Essential NHS Recommendations When Preparing to Conceive

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Preparing your body for pregnancy is crucial for a healthy and safe conception. The NHS provides valuable advice for couples planning to start a family. These recommendations are essential for optimal preconception health and fertility.

Nutrition and Diet

The NHS emphasises the importance of maintaining a balanced diet when planning for pregnancy. A nutritious diet ensures that your body is ready to support a developing foetus. Integrate plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your meals. Women trying to conceive should also take a 400 microgram folic acid supplement daily to help prevent neural tube defects.

We recommend folate, which is the more bioavailable form of folic acid. We use Quatrefolic® for our folate supplements, which is more readily absorbed by the body and we therefore recommend this over folic acid.

Vitamin D Intake

The NHS recommends that women trying to conceive take a daily supplement containing 400 IU of Vitamin D. Adequate levels of Vitamin D are crucial for the health of both mother and baby. It supports the regulation of calcium and phosphate in the body, ensuring the development of healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. 

We recommend our Vitamin D Spray, which is an easy to use, once a day spray to ensure your vitamin D levels are sufficient.

If you're looking for a folate and vitamin D supplement, we recommend our NHS Recommended Folate & Vitamin D pack. It contains both of these supplements recommended by the NHS for your fertility journey.

Maintaining a Healthy Weight

Being over or underweight can affect your fertility and increase the risk of complications during pregnancy. The NHS recommends attaining a healthy Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. Engage in regular exercise and consult a healthcare professional for personalised weight management advice.

Limiting Alcohol and Caffeine Intake

Reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption is essential when preparing to conceive. The NHS advises women to avoid alcohol altogether, and men to drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week. Additionally, women should limit their caffeine intake to under 200mg per day—equivalent to two mugs of instant coffee.

Quit Smoking

Smoking significantly reduces fertility in both men and women. Quitting smoking improves your chances of conceiving and ensures a healthier pregnancy and baby. The NHS offers various resources and support to help you quit smoking.

Understanding Your Menstrual Cycle

Having knowledge of your menstrual cycle and understanding when you're most fertile can increase your chances of conceiving. The NHS recommends using ovulation kits or tracking your menstrual cycle to identify your fertile window.

Managing Stress

Stress can negatively impact fertility. Engage in stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to maintain a calm and positive mindset while trying to conceive.

We recommend Zita West's HUG Visualisation series to rebalance your mindset for your journey.

Adhering to the NHS recommendations when preparing to conceive significantly enhances your preconception health and fertility. Implement these tips and consult healthcare professionals for tailored advice and support on your conception journey.

For more detailed information and personalised medical advice, consult your GP or healthcare provider.

Further reading

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