In my last article I wrote about the possibility that you are holding yourself back in regards to finally becoming pregnant. In my article I offered a few insights as well as a possible way to change things around towards success. However, while I am able to provide hints in such an article the overall topic is way more complex and I will try to take this a step further in this article now. By the way, if you have not read this article yet I highly recommend you do so first. [Read more...]
During pregnancy, the diet must be carefully monitored. Indeed, some infections can be serious and some foods are not recommended. Can you drink coffee? Should you switch from steak tartar for nine months and draw a line under the cheese? Here is some useful information that can help you focus on what you can eat or what to avoid when you are pregnant.
During pregnancy, some foods can be harmful and the trick is to know the risk situations. Some food poisoning can have severe consequences in a pregnant woman: among these can be counted the toxoplasmosis, the food borne diseases, and listeriosis. To avoid this type of problems, you should eat meat very cooked, avoid eating raw foods (raw milk, smoked fish and raw milk cheeses); avoid the frozen products, the processed meats such as pate and remove the cheese rind. You should try to take firm hygiene precautions when it comes to the storage and handling of food.
Alcohol is strongly discouraged during pregnancy. It is best to remove it completely or limit it to an occasionally glass of wine. Besides the very serious fetal alcohol syndrome that affects children of alcoholic women, the consumption of moderate amounts of alcohol contributes to prematurity and low birth weight. The risk is increased very rapidly by two glasses of wine per day.
You should also not abuse the coffee during pregnancy. It seems that the excessive consumption of caffeine is correlated with risk of miscarriage or low birth weight, but nothing has really been demonstrated in the field.
During pregnancy, you should try to avoid the high calorie foods as well. Indeed, the maternal obesity augments the risks for both the mother and child: preeclampsia, hypertension, diabetes, urinary infections, and even thromboembolic events. The risks at delivery are increased as well, with a high proportion of cesarean sections. The weight gain should be limited and a regular medical monitoring is necessary.
Finally, when speaking of a pregnant teenager, the pregnancy requires an increased nutritional surveillance on the special needs of that age combine with being pregnant.
A well-balanced diet of a pregnant woman should contain foods from all groups: fruit, vegetables, dairy products, meat, fish, fat, eggs and carbohydrates. You should try to get approximately 10 percent of the necessary calories from proteins, 35 percent from fat and 55 percent from carbohydrates. The diet of the first months of pregnancy should be rich in folic acid, as it helps preventing neurologic damage in the baby. It is recommended to get a prescription for folic acid before conception and during the first two months of pregnancy.
Numerous pregnant women (up to 85%) experience nausea or vomiting at a certain period of their pregnancy. In the majority of cases, these symptoms are uncomfortable but not dangerous.
Approximately 1% of mothers will throw up so harshly that the weight loss and dehydration will require hospital treatment. The severe type of morning sickness during pregnancy is medically called hyperemesis gravidarum. Even though this condition, if left untreated, could endanger the life of the patient, a brief hospital stay is usually enough to eliminate it.
When a woman suffers from morning sickness of pregnancy, these may be significant enough to affect normal daily activities (e.g. work, child care). Moreover, although they are called “morning sickness”, nausea and vomiting can occur at any time of day.
The exact causes of the morning sickness during pregnancy are unidentified, but they are probably related to hormones of pregnancy. Women who experience morning sickness are inclined to have higher concentrations of these hormones than others.
It is possible that the vomiting and nausea during pregnancy to be are an ancient protection of the fetus against the poisons. Given the richness and variety of our diet compared to those of our ancestors, it is not surprising that such protection system is more or less unbalanced and rejects various foods that are healthy.
There is evidence underlying this hypothesis comes from the research that shows that women suffer from vomiting during their pregnancy have a lower rate of miscarriage. The research indicated higher levels of the two hormones (the human chorionic gonadotropin and thyroxine) in women who have nausea.
The best method to treat morning sickness is to begin with non-drug measures. Below are listed some suggestions that are useful in many cases:
- snack throughout the day rather than eating large meals;
- avoid the fatty foods, and choose plain carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice;
- eat some crackers in bed prior to getting up in the morning;
- it is important not to keep your stomach completely empty in order not to increase the nausea;
- avoiding things that activate the nausea, like certain food smells;
- women who consume prenatal vitamins that contain iron can try other brands to see if their symptoms subside;
- avoid taking prenatal vitamins and folic acid only;
- avoid cooking odors if cooking exacerbates the symptoms;
- avoid the fried foods;
- do not lie down immediately after eating.
If the non-drug measures have failed, the doctor may recommend doxylamine in order to control the morning sickness. Women are often reluctant to take medication during pregnancy because of risks to the fetus. It is vital to remember that all women are exposed to a 3% risk of giving birth to a child with a birth defect. The studies have shown that the doxylamine has no risk to the fetus. Women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum may receive food or intravenous fluid replacement.
There are more than a few factors that influence the hormonal balance in women and thus there are some things women can do regarding their diet in order to increase their fertility.
It is generally said that “you are what you eat”. This becomes even more important when women try to increase their fertility to conceive. There are many important hormones that women need to produce in order for the fertility to function well and they can be blocked when their body lacks certain vitamins. Eating healthy foods in a balanced way can optimize the nutritional and hormonal levels of women, helping them prepare their bodies for conception, pregnancy and childbirth.
