Thursday, April 18, 2013

Preconception MOTs - It’s a long road ahead but its worth it!

I’m going to talk today about some of the things that practitioners recommend when you start your journey to getting pregnant and how this can be difficult to follow at times. Being strong is always difficult when those around you aren’t however it is definitely worth the wait!   Miscommunications in the press make it all too easy to ignore vital information when you are planning for a baby.  5 a day, no alcohol, folic acid, exercise, nuts in pregnancy etc, are all used interchangeably and one day there seems to be one headline the next another contradicting the first!  In past posts I talked about how the mothers health can have a major impact on their future child’s health. Sometimes this can all seem a bit daunting when your friends who aren't trying for a baby are tucking into a bottle of wine and indulging in all sorts of things and more importantly this‘ sacrifice’ seems to be taking forever with no sign of that all elusive pregnancy!

When it comes down to trying for a baby some couples seem to give their car more thought than they do themselves, ie giving the motor a regular MOT, keeping it clean, waxing it regularly and keeping it running smoothly by topping up with oil and water! A BBC report revealed that many women can be daunted by advice on preconception and as a result ignore much of it.  Bridet Benelam Nutrition scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation said  ’having a healthy lifestyle is important to everyone, but is particularly so for women who may become pregnant because this can effect the health of their baby, not only at birth but throughout life’ Professor Hazel Inskip said ‘ The big problem is women don’t know when they are going to get pregnant. It could take a month, it could take 2 years and that’s a long time to be carrying on doing these things’

I have to admit Professor Hazel Inskips words are ringing in my ear as I see many clients who have come to me after 2 or more IVF cycles and after trying for over 2 years. During this time they have been on a ‘restricted service’ as some have said to me, which can sometimes leave them glib to my advice. You can imagine the response when I then go on to talk to them about all the common issues about diet and nutrients that are important when planning to succeed. In this instance it’s always helpful to remind them gently about the end game and also the statistics behind all the ‘sacrifices’ . My advice is only a guideline and in many cases if the couple are so intent on the coffee or chocckie, I do allow the rules to be relaxed a bit  - as nobody likes it when you are told what to do, myself included! However I'm a stickler for no social poisons such as alcohol, smoking and coffee as well as limiting sugar.  I do however like to give them a plan and in this plan it outlines a few things to help them to take the issue seriously and in doing so this will help to re-focus the mind again. Next week I will reveal the 10 suggestions of how to prepare for pregnancy.