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Improving your chances of getting pregnant

WOMAN'S INSTINCT
By - | June 2nd 2012

Eating a variety of fresh foods ensures you get all the vitamins and minerals you need, writes HANNAH CHIRA

It is quite interesting that in ages gone by, women rarely worried about improving their chances of getting pregnant. Reason being that they never faced lifestyle challenges the modern woman faces and age always favoured them.

They did not have to contend with Kentucky fried chicken, fries, and all kinds of junk food that have become a part of our daily meals that are blamed for the rising number or obesity and lifestyle diseases.

Even so, there are certain prerequisites you have to put into consideration if you want to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby.

Eating healthy

Think about what goes through your mouth to your stomach. Eating a variety of as much fresh food as possible, helps to ensure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need. A healthy diet is made up of:

Starchy foods, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, bread, pasta, rice and cereals.

At least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Fresh, dried, frozen, tinned or juiced can suffice.

Protein foods such as meat, beans, chicken, eggs, pulses, and nuts. Avoid peanuts especially if you or your partner has allergies.

Dairy foods such as milk, yoghurt and cheese, but not all kinds of cheese.

Fish, but avoid swordfish, marlin and shark, which can contain high levels of mercury that is harmful to the baby.

Folic acid

Medical practitioners recommend all women planning a pregnancy to take a daily supplement of folic acid. Start on the supplement immediately you stop contraception with a daily dosage of 0.4mg or as soon as you find out you are pregnant, until week 12 of pregnancy.

Folic acid belongs to the vitamin B family and is vital for baby’s development in the early weeks of pregnancy. It helps prevent serious abnormalities of the brain and nerves, such as spina bifida.

If you or your partner has a neural tube defect, or you suffer from epilepsy or diabetes, or if you had a previous pregnancy affected by spina bifida, it is recommended that you take a higher dosage of folic acid.

In addition, eat foods that contain folic acid, such as green leafy vegetables, breads and cereals with added folic acid.


 

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