Eating healthy for two General dietary guidelines for getting pregnant, and maintaining a healthy pregnancy

You are what you eat.
What you put into you body has a huge effect on the functioning of your systems….yes, even your reproductive system. A well balanced, nutritious diet is essential for the formation of an embryo in your body, and for its further development for 9 months. Take this into consideration every time you sit down for a snack or meal, as it is one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your own health and that of your baby-to-be. Try to add more nutritional value to your food so that you are using every opportunity you can to boost your body’s reproductive wellness and fertility potential.

Have fun with this dietary modification process!
This is my favorite part. There are actually some really exciting, yummy foods that you can incorporate into your diet to aid in your fertility. Remember, you are trying to nourish your system, so this is more about adding things rather than taking things out. Caviar (the egg that can help you produce an egg and very luxurious), any type of nut or seed (walnuts, black sesame seeds and almonds are especially good and make a great snack), butter (that’s right…throw away the margarine and start spreading the real thing), eggs including the yolk (I know, and to think you have been separating them out for all these years years), olive oil (get out the Italian cookbook and go to work), oysters, clams, lobster, and crayfish ( Did someone say seafood buffet?), dark chocolate….in moderation of course ( Who doesn’t like this idea?…lots of beneficial antioxidants).

Eat organic foods and hormone free meats whenever possible.
Foods and meats treated with pesticides, chemicals and hormones contain estrogen-like substances, which when ingested will occupy estrogen receptor sites in your body and have negative effects on organ and endocrine systems (hormones…which directly effect pregnancy). Food is healthiest when it is closest to its source, so try to eat as much locally grown, fresh, non processed food as possible. (For example, fresh green beans from your local farmer’s market are much more beneficial to you than canned, or frozen…even if you did get them at Trader Joe’s). This way you will be taking advantage of the foods maximum nutritional benefits. As foods are processed, they loose nutritional value. When trying to get pregnant, and maintaining pregnancy, we need as much nutrition as possible, so don’t skimp when it comes making healthy choices.

Eat alkaline rather than acidic foods.
The reproductive system needs to have the right PH in order to support conception and implantation, as an environment that is too acidic can be hostile to sperm. What we eat has a direct effect on this PH. Foods which make the system more alkaline are noncitrus fruits, vegetables, sprouts and cereal grasses (wheatgrass, barley grass), and herbs like black cohosh and valerian root. Chewing food thoroughly and refraining from drinking liquids with your meal can also have an alkalizing effect. Allow your foods to be digested by your saliva, rather than just washing it down with a drink.

Include lots of essential fatty acids in your diet.
They are very important in the ovulation process. A great supplement is Barlean’s organic oils “The Essential Woman”, available at health food stores. Good sources of essential fatty acids to include in your diet are fish, fish oil, flaxseed oil, pumpkin-seed oil, eggs, soy products, raw nuts and seeds, and dark-green veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, beets, carrots, kale, collards, cabbage, turnips, rutabaga, and Brussels sprouts. These veggies are also beneficial because they contain a compound that stimulates more efficient use of estrogen by increasing the metabolism of estradiol. Excess estradiol is associated with breast pain, weight gain, breast and uterine cancer, moodiness, and low libido (not good when trying to get pregnant). Adding more of these veggies into your diet will decrease levels of estradiol, and allow your body to process estrogen more efficiently.

Get Your Vitamins & Minerals.
Supplement your diet with a natural, high-potency multivitamin and mineral complex with iron, folic acid, and B vitamins I recommend New Chapter’s “Perfect Prenatal”. Other supplements that boost your fertility are the following:
Greens supplement: Try to get as many greens as possible into your diet through food, but to help fill in on those days where it isn’t possible to eat Kale and broccoli. Take this every day!(found at health food stores. A great one is New Chapter’s “Berry Green”). Green food supplements nourish the endocrine, nervous, and immune systems.

Vitex Agnus-castus (chasteberry): This natural supplement stimulates the ovaries to ovulate and normalizes progesterone levels. (Take 160-240mg of a 6 percent aucubin extract each morning). Discontinue when you become pregnant.

Coenzyme Q-10: This assists the mitochondrial function in our cells, making them as healthy as possible. Healthy cells= healthy organs=healthy, well functioning systems.
Take a probiotic supplement (acidophilus& bifidus).
Probiotics help build up your body’s intestinal flora, making you more resistant to any type of infection, along with improving the health of your digestive system. While you are trying to get pregnant, and when you do become pregnant, you want to try and avoid taking medication as much as possible. By improving your body’s defense system, you are decreasing the likelihood of getting sick, and therefore won’t have to take meds which may interfere with your fertility and pregnancy.

Eat as much fresh organic pineapple as possible after ovulation.
Pineapples contain bromeline, an enzyme that helps an embryo implant into your endometrial lining.

Yes, your hubby or partner has to do stuff too!
L-carnitine or acetylcarnitine (1,500 mg 2x a day): This improves sperm motility.
Coenzyme Q-10 (100mg a day): Improves sperm motility.
High potency multivitamin that includes vitamin B-12: Provides a base of nutrients that are important for fertility.

Things to avoid if possible when trying to concieve.

    Coffee ( green tea is a great sub, as it still wakes you up, but opens your blood vessels instead of constricting them).

    Alcohol ( I think a glass of wine with dinner is perfectly fine…and needed when going through this whole process…, but try to avoid excess consumption). Of course avoid alcohol all together if you are pregnant.

    NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflamitories) can actually inhibit ovulation, so try to steer clear of the ibuprofen.

    Nicotine ages the ovaries (as well as the rest of your body), and makes the eggs less likely to be fertilized.

    Stress…. this is the big fertility killer!!!! Really try hard to take time out of your day just for yourself. Meditate, light some candles, listen to a CD, take a bath….just 10 min a day to yourself can really make a difference.

Best Wishes! If you would like to explore further the benefits of integrating Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture for fertility and pregnancy along with your western medical therapies for fertility, please call me at San Diego Fertility Acupuncture (888)-341-1511 or visit my website at www.sdfertilityacupuncture.com, for more details about infertility support & treatments, woman’s health issues and more.
Note: Of course always check with your Doctor if you have underlying medical conditions or are undergoing medical treatment for infertility before taking any supplements or drastically changing your diet, especially if you are allergic to eggs or other suggested foods. The above article is meant as a general overview of a healthy diet for those who are trying to get pregnant or who are pregnant and is not meant as or to replace medical advice.

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