Getting your body ready for a new life
We want to do everything we can to improve your chances for having a baby. So before we begin any medical treatments, we need to look at your overall health and discuss any changes you may need to make to ensure that your body is prepared to nourish and grow your baby. These recommendations are designed to help you avoid anything that could adversely affect your health and allow you to have a healthy pregnancy.
- Diet – a healthy, well-balanced diet is very important and there are certain foods and beverages you will need to restrict or avoid altogether during your fertility treatments and throughout your pregnancy, including:
- Caffeinated drinks like coffee or soft drinks should be limited to no more than 3-4 cups per day.
- Soft, ripened cheeses and unpasteurized or raw milk products should be avoided because they have been shown to carry a small risk of infections that could put your pregnancy at risk.
- Liver, including pâtés, contain high levels of vitamin A and can cause abnormalities in the developing fetus and should be avoided.This also applies to vitamin supplements, so it is important to take only the vitamins we recommend.
- Cook all meats thoroughly and avoid shellfish and raw seafood.
- Practice kitchen hygiene by keeping food preparation tools and all work surfaces clean and by washing your hands thoroughly before and after food preparation. Store raw and cooked foods separately in tightly sealed containers and store all meats on the bottom shelf to prevent the juices from accidentally dripping onto other foods.
- Wash all fruits and vegetables thoroughly before consuming.
- Exercise can help with weight control, strengthening muscles that are important to a healthy pregnancy. However, depending upon your diagnosis, some forms of exercise may actually be harmful, so we will create a plan that is designed for your body and health.
- Stress relief and relaxation techniques are a very important part of your physical and emotional health during this time. It is quite normal under the circumstances to feel a great deal of anxiety, but anxiety will not help you be successful. We will help you as best we can to make your treatment as stress free as possible.
- Getting chronic conditions under control must be achieved before any treatments can begin. This includes:
- High blood pressure
- Dental health
- Eliminating alcohol and tobacco use.
- Making sure all immunizations are up to date.
- Taking 1,000 mcg of folic acid daily.
- Have a network of peers and professional caregivers that includes mental and emotional support for you, your partner, and other family members.
- Eliminate exposure to household products that may adversely affect your health.
- Changes to or elimination of prescription, over-the-counter (OTC), or homeopathic medications that may interfere with conception or interrupt pregnancy or whose effects are not understood.
The importance of meticulously following the time schedule and carefully taking everything your doctor prescribes as directed cannot be stressed enough. This part of the plan is every bit as critical to your success as any other treatment you may undergo. Never before has the saying “Your body is a temple” been more true because it will also be home to new life.