Having optimal health is paramount to achieve a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Evidence suggests that lifestyle factors affect fertility and pregnancy.

 

Smoking and alcohol are injurious to conception and pregnancy. It is advisable to seek support to quit and minimise the effect on conception and pregnancy.

 

Smoking in men can cause decrease in number and motility of sperm. It can damage sperm DNA.

Smoking in women causes ectopic pregnancy, abruption, growth restriction, SIDS and premature labor, lactation failure. Smoking has high content of carbon monoxide and can cause lung defects and asthma in babies.

 

The Quit Line is available and support groups can be joined to increase the motivation to quit. Giving up smoking by even 4 month scan decrease the complications significantly. Nicotine replacement should be tried under supervision.

 

Alcohol in pregnancy can cause the fetal alcohol syndrome with growth restriction, premature labor, irritability in the newborn and low IQ. There is no safe level of alcohol intake in conception and pregnancy.

 

Evidence also suggests that nutrients and vitamins are important in improving the quality of both egg and sperm, reducing oxidative stress, increasing  conception and continued maintenance of pregnancy.

 

Studies have shown that with age , the eggs become prone to oxidative damage, causing abnormal fertilisation, chromosomal problems and failure of pregnancy to continue. Not only eggs, but sperm also has defective DNA fragmentation due to oxidative stress. Reversal of such damage is possible with antioxidants, vitamins , minerals and fish oils which have essential fatty acids.

 

Evidence suggests limiting coffee to 1-2 cups while planning pregnancy and during pregnancy. Caffeine may affect ovulation and corpus luteum functioning through alterations to hormone levels .

"Diet is important for pregnancy and conception. Eating healthy is important ,

having an ideal weight helps Maintain BMI in the range of 20-25. Exercise promotes health and cutting down on carbohydrates, sugar and caffeine is prudent  .

Multivitamin intake , minerals and essential fatty acids can be used as supplements .

Starting to quit smoking and alcohol is the most important step, and the most important thing is to keep trying, as it can sometimes need multiple attempts. It is difficult , not impossible.

 

Starting Multivitamins, Minerals and nutrients is essential and improves health and optimises care.

 

Coffee should be limited to 1-2 cups/day.

NUTRITION IN PRE-PREGNANCY AND PREGNANCY