How to get your baby body on
Before you get your pre-baby body back, you’ll need to prep it for pregnancy in the first place.
Here are some ways to help boost your fertility and get your body ready to grow a baby.
Eat your veg (and other healthy foods)
Fruits, vegetables and wholegrains contain vital nutrients for fertility.
“Look to berries, dark green leafy vegetables, and nuts and seeds for powerhouse sources of folate and zinc,” recommends dietitian Lulu Cook.
“Select wholegrains such as farro and spelt berries, as well as wholemeal breads or pastas for energy, B vitamins, fibre and even protein.”
Eggs, legumes and sources of omega-3 fatty acids – such as salmon – are also good to eat.
“These support optimal development of a foetus, as well as help the mother enjoy a stable mood throughout those hormonal swings that accompany pregnancy,” says Lulu.
- Read more: What should I eat to get pregnant
Moderate exercise can help improve your chances of conceiving, and both partners should aim to be a healthy weight.
“For would-be mothers, body fat can negatively influence the hormonal pathways necessary to conceive and carry a baby through to birth,” says Lulu.
“On the flipside, being underweight can also negatively impact fertility.
“So overall, it’s best to be around the ‘normal’ body weight for your height when trying to conceive.”
- Related story: Jacqui Cooper on the ups and downs of IVF
Cut back on alcohol and seafood
Lulu says alcohol is a no-go for couples trying to conceive.
“Not only might it negatively affect a successful pregnancy outcome if drinking continues after conception, alcohol impairs the quality of the potential father’s semen and may impair the woman’s fertility,” she says.
And while you don’t have to forgo sushi just yet, avoid high mercury seafood.
“This includes swordfish and marlin, given the potential toxicity of the heavy metal mercury,” says Lulu.
Check out any food intolerances
“Untreated coeliac disease may be associated with difficulty conceiving, as well as miscarriage, so it’s worth looking into this with your health care provider if you’re having a hard time getting pregnant,” advises Lulu.
But she says research indicates that fewer than 8 per cent of women are either coeliac or have a gluten intolerance.
Other food intolerances don’t typically impact fertility.
“Even notorious food-allergy suspects like peanuts are now recommended for consumption (for women without peanut allergies) when trying to get pregnant, throughout pregnancy and weaning, as this will support the child to grow up peanut-allergy-free as well,” says Lulu.
Written by Samantha Allemann.