenty of Sleep
A healthy adult Body Mass Index (BMI) is between 18.5 and 24.9. A 2016 review of studies shows that not getting enough sleep leads women to consume an average of 385 more calories the next day.
What you may not know: Women who don’t get enough sleep.
- Gain weight
- Make less healthy food choices
- Eat foods higher in fat
- Eat low protein foods
Over a five year period, women can gain 2.1 BMI points for every hour of sleep they lose. Why is this important? A two pound weight gain can easily throw a woman off of her healthy BMI.
Too much body weight can make women less fertile. Seek help from a dietician and an exercise coach to help you lose weight and maintain a healthy BMI while you are trying to get pregnant. Remember: Your revamped diet and physical fitness regimen will help you to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
Warning: Avoid extreme diets because these can wreak havoc on your hormones and monthly menstrual cycles. Being underweight and/or exercising to the extreme will also reduce your chances of conceiving a baby. Up your healthy caloric intake if you are too skinny.
Caffeine – in coffee, tea, and soda – can have an adverse effect on female fertility. It’s best to cut caffeine out altogether to boost your fertility level and prepare for a healthy pregnancy. Drinking more than 300 mg of caffeine per day – 2 to 3 cups of coffee – has been linked to a higher risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.
Eat Health Proteins
Eating healthy proteins helps to maintain blood sugar balance. This balance gives your body the even supply of nutrients it needs for producing hormones and supporting a healthy reproductive system.
- Lean red meats
- Soy beans
- Fresh fish, such as salmon, tilapia, cod (no canned tuna because of high mercury levels)
- Beans, legumes, lentils, chickpeas
- Nuts and seeds
Increase Your Vitamin D Intake With Summer Sunshine
Sun exposure is your best source for vitamin D. UVB wavelength rays from sunlight produce vitamin D when they hit your exposed skin. A recent study confirms that vitamin D is safe for mom and baby. A prenatal recommended dosage of vitamin D for women is 4000 IUs daily. Most supplements only contain 400 IUs per dose. Why does this matter? A dosage of 4000 IUs of vitamin D daily has the greatest benefits in preventing preterm labor and birth defects.
Increase Your Sunlight Intake With Outdoor Activities
A bit of sunshine every day will help you to get pregnant – especially when you’re active in the sunlight of the day. Sunlight is proven to alleviate depression and anxiety because it generates your natural vitamin D production and distracts your mind from only focusing on getting pregnant.
- Take a walk
- Ride a bike
- Go for a hike in nature
- Take a picnic
- Cookout in your local park
- Do some gardening – grow herbs!
What to do if your lifestyle choices don’t work?
It is important to work with a fertility care team having the experience to accurately diagnose the underlying cause of your infertility and design a customized treatment plan meeting your specific medical and personal needs.
- Timed Intercourse with medical assistance
- Intrauterine Insemination (IUI)
- Conventional IVF
- Natural IVF
To schedule your initial consultation with one of the fertility specialists at New Hope Fertility NYC, click the icon below – or – call 917.525.5496.