Posts Tagged ‘trying to conceive’

TTC? Should you change your diet?

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

woman having breakfastIf you’re trying to conceive (TTC) or thinking about getting pregnant soon, don’t wait until you get a positive pregnancy test to make changes to your diet and lifestyle. Start now.

Did you know that when you get a positive pregnancy test result, you’re already 3 – 4 weeks pregnant? This is why you should treat your body as if you are already pregnant when you are trying to conceive.

Not sure where to begin? Here’s your cheat sheet:

  • Include a multivitamin on your grocery shopping list. Taking a daily multivitamin that contains 400 micrograms of folic acid BEFORE and early in pregnancy can help prevent neural tube defects (birth defects of the brain and spine) in your baby. Don’t wait until you are pregnant – start taking a multivitamin now. When you become pregnant switch to a daily prenatal vitamin with 600 mcg of folic acid.
  • Here’s more to put on your shopping list: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk products and proteins. Go ahead and make your plate all the colors of the rainbow. See our guide for details and a sample menu.
  • Cut out alcohol, cigarettes, e-cigs, marijuana and street drugs. These items can be harmful to your baby during pregnancy. By cutting them out now, you don’t have to worry about them when you become pregnant.
  • Talk to your provider about all of the medications you are currently taking to see if any need to be switched to one that is safe to take during pregnancy. Never go off a prescription medication without speaking with your health care provider first.
  • Start limiting your fish and caffeine intake. Eat 8 to 12 ounces a week of fish low in mercury such as shrimp, salmon, Pollock, catfish and canned light tuna or 6 ounces a week of albacore (white) tuna. Limit your caffeine to 200 milligrams a day; this is the amount in 1½ 8-ounce cups of coffee or one 12-ounce cup of coffee. And be sure to read labels on your food products for added caffeine.
  • Stay away from: raw or under cooked meat and eggs, raw fish and all shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. Don’t eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads, raw sprouts and herbal products like pills and teas. Avoid all unpasteurized products, which may include juice, milk and soft cheeses. See our complete list of foods to avoid.
  • Healthy foods can get expensive; read our guide to food shopping on a budget.

Remember, as you’re trying to conceive, treat your body like you are already pregnant. Making healthy choices now will give you a great start once you become pregnant.

Does caffeine affect fertility?

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

7236819_thbSmall amounts of caffeine probably don’t reduce a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Most studies have found no effect on fertility when women consume less than 300 mg of caffeine a day. A few studies have found that women who consume more than 300 mg a day may be more likely to have trouble conceiving. But, again, this has not been proven. If you’re trying to get pregnant it’s better for your body if you drink water, milk and fruit juice. But, the occasional cappuccino is probably just fine. You might want to ask your doctor during your pre-pregnancy check-up what he/she thinks.

Basal body temperature

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

thermometerCharting your basal body temperature can help you get a good handle on how your body operates, when you ovulate and when the chances are greatest for conceiving.  To do this, use a basal body thermometer that measures very small changes in temperature.  (You can buy one at your local drug store.)  Take your temp at the same time everyday before you get out of bed.  Don’t move around much as that can elevate your temp and give you an inaccurate reading.  You can take it orally, vaginally or rectally – doesn’t matter.  Choose a method and then stick to the same method everyday. Enter your temp reading on a chart everyday.   Your temperature will rise by at least .2 but probably less than 1 degree (compared to the previous 6 days) just as you ovulate. Having sex as close as possible to this temperature rise improves your chances of getting pregnant.

After your cycle ends, take a good look at your chart and see if you notice any patterns.  Look for other signs of ovulation, too.  Pay attention to the mucus in your vagina. It gets thinner, slippery, clearer and more plentiful just before ovulation.  These two things combined should help increase your odds of conceiving when you want.

Fertility tracking methods

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

If your periods are irregular and you want to figure out the best time to try to conceive, try a fertility tracking method. They can help you determine when you’re ovulating. Talk to your health care provider about the most effective ways to use them.

The temperature method – use a basal body thermometer to take your temperature every day before you get out of bed. Your temperature will rise one degree as you ovulate. Having intercourse as close as possible to this temperature rise improves your chances of getting pregnant.

The cervical mucus method – pay attention to the mucus in your vagina. It gets thinner, slippery, clearer and increases just before ovulation

Ovulation prediction kit – Ovulation prediction kits test urine for a substance called luteinizing hormone (LH). This hormone increases each month during ovulation and causes the ovaries to release eggs. The kit will tell you of your LH is increasing. You can purchase ovulation prediction kits at pharmacies.

If you use the temperature or cervical mucus method, begin tracking changes a few months before you want to conceive. If you’re using an ovulation predictor kit, begin using it about ten days after the start of your last period.