Making the decision to try for a baby is at once exciting and overwhelming, and the road to parenthood starts earlier than you’d think. The preconception window describes the three to six months prior to conception, and it’s a critical time not just for mentally preparing for the life changes to come, but physically as well. Research shows that the health of both biological parents during this timeframe can play a role in successfully conceiving, carrying a healthy pregnancy and delivering a baby who is healthy at birth and beyond.
Of course, all you want is a healthy, happy baby, and you’ll do anything to make that happen. Boosting your health before conception is an important first step. Here are five ways to get started.
Be Picky About Prenatals — Both of You
It’s common knowledge that a quality prenatal benefits mom and baby during pregnancy, but there’s more to the story. The science is clear — both women and men can benefit from supplementing with a high-quality prenatal multivitamin during the preconception window, during the pregnancy, and after your baby is born. The key is finding the right prenatal for both parents.
Unfortunately, prenatal vitamins aren’t all equal. Many of the most popular prenatal vitamins on the market don’t meet recommended nutrient levels, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Beli prenatals are specifically formulated to support you before, during and after pregnancy. Our women’s prenatal is the first prenatal multivitamin to contain recommended levels of the nutrients known to help promote hormonal balance and increase overall fertility health, protect healthy egg maturation and support pregnancy longevity.
During the first trimester, Beli supports your baby’s critical early growth, while our no-nausea blend can help alleviate common symptoms of morning sickness. In the second trimester, Beli meets an increased need for key nutrients from both mom and baby, and in the run up to labor and delivery, Beli supports your baby’s immune development. Your body needs a steady supply of key nutrients after your baby’s birth too, whether you’re breastfeeding or not. Fortunately, Beli makes it easy to avoid nutritional deficiencies that have been linked to a number of postpartum conditions.
Getting pregnant is largely a numbers game, and sperm health is just as important as egg health in the baby-making equation. That’s why our men’s prenatal vitamin is made with nutrients backed by research and shown to help boost sperm count, improve sperm motility and morphology, and counteract DNA damage. Low-quality sperm is directly linked not just to difficulties conceiving, but the health of the pregnancy and your baby, too. Beli is formulated to improve your sperm’s pregnancy potential so you can pass on the strongest legacy possible. Plus, it can help keep your testosterone levels high. That’s particularly important after your baby is born — studies confirm that a steep drop in testosterone is common just before and right after the birth of a man’s child.
Eating a balanced diet can be a challenge, but it may be easier to eat well if you know the right choices can help safeguard your fertility. Both biological parents should eat a varied diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and high-quality proteins. A colorful, whole-foods diet plays a critical role in fertility. It helps create the healthiest sperm possible, preserves egg quality and reduces the length of time it takes to conceive.
Avoid processed meats, trans fats, and soy products, and remember to shop the perimeter at the grocery store.
There’s strong evidence that exercise helps just about every measure of health — fertility included. Just 30 minutes of cardio three times a week can help improve sperm count and quality in men and support hormonal balance and regular ovulation in women. And since preconception is truly a precious time that sets the tone for your future family, make a point of moving together. Explore a new trail, commit to walking together every evening, or take up pickle ball — anything goes! You’ll have more fun the more you move, and you’ll see the fertility benefits too.
Address Your Stress
We may not know exactly why, but stress directly affects your chances of getting pregnant. Researchers have a few theories — it could be the stress itself that impacts fertility, or it could be that coping with stress pushes us toward unhealthy behaviors. Either way, future parents can manage stress by prioritizing sleep, creating healthy boundaries around work obligations and making time to enjoy down time.
Clean It Up
You know that what you put in your body matters. That’s why you’re both planning to take your fertility health into your own hands by taking the best prenatal multivitamins, eating a varied, whole-foods diet, exercising and minimizing stress. The last piece in the puzzle is reducing exposure to environmental toxins, which can wreak havoc on your reproductive system — and you won’t even know it.
Exposure to toxic chemicals can cause eggs to age faster, increase the risk of miscarriage and slow fetal growth. For men, toxic exposure can reduce sperm count and quality, making it harder to become a father.
So, make a point of checking labels. Choose clean vitamins, beauty, and cleaning products, and wear protective equipment if you’re unsure about the safety of a product you can’t avoid using at home or at work.
A healthy conception really does take two, and it’s never too early to start preparing.
As a special offer to our military friends and families, please use Griffon15 to save 15 percent on your first bottle. Beli’s prenatal vitamins are also eligible for FSA/HSA plans. Please consult your benefits plan to confirm prenatal vitamin eligibility.