- Dr. Sarah Penney, MSc, ND
FERTILITY: NUTRITION FOR HEALTHY EGGS
The best time to start prepping your body for pregnancy is 3-4 months before conception. Any egg that your body releases at ovulation has been maturing in the background for around 120 days, and we want the health of both egg and sperm top notch. It is amazing that life is created from just a few cells, and we want the blueprints for a future embryo to be as healthy as possible.
FOLIC ACID - Best to start taking this 3 months before conception to help levels build up in the tissues. Folic acid is important in the early weeks of a developing baby which is why it is taking during pregnancy, but it can also help improve egg quality before conception. The best form to look for for optimal absorption from your prenatal is called 5-MTHF.
VITAMIN D - many women are deficient in vitamin D, and studies suggest that adequate levels support better quality embryos and increase chances of a healthy pregnancy. Get your levels tested to see how much you need to be taking!
HEALTHY FATS - a high intake of polyunsaturated fats has been shown to improve pregnancy rates. Try and increase intake of avocados, nuts, seeds, fish and olive oil. Some women also take a fish oil supplement - one type of fat called DHA is though to help support brain development when a child is in utero.
PRENATAL NUTRIENTS - any standard prenatal should contain a mix of B12, iron, zinc, selenium and vitamins A, C and E. Studies show better egg health and pregnancy outcomes when patients take a full prenatal instead of just folic acid.
Supplements when preparing for pregnancy can be important, but nutritional choices should not be forgotten about either. I always recommend a diet diverse in fruits and veggies, balanced with whole grains and healthy proteins to help support blood sugar levels.
Preconception care can help you get pregnant more easily when you do start trying! Check out my other posts to read more about fertility promotion, or book online anytime through my website at www.HamiltonNd.ca for an initial visit to start addressing your health!