Pregnancy & Nutrition
It is important for both partners to try and eat a healthy diet in the months prior to conception to improve fertility and maximise the quality of the male sperm and the female's eggs. The quality of sperm and male and female fertility can be affected by lifestyle factors such as excessive alcohol intake, smoking and poor nutrition - these should be avoided.
A healthy diet should consist of a balance of proteins, carbohydrates and essential fats. Good quality proteins are the building blocks for bodily growth and sperm production too - proteins can be obtained through foods such as lean meat, fish, milk, eggs, nuts or soya.
The most effective way to provide the body with energy for growth and development is in the form of complex carbohydrates - these can be found in foods such as cereals, wholegrain rice, pulses, pasta and wholemeal bread for example. Small amounts of fats in the diet are required by all cells in the body - fish oil, olive oil and nuts are all excellent sources of these.
Essential vitamins and minerals are important too and can be obtained by including vegetables in at least one of your daily meals. Remember to vary the types of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and vegetables in your diet on a daily basis to provide your body with the variety of nutrients it needs to maintain optimum health.
A multivitamin, such as Wellman, can be a useful addition to a balanced diet to ensure essential vitamin intake.
It is also advisable for your partner to have a healthy lifestyle and eat a healthy diet during pregnancy and in the months prior to conception.
During pregnancy you may find your partner gets cravings for certain types of foods with a rich flavour (e.g. liver or marmite which are rich in B vitamins). It is thought that this might be nature's way of encouraging the woman to try different foods so that she gets a range of nutrients. A varied balanced diet reduces the cravings and will help your partner maintain optimum health during pregnancy - it is also the basis for providing adequate building blocks for the health and development of the growing baby. It is also advisable to avoid uncooked foods eg. raw meats, pate and unpasteurised soft cheeses to minimise the risk of bacterial infection harming the baby.
Appropriate vitamin supplementation, such as Pregnacare, in addition to a balanced diet is useful to help avoid deficiency in essential nutrients. It is known that B Vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin B12 are important for development of the baby's nervous system, blood synthesis and metabolism. It is advisable that your partner takes a supplement containing folic acid in the three months prior to conception and for at least the first three months of pregnancy (Pregnacare can be taken before, during and after pregnancy). B vitamins can also be found in whole grain cereals, liver, green leafy vegetables, meats, milk and nuts but a sure way for your partner to get enough folic acid is to take an appropriate supplement such as Pregnacare during this period. Calcium and vitamin D are important for normal bone development and iron is important in the synthesis of baby's blood. Milk, cheese and yoghurt are excellent sources of calcium and lean meat, liver, green leafy vegetables and eggs are good sources of iron too.
Many couples worry about the nutrition of their forming baby during pregnancy and particularly during the first four months of pregnancy when morning sickness can stop the mother eating well. It is reassuring to know that only small amounts of food intake are usually enough during these periods to provide the essential materials for foetal growth but unfortunately mothers can become weak and exhausted during this time. A multivitamin supplement designed specifically for pregnant mothers - such as Pregnacare is an appropriate way to make sure of getting all the necessary vitamins prior to conception and through pregnancy.