If you’re anything like me when you decide to do something (in this case have a baby) you want to do it now… straightaway, immediately, ASAP. This was true when we finally decided it was the right time to start a family. However, as all parents know it doesn’t always work out like that. Sometimes you can be waiting weeks, months, even years to fall pregnant.
So with this in mind I interviewed fertility guru Zita West to get her top tips on the fastest way to conceive. She says getting your body baby-ready is essential. Midwife to the stars Zita has helped Kate Winslet, Stella McCartney and Davina McCall during their pregnancies, she 100% believes diet plays an essential role when trying to get pregnant.
By making simple changes to your diet/ lifestyle you can increase your fertility and conceive quicker: Ditch cigarettes. Don’t drink alcohol. Cut back on caffeine. Eat the right fats and nutrients. Stock up on healthy grains
Zita told me: “In the lead up to getting pregnant it’s very important to live a clean life by cutting down on cigarettes, alcohol and caffeine. Women know a lot about diets but nothing about nutrition, so need educating about food choices, portion sizes, eating a broad spectrum of fruit and vegetables and getting plenty of protein.”
The high-profile fertility expert believes fertility and nutrition are linked so giving your body the correct nutrients will help you get pregnant faster. Zita continued:“A good diet will include four essentials areas; high quality protein such as lean meat and poultry, fish, eggs and soya beans. Healthy fats found in oily fish and certain seeds. Slow release carbohydrates such as whole grains, beans, pulses, vegetables, berries and citrus fruits. Powerful antioxidants found in certain fruit and vegetables (the darker or brighter the colour the greater its antioxidant power), nuts, seeds, herbs, spices and green tea.”
Zita also advises: “Anyone hoping to get pregnant needs to cut down on caffeine and cut out low fat products. Low fat doesn’t mean it’s better for you, they’re often full of sugar and sweeteners. Have butter and not margarine and full-fat milk. These things are really, really important for fertility as trans fats (found in processed, fried foods and some margarines) affect ovulation and interfere with the natural process. You need to get good, pure food into your system. Keep it as simple as you can.”
As well as following a sensible diet plan women hoping to conceive should look at the way they eat. “Looking after your gut is really important,” continues Zita. “Fertility starts in the gut, many women I help have bad digestive problems and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. They don’t eat breakfast, don’t chew their food properly, eat on the run and never sit down or take time to digest food, all this will affect getting pregnant quickly. You can eat what you like but if you’re not absorbing the food, you’re not getting the key ingredients needed to make eggs, aid fertilization and maintain a pregnancy.”
The former-midwife, who’s been in practice for over 30 years, says women need to manage their expectations of how long it takes to get pregnant. She states, “On average it takes six months up to a year and during this time take folic acid and omega-3 regularly, that’s really important for general wellbeing. You also need to have sex, sex, and more sex. If you’re not having enough sex you’re not going to get pregnant.”
Zita’s latest cookbook Eat Yourself Pregnant reveals how to get pregnant healthily and naturally, it’s full off recipes for boosting your fertility.
(Pictures from top to bottom: Prawn Skewers with Spiced Tomato Chutney, Quinoa & Feta Burgers with Tomato Relish, Vietnamese Turkey in Lettuce Wraps and Breakfast Wake Up Bars. All available in Zita’s cook book).