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Getting pregnant doesn’t always happen as quickly as we’d like. But rather than lose heart, use this precious time to focus on yourself. Here’s how to look and feel your best in the coming months:
Sometimes it takes a challenge to push us out of our comfort zone and remind us how awesome we really are. Take up a new hobby, try an evening class or book a trip away. Trying something new can be wonderfully invigorating as it encourages us to develop new skills, and grow as people.
Hanging out with friends and relatives is an important part of nurturing your self-esteem – not to mention reminding you to have fun. Meet close friends for lunch, throw a dinner party for your nearest and dearest or organize a family day out. Anything to remind you how loved you are.
Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your mood – thanks to the release of feel-good brain chemicals – but also to ensure you’re physically fit. Having a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index between 19.5 and 24.5) will give you the best chance of conceiving, so it’s worth keeping an eye on your weight. If you’re not someone who enjoys the gym, or formal classes, swimming and walking regularly can be just as beneficial for your body. Do something you enjoy and you’re far more likely to stick with it – even when you’re pregnant.
A varied and balanced diet isn’t just crucial during pregnancy – the foods you eat prior to conception can make an important difference, too. When you are planning a pregnancy, particular care should be taken to eat a balanced diet and follow a healthy lifestyle in order to prepare the body for pregnancy. This means a sensible balance of protein (found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs), fats (dairy produce, oily fish, avocadoes and olive oil), complex carbohydrates (such as wholemeal bread, brown rice and pasta), and plenty of fruit and vegetables. It’s recommended that women take a prenatal folic acid supplement, starting at least one month before conception in order to build up adequate folate level.*
A pregnancy supplement with 200 mg DHA can support you and your baby during this time. DHA maternal intake of Omega-3 DHA contributes to the normal development of the brain and the exes of the foetus and the breastfed infant. Check out FEMIBION 2 Pregnancy + Breastfeeding here.
Focusing on what you have right now, rather than the things you desperately crave, can help to restore perspective and remind you how fortunate you are. When you feel yourself fretting about the future, for example, mentally list three things to be thankful for right now, whether it’s the warming cup of tea in your hand, a bright sunny morning, or your partner’s smile.
If you have any health concerns about your fertility, or have a specific medical condition (such as epilepsy or diabetes) - or if have had previously a child with a neural tube defect - you should speak to your doctor when planning a pregnancy. He or she will be able to rule out medical fertility issues such as a hormone imbalance or a nutritional deficiency. He will be able to give you advice, and hopefully put your mind at rest.
* Supplemental folic acid intake increases the maternal folate level. Low maternal folate level is one of the risk factors in the development of neural tube defects in the developing fetus. Therefore it is recommended that women should take 400µg supplemental folic acid daily over a period of at least one month before and up to three months after conception. The association between low maternal folate status as an important risk factor for neural tube defects has been scientifically proven. Apart from this, other factors, such as hereditary factors, can also increase the risk of neural tube defect.