You’re thinking about having a baby?
It’s exciting and perhaps a little overwhelming and confusing. What to do, what not to do. What to take and what not to take. Don’t stress! The key is to keep it simple and focus on just a few key areas - for both the mom-to-be and dad to-be. First off, it’s recommended to start focusing on your health, nutrition, and supplementation at least 3 months before you plan to start trying to conceive. Lifestyle, nutrition, and activity all play a role in healthy conception and pregnancy.1 There are a few key things to do both during the conception/pre-conception time as well as after you get that positive pregnancy test.
You are preparing your body to support a pregnancy so keep these tips in mind:
- Minimize stress and work on stress resiliency techniques through a self care routine2
- Incorporate physical movement into your day in a way that feels good for your body3
- Add nourishing whole foods to your plate every day to get a wide range of nutrients3,4
- Supplement with a good quality prenatal multivitamin like Jamieson’s Prenatal 100% Complete Multivitamin AND consider additional folic acid (if recommended by your healthcare practitioner); both contain essential nutrients for a successful pregnancy.3,4
Your health is important for conception and support through pregnancy too. You’re contributing 50% of the genetics of the baby after all. Maintaining the same focus on healthy living is equally beneficial for a healthy conception:
- Keep stress levels low and work on stress management practices to improve resiliency2
- Maintain an exercise routine for optimal health
- Supplement with a good quality multivitamin like Jamieson’s 100% Complete Multivitamin for Men to ensure you are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals daily. Zinc is especially important for men’s reproductive health5
- Take an omega-3 like Jamieson’s Extra Strength Omega-3 to support heart health
Now you have a positive pregnancy test and it’s official…you’re pregnant! What’s next?
Mom-to-be will experience many new changes physically, mentally, and emotionally throughout this journey to parenthood. Taking extra care for yourself will be especially important through this stage. Stress levels may fluctuate as you go through a range of emotions while your body changes. Continuing to manage your stress well will help to support your body as it grows your baby, as stress can cause complications for both you and your growing baby during pregnancy.2 An expectant mother has unique needs as energy levels shift and may be lower than normal. Allow yourself rest! Your appetite may change, along with your nutrient needs. Ensuring your body gets key nutrients for proper fetal development means:
- Continuing to take a good quality prenatal multivitamin like Jamieson’s Chewable Prenatal Multivitamin to provide you and the growing fetus the nutrients needed to develop properly6
- Taking Folic Acid to aid in the prevention of neural tube defects, especially in the first 4 to 6 weeks of pregnancy. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the amount of folic acid that is right for you.7
- Adding Omega-3s in the form of Jamieson’s High Potency DHA Omega + Ginger to support cognitive health and for the maintenance of good health.8
Dad-to-be may also experience some changes physically, mentally and emotionally during a partner’s pregnancy. Your body may not be growing a baby, but many men show similar changes to their significant other through this special time. Research suggests that men can experience hormonal shifts similar to their female partners during pregnancy and after child birth, including higher cortisol and prolactin levels and lower sex hormone levels.9,10 These shifts suggest that hormones play a role in preparing men to provide care for infants and young children.9,10
Baby is finally here!
After baby arrives life changes completely. The focus turns to caring for and devoting non-stop attention to your new little one. But it is important to also take care of yourself so you can best care for your baby.
- Rest when you can and sleep when baby sleeps
- Managing stress and sleep are going to be critical to return normal hormone balance
- Get adequate nutrition, you are eating for two, particularly if you are breastfeeding
- Prevent post partum deficiencies by continuing supplementing with a prenatal vitamin. Iron deficiency anemia is very common in women both pre and post natal.12 Consult with your healthcare practitioner to determine if adding an iron supplement like Jamieson’s Gentle Iron is necessary based on your iron stores post childbirth.
- Ask for help – this can be a transition difficult for some parents and it truly takes a village to raise a child
- Give yourself grace and patience – being a parent may be an entirely new concept and it also takes time to get to know your new baby
- Silvestris E, Lovero D, Palmirotta R. (2019). Nutrition and Female Fertility: An interdependent correlation. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 10:346.
- Rooney KL. (2018). The relationship between stress and infertility. Dialogues Clin Neurosci, 20(1):41-47.
- Stanford Children’s Health. Nutrition before pregnancy. Accessed Dec 30, 2020 at: https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=nutrition-before-pregnancy-90-P02479
- Nutrition during pregnancy. Accessed Dec 30, 2020 at: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/hw194870
- Fllah A. (2018). Zinc is an essential element for male fertility: A review of Zn roles in men’s health, germination, sperm quality and fertilization. J Reprod Infertil, 19(2): 69-81.
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- Storey AE, et al. (2000). Hormonal correlates of paternal responsiveness in new and expectant fathers. Evolution and Human Behaviour, 21(2): 79-95.
- Edelstein RS, et al. (2014). Prenatal hormones in first time expectant parents: Longitudinal changes and within-couple correlations. Am J Hum Biol, 27(3):317-325.
- NPN 80079558
- Health Canada. Prenatal Nutrition Guidelines for Health Professionals – Iron Contributes to a Healthy Pregnancy. Accessed Aug 1, 2019 at: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/reports-publications/nutrition-healthy-eating/ prenatal-nutrition-guidelines-health-professionals-iron-contributes-healthy-pregnancy-2009.html