Babies are, like, so in right now. However, many women can attest to the fact that making a baby isn’t always fun or easy. For many families, it can take several months or years just to conceive. If you are trying for a baby but aren’t having much luck, a few diet changes might make all the difference.
After countless discussions, you and your spouse have decided you’re ready for a baby. You’ve talked to your doctor, practiced some, ahem, leg work, read all the baby books and still aren’t pregnant. Before you call in the acupuncturists or fertility experts, take a closer look at your diet. Certain foods have been shown to reduce fertility while some have quite the opposite effect. Take a look at what you should (and shouldn’t) be eating to help make that baby. As always, consult with your doctor and OB/GYN before making dramatic lifestyle changes, especially if you are trying to conceive.
The bad: Trans fat
We all know how bad trans fat is, which is why many restaurants have taken it completely out of their food production. However, trans fat is even worse for women trying to conceive. According to a study done by U.S. News and World Report, trans fat (still found in some processed foods and doughnuts) have been linked to infertility. Swap out your morning doughnut for oatmeal, whole grain toast or an egg white omelet for a healthier breakfast!
The good: Lentils and leafy greens
Ladies, if you are trying to conceive, think of folate as the holy grail. According to the U.S. News & World Report study, of the 19,000 women they tested, those who took a folic acid supplement or ate foods high in folate had a better chance at getting pregnant than those who didn’t! If you’d prefer the natural route, simply adding lentils (which have 180 mg of folate per 1/2 cup) to your diet can dramatically increase your chances of conception. Leafy greens, like kale, asparagus, broccoli and sunflower seeds also contain a ton of folate!
The bad: Deli meat
Before you bite into your favorite pastrami on rye, read this! Some studies have found a link between miscarriages and deli meat. Although there is little research supplementing this fact, many scientists have found the correlation. If you are a sandwich fiend, try swapping your normal deli favorite with chicken salad or freshly roasted turkey!
The good: Oranges, lemons and limes
Oranges are not just for your kids’ soccer games (or your Blue Moon) anymore! Foods high in vitamin C, like the orange, have been shown to reduce stress on the ovaries. Plus, Vitamin C can prevent sperm defects and boost sperm motility. To sneak some citrus into your (and your hubby’s) favorite foods, try this blueberry lemon loaf (one of my husband’s favorites).
The bad: Alcohol and caffeine
Party girls and coffee addicts, those late night vodka binges and Starbucks trips could be partly to blame for your inability to get pregnant. Countless studies have shown that excessive alcohol can reduce fertility by up to 50 percent! I’m not talking about the occasional glass of wine with dinner or vodka tonic after a long day, I’m talking 3-5 drinks up to 4 days a week. (Aka, the Lindsay Lohans of the group). Excessive caffeine (more than 300 mg or 3 cups of coffee) can also hinder fertility. Limit yourself to 1-2 cups a day if you are trying to make a baby.
A few diet changes can make all the difference, for those trying to conceive or those just trying to maintain a healthier lifestyle! Ladies who have tried any of these tips with luck, share your experience in the comment section!