August 11, 2009

Healthy Pregnancy Foods to Eat and Avoid

Posted in Category : Women's Health

Your diet is an important factor to consider when you are planning to conceive. However, you should be aware that conception is affected by many other factors, including healthy reproductive systems in both partners. In women, the menstrual cycle is critical to conception, since it regulates monthly ovulation. This refers to the creation of a mature ovum (egg) by the woman’s ovaries, which is ready to be fertilized by a male sperm. However, a woman is only fertile (ready to conceive) for a short phase that lasts from 5 days before until 1–2 days after ovulation. In addition, many women use oral contraceptives (pills) as a form of birth control. It is advised to stop taking pills at least 3 months before you plan to conceive. You should also make a list of the drugs and supplements take you take. This needs to be shared with your doctor to ensure they are safe while trying to conceive.

Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

When it comes to food and drink, you are strongly urged to stay away from alcohol. Your baby is especially vulnerable in the first weeks after conception. In addition, some studies suggest that alcohol can effect normal ovulation, thus making it difficult to conceive; so quit ahead of time to reduce any risk. If you smoke or take recreational drugs, this is a good time to stop. Avoid excessive consumption of caffeine-based drinks like tea, coffee, or cola. Some fish (including swordfish, shark, and king mackerel) have high levels of methyl mercury, which can damage the fetus’ nervous system. Try fish (such as tuna, shrimp, salmon, or catfish) that have lower mercury levels. In any case, avoid eating undercooked or raw seafood, eggs, meat, or poultry. You are also advised to stay away from soft cheese. Adopt a healthy diet, with plenty of freshly washed fruits and vegetables.

Food for Pregnancy

Green, leafy vegetables (such as spinach, collard and turnip greens, and broccoli) are also a good source of folic acid (folate), a B complex vitamins. This acid helps to develop a healthy central nervous system in the fetus. You can get also try a multivitamin supplement that contains 400 micrograms of folic acid. Stay well-hydrated and healthy; drink at least 8 glasses of water or fresh fruit juice or vegetable soup. Finally, share your medical history (including family history) with your doctor to ensure you do have any medical condition (such as diabetes) that can impact your chances of conceiving.