Guidelines to be Observed when You Want Baby (2)


Published November 13, 2019

Prof. Oladapo Ashiru

In the first trimester of pregnancy , your growing embryo will increase 20 million times . In the first eight weeks , your baby’ s organs , hands , fingers, legs , feet , head, eyes , nose, ears, among others , are being constructed .

To ensure that the best possible foundations are laid down during this phase , you want to make sure that there are plenty of building blocks in the form of the right nutrients in the right combinations.

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What does a fertility diet contain?

An optimal fertility diet is about what to avoid as much as it is about what to include. A fertility diet should be as fresh as possible and organic wherever possible . Key elements are good quality protein sources ( vegetable sources of protein ) and good fats .

What should you eat ?

Organic meat in small quantities , game , small deep- sea fish like sardines and red snapper , organic legumes home cooked ( not canned ) .

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Whole grains, nuts, seeds , vegetables that are better steamed, not raw, very small amount of fruits and not after 4 pm in the evening ( organic where possible ) .

Increase your consumption of good fats and avoid dangerous fats . Good fats include monounsaturated fats in olive oil , polyunsaturated fats in oily fish and nuts and mid chain fatty acids found in coconut oil .

For cooking , use clarified butter ( ghee ) or coconut butter ( without flavour ) as they do not become unstable when heated .

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For non -heated oil requirements ( salads etc .) use cold pressed olive oil , flaxseed oil and nut oils .

Avoid dangerous fats

Did you know that consuming trans fats hidden in foods such as doughnuts, biscuits , lollies , candy, chocolate , chips , pies , fries, take away and thousands of other foods may increase your risk of infertility by as much as 70 per cent ? Scientists from the Harvard University School of Public Health advise women wanting to get pregnant to avoid all trans fats .

The sole purpose of adding trans fats to food is to extend its shelf life . To minimise your consumption of trans fats , be diligent about reading the ingredients and avoid the most likely culprits altogether. Trans fats are mostly listed as ‘hydrogenated fat ’ or ‘hardened vegetable fat ’ or simply ‘vegetable fat . ’

Minimize animal -derived estrogens

Dairy products account on the average for 60 to 70 per cent of estrogens consumed . Humans consume milk from cows in the second half of pregnancy when cows ’ estrogen levels are high . We usually associate dairy and drinking milk with calcium, and never think about what else we may be consuming along with the calcium ( and dairy , by the way is not the best source of calcium) . Here is a list of hormones that have been found in cows ’ milk : Prolactin , somatostatin , melatonin , oxytocin , growth hormone , luteinizing releasing hormone , thyroid stimulating hormone , estrogens , progesterone , insulin , corticosteroids and many more. 

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Do you think an excess consumption of all these hormones could disrupt your own hormonal balance? You bet! Consumption of milk has been linked to certain cases of male infertility . Excess estrogen and pesticide exposure has been linked to PCOS and endometriosis . Studies have found higher concentrations of pesticides in cheese than in non- organically grown fruit and vegetables . The first line of naturopathic treatment I recommend for PCOS and endometriosis is to minimise intake of animal products . Animal products have a high content of hormones , pesticides and herbicides , which are known endocrine disruptors . They play havoc with your hormones and this can lead to anovulation .

Avoid the two most common allergens

The link between food intolerances and anti -sperm antibodies is now well established . Studies have found that women with multiple allergies and food intolerances were more likely to miscarry . An overactive immune system is more likely to attack its own body cells . From an immunological point of view ,an embryo and sperm cell are foreign bodies. But mother nature was clever ; she programmed our immune systems to distinguish between an everyday invader and a sperm cell or embryo .

A normal and healthy immune response to an embryo or sperm cell is orchestrated by Th 2 cytokines. They suppress your killer cells ( that ’s what they are called ) to leave the embryo unharmed . Because of this protection , many pregnant women are poor wound healers and can come down really badly with a cold or flu. Your natural protection has been suppressed so that your baby can develop properly .

An abnormal immune response to the implantation of the fertilised egg is orchestrated by Th1 cytokines . Rather than suppressing your killer cells , they stimulate their activity . This can lead to defects and the loss of the fetus. The two most widely spread food intolerances are gluten and dairy . I recommend to all my patients to have an IgG immunoglobulin test done to check if you are dairy and gluten intolerant . But since most people have some level of allergy to gluten and/ or dairy , it is advisable to avoid gluten and dairy altogether during the preconception and pregnancy period.

Have an STD check

Most people believe both they and their partner are STD free . However there are some STDs which can be asymptomatic , meaning that you may not be aware that you have them as there are no obvious symptoms . One such STDs is a chlamydia infection. In men , a chlamydia infection can lead to sperm abnormalities , including sperm antibodies . In women , it can lead to scarring, blocked tubes and miscarriage . In women , vaginal discharges that have fishy odor or offensive odor indicate a degree of STD.

A study found 60 per cent of asymptomatic male partners of infected females attending a fertility clinic to be infected with chlamydia . Most STDs are easy to treat ; so it pays for both partners to have an STD check . There is no point in only one partner going for a test as the other partner can re – infect them again .

To be continued …

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