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Boost Your Fertility To Conceive A Perfect Pregnancy

By Dr. Michael Lu, MD, MPH

Boost Your Fertility To Conceive A Perfect Pregnancy

Keep healthy to boost fertility

Trying to boost fertility? Studies show these 10 healthy practices can impact your body’s ability to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. Start these 10 practices while trying to conceive so when you do get pregnant, your body will be ready for baby.

  1. Get preconception care

Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider to identify and treat any issues that could affect your pregnancy.

  1. Nourish for 2

Eating before and during pregnancy is more about quality, not quantity. Eat more highly nutritious foods and decrease foods high in fats and sugars. The foods you eat today are the building blocks for your baby tomorrow.

  1. Eat more brain foods

Help your future baby grow a healthy mind with beans, eggs, nuts and seeds, olive oil, Alaskan wild salmon (or any other cold water oily fish), yogurt and kefir, whole grains, spinach, collards, kale, broccoli, prunes, raisins, blueberries, oranges, red bell peppers and tomatoes.

  1. Avoid toxic foods
  • Avoid fish that are high in mercury, including swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish
  • Skip products with unpasteurized milk—they can carry bacteria that causes listeriosis, which in pregnancy can cause miscarriage or stillbirth, premature delivery or infection in babies
  • Avoid hot dogs, deli meats, raw or smoked seafood, raw or undercooked meat—these can also contain the bacteria that causes listeriosis
  • Scrub all of your veggies and fruits—unwashed produce can carry and spread certain disease-causing microscopic organisms
  • Avoid all saturated fats and trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils, added sugars (e.g. high-fructose corn syrup) and refined flour
  1. Take a prenatal vitamin

Daily, take a prenatal vitamin with at least 400 micrograms of folic acid to prevent the most common birth defects: Spina bifida or anencephaly.

  1. Achieve a healthy weight

Being underweight or overweight puts you at risk for a number of pregnancy complications. Achieve a healthy weight before pregnancy. Stabilize for at least 3 to 6 months before trying to conceive at your healthy weight.

  1. Learn to relax

Deep breathing, progressive relaxation, mindfulness exercise, and transcendental meditation can all help you relax. A positive mental health and a strong network of social support will help you stay resilient through the stresses of pregnancy and parenting.

  1. Tune up your immune system

Infection and inflammation pose perhaps the biggest threats to a healthy pregnancy. Reduce saturated and trans fats from your diet, and eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables that are loaded with antioxidants.

  1. Detoxify your environment

‘Go green’ with as many common household products as possible to avoid potential reproductive and developmental problems.

  1. Make a family man

Men contribute about half of baby’s genetic materials. Sperm DNA can get damaged by tobacco, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, diet, medical conditions and environmental toxins. Since men continue to make new sperm, if they take good care of themselves for 3 months, they can replace a lot of the damaged goods with healthy sperm.

Dr. Michael Lu, MD, MPH, is an OB/GYN and associate administrator of maternal and child health of the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

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