Managing Optimum Health for Pregnancy

Managing Optimum Health for Pregnancy | Mr Vitamins

So you want to start a family!

Well getting yourself into optimum health is the first priority and this should be started 3 to 4 months before conception. Ideally being of normal weight will help, being significantly either overweight or underweight can affect fertility:
  • Being underweight can put you at risk of anemia, or delivering prematurely
  • Being overweight can cause gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia and miscarriage
A sensible diet in both instances is required, and supplementation for both sexes with a good ante-natal formula, to ensure healthy eggs and sperm. Folic acid, one of the B vitamins is particularly important as it reduces the risk of the fetus developing neural defects such as spina bifida.

Organic foods give you the best nutrition

  • Eat organic whenever possible as it minimises toxic exposure in the form of pesticide residues, tastes better and  supports local growers.
  • Be colourful, eat a variety of veggies and fruit, green, red, yellow, orange, pink and purple to give yourself a wide array of vitamins.
  • Eat grass fed meat and free range poultry; conventionally farmed animals can contain, antibiotics as well having been fed on GM grain. They can be inhumanely treated also.
  • Include Omega 3 rich fatty fish; including Wild Salmon (not farmed), Mackeral and Sardines as they provide protein but also are anti-inflammatory, support hormone balance and reproductive health.
  • Eat High Fibre and Wholegrain foods; processing grains removes vitamins and minerals, thus affecting blood sugar levels.

Extra nutrition focus for Vegetarians

If you are vegetarian, vegan or allergic to diary products, you need to have your levels of Iron, Calcium and Vit B12 checked. B12 is only found in animal products, fortified cereals and yeast extracts, so taking a supplement is essential. Vegans need to combine different plant proteins in order to absorb the full spectrum of amino acids. So eating nuts combined with dried roasted peas as a snack, or adding rice to chickpeas or sweet corn does the trick. For Iron eat extra portions of haricot beans, cereals, dried apricots, raisins and prunes. Vegetarians can eat more dairy and eggs to ensure adequate Protein, Calcium, Iron and B12.

Hydration is Essential

Drink Plenty of Water, choose reverse osmosis water filtration as this removes toxic residues. Also be aware that plastic bottles contain oestrogen-mimicking chemicals that can leach into the water. Being well hydrated helps reproduction.

Stay away from the ‘bad’ stuff

Avoid refined sugars, white sugar, corn syrup, soft drinks and processed foods. They all increase blood sugar levels, promote fat, cause inflammation and provide little or no nutrition. If you do crave sugar substitute with stevia or xylitol. Minimise caffeine in the form of coffee, cola or cheap chocolate it has negative impact on your hormones and liver function and increases the risk of miscarriage! If you do need a chocolate fix, choose raw cacao which is a great superfood, antioxidant and contains iron.

Poppy OspreyNaturopath Poppy Osprey

As part of planning and preparing for a healthy pregnancy and childbirth, I provide guidance and advice all the way throughout pregnancy, as well as dealing with anxiety of being a new Mother. I have raised two boys and love children. Come in and talk if you're planning a pregnancy and I can advise on diet, supplementation and exercise gear — and create a plan specifically for you—and your partner. Poppy has had extensive experience consulting on pregnancy and natural health and will commence practice at the Mr Vitamins Clinic in April 2015. Find out more about Poppy here