Pre-Conception – How to Be Best Placed When Starting Your Family

When you have made the momentous task of deciding you want to have a family you can assist with the conception of the baby by carrying out the following things.

It is not just the female who should prepare herself for pregnancy. Males have an important role to play too and this should not be overlooked.

If both sets of parents are in top physical health pre pregnancy then this should assist in the maximisation of a healthy sperm, ova and uterus and thus ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Some experts believe that if both sets of parents have prepared then this can reduce and in many cases eliminate infertility, pregnancy and birth problems.

The Planning Stage

Conception can be a difficult issue for some couples. Fertility problems are on the increase and it has been noted that there is a general decline in a males sperm count compared to previous times. There are many reasons for this including stress, smoking, alcohol, poor diet and nutrition, tight fitting male undergarments aswell as the taking of controlled substances. Once it has been decided to start a family, most females will not get pregnant straight away. It can take a female anything up to two years after coming off the contraception pill before she is ready to conceive.


Alcohol can reduce fertility. It can cause a decrease in sperm counts and increase abnormal sperm. It ca also prevent the body absorb vital nutrients such as zinc that are essential prior to conception. Foetal Alcohol

Syndrome (FAS) can result in under weight and under length babies aswell as organic failure to thrive after delivery. There can be other problems later in life such as behavioural problems, hyperactivity to name but a few.

A female who is planning her pregnancy should stop drinking a few months prior to conception. This applies to the male aswell. Heavy drinking sessions should be avoided at all costs. She should avoid alcohol for the time of her pregnancy and also for the time she is breastfeeding if applicable.


This can be not only a factor in reducing a males sperm count but can also affect the actual pregnancy itself resulting in premature babies and babies born with congenital malformations. Both parents should give up smoking prior to conception. When pregnant it is best to avoid smoky atmospheres. Also there has been found to be a link with smoking after birth in the presence of the baby and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.


It is advisable for both sets of parents like smoking and alcohol to stop taking drugs whether illegal substances, prescribed or over the counter medication prior to conception. All can have an adverse affect on conception.

Taking illegal substances can have severe affects on your baby whilst within the womb and can result in low birth weights or miscarriages. The drugs affect not only the mother but the baby aswell and the baby can have severe withdrawal symptoms

similar to adults when he or she is born. It is advisable to ask for suitable advice from your doctor of pharmacist prior to taking any form of medication.

Four Month Rule

In all cases of alcohol, smoking and drugs it is advisable to stop taking these four months prior to conception. Not only will both sets of parents benefit it will ensure the optimum health of your unborn baby.


Both males and females should ensure they are at their ideal body weight pre conception. Being either over weight or under weight can affect female’s chances of becoming pregnant as the female can stop ovulating. A female should therefore try and maintain a healthy and nutritional diet prior to conception as this will assist the balance of hormones needed to maximise the chance of conceiving.


It cannot be stressed enough how health and nutrition are extremely important pre pregnancy.

The following play food groups can play an important part in affecting your chances of conceiving






Not all fats are bad for you. Fats can be split up into two groups polyunsaturated fats and saturated fats.

Polyunsaturated fats are essential to the human diet and can help maintain good skin, hormonal balance and can assist in reproduction. These fats can be found in nuts, seeds and oily fish such as sardines or mackerel.

Saturated fats can lead to weight gain and clogged arteries. They should be kept to a minimum in your diet. These fats can be found in bread, cakes, eggs, dairy products including milk and cheese and meat.


To achieve a healthy and balanced diet fibre plays an essential part. It assists in digestion and helps to keep the bowels healthy and prevents constipation. It also ensures that nutrients are stored within the body. A high fibre diet assists a female in conception as it enables the body to get rid of any impurities and this in turn will

help the reproductive system be at an optimum level. Fibre can be found in all fresh fruit and vegetables, all types of beans, whole-grains such as brown breads, rice and pastas aswell as in nuts and seeds.


Carbohydrates can like fats be split up into two groups, simple and complex.

The body sources its energy from the carbohydrates we eat.

It is advisable to eat as much complex carbohydrates as possible. These can be found in whole grain foods and wholemeal flours such as brown rice, potatoes and wholegrain pastas.

Simple carbohydrates contain sugars, sweeteners and fats and nothing else of nutritional value. They are mostly found in jams, cakes, biscuits and other sweet tasting snacks. Eating too many simple carbohydrates not only affects your weight but can also cause fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. This may have an affect on your hormonal cycle.

It is advisable therefore to cut down on these types of carbohydrates or at best avoid them.


A healthy diet is high in protein. A diet low in protein can reduce female’s chances of conception. Conception for both vegetarians and vegans may have to be boosted from other sources of protein

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