Firstly it is important to note that smoking, drinking alcohol or taking illicit chemicals reduce the overall level of health and negatively affect fertility in women. It is also recommended for women to reduce their consumption of sugar and caffeine when trying to conceive.
Here is a list of foods that can increase fertility in women:
The protein is found in animal products such as meat, eggs, dairy products, fish, etc and in vegetable sources like beans, lentils, peas, nuts, brown rice, seeds, rolled oats, wheat germ, quinoa, etc. For getting good quality protein from plant sources, it is better to combine vegetables and grains (such as beans with brown rice for example).
Many fertility experts believe that meat and dairy products contain many toxins that affect fertility negatively. These experts recommend eating low or no meat and dairy products, as well as eating beans, rice, seeds and nuts to get the recommended daily intake of protein.
2) Lipids (fats)
There are two kinds of fats in foods: saturated fat and unsaturated fat. The saturated fats are found in meats and dairy products. These fats contribute to increasing obesity, cholesterol, risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. However, some experts say that eating lots of dairy products may increase fertility in women. It is therefore a debate on this topic. The best approach would be that women to be aware of saturated fat and eat foods containing them in moderation.
Unsaturated fats are found among others in the olive oil, fatty fish, seeds and nuts. The omega-3 and omega-6 are part of the family of unsaturated fat and are considered very important to maintain good health are essential for hormonal balance and hence to increase fertility in women.
3) Carbohydrates (sugars)
The refined sugars, found in most processed foods including pasta, white bread and white rice should be avoided if women want to increase fertility. Try to find the equivalent version of complete feed instead: brown rice, whole wheat bread (whole grain), or whole meal pasta.
4) Fruits and vegetables
Eating a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables (organic if possible) per day is essential to maintain good health. Among the vegetables recommended to increase female fertility there are all the green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, Savoy cabbage but also other vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot, peas and pumpkin. The fruits recommended to increase fertility in women include grapefruit, grapes, orange, lemon, blueberry, apricot, avocado.
The water is very important for your body to function healthily and increase fertility. It is important to drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day, avoiding sugary soft drinks and caffeinated drinks or alcohol. Women can also drink fresh fruit juice (100% natural if possible) and tea but should pay attention to the large amounts of sugar contained in industrialized fruit juices (not 100% natural).
Finally, knowing what foods to eat to increase fertility in women appears to be a mere common sense. Eating healthy by avoiding fatty foods and industrial products, eating lots of whole foods and organic products can help women put their bodies in the best frame to enhance fertility.
Yoga appeared in India over 5000 years ago and since then it has been helping people with mental and bodily health. Yoga means “connection or union of the mind and body”. The yoga practice, which uses breathing techniques and unique postures, aims to create a physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual balance. Even though yoga is an ancient discipline, the modern science is now discovering its effectiveness in reducing stress and improving the well-being.
Yoga focuses on stimulating the fertility centers by acting on some of the points of energy, called chakras, associated with fertility and reproduction. Specifically, it uses postures specifically designed to open the pelvis and stimulate the second chakra located just below the navel. This vital center has long been associated with fertility and creativity. However, yoga increases the blood flow to the reproductive organs for fertility yoga helps the body relaxes and it restores the physical and emotional balance. A very real and intense stress affects most women struggling with infertility and practicing yoga can be very helpful for relieving this stress.
The benefits of yoga for fertility are:
- It helps reduce stress and anxiety
- Focuses on self-image and positive thinking
- Renews the contact with your own sexuality and femininity
- Enhances the intimacy between partners
- Repairs and rebuilds the connection between mind and body
- Creates a community of friends who share similar experiences
- Helps you reconnect with your inner wisdom and intuition.
While a course of yoga for fertility is the ideal, there are some DVDs of Yoga for fertility available on the market, as well as downloadable audio files on iPod full courses that can guide you in your sessions at home. You should avoid intensive yoga style like Power Yoga or Hot Yoga (Bikram).
There are some specific positions of yoga you can try in order to increase your chances of conceiving a baby. The legs up the wall position is ideal to be practiced after the sexual contact, because it helps the sperm reach the ovule. A final method in which yoga can help you conceiving is by adjusting the levels of hormones that may limit your fertility. There are some yoga positions that can enhance the glandular function and normalize the hormones, making the body ready for conceiving.
Even though yoga alone cannot make you get pregnant, by following a fertility course based on yoga can greatly reduce the emotions and the stress of conceiving. By using this method in addition to a medical treatment, your mind and body will be prepared for creating the baby you want so much.
Men have always associated their masculinity with intercourse and with the volume ejaculate semen. Those who have the ability to produce large amounts of sperm were often regarded as very virile men. On the other hand, those who produce a low volume of semen are stressed, hesitant and unsure of themselves, lacking the confidence to perform sexual acts properly.
The scientific research conducted over time showed that there are many reasons that can cause a low sperm production in male sexual organs. One of the most common and least worrisome reasons is that sexual activity and the frequent ejaculation temporary lower the volume of sperm. [Read more...]