News & Media

Getting Pregnant is not just about doing the Wild Thing

06 Jun 14

So you and your partner have decided to start a family, and now you want it to happen as soon as possible.

 It doesn't always happen that way and sometimes it even takes much longer to conceive then planned.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, maintaining good dietary habits and giving up harmful habits such as smoking and drinking can improve the chances of falling pregnant as well promoting a healthy development of the baby. 

A good diet should include:

* Meat, grains, legumes, fresh fruit and vegetables

* High folate foods such as: dark green vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, beans and yeast extract...this helps the fetus against neural tube defect (NTD)

* Folic Acid is the synthetic form of folate, found in vitamin supplements

Limit the amount of caffeine, which is found in coffee, cola's, black and green teas, certain medications and many other food sources. You will be amazed how many foods we buy contains caffeine.

Moderate exercise is beneficial while you are trying to fall pregnant. Appropriate exercises to strengthen the core-muscles can relieve and prevent back pain, and enable you to use the abdominal muscles during labour. Exercise also fights off depression and anxiety, associated with the pressures of wanting to become pregnant, as the body produces serotonin and beta-endorphins during exercise.

If you or your partner are smokers then now you have the best reason to kick the habit! It is a well proven fact that smoking is detrimental for your health, and if you like to fall pregnant it may be interesting to know that smoking cuts your chances by 40%. While smoking during pregnancy the fetus can suffer from Hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the body tissues) and harmful cancer causing substances will pass through the placenta.

Having a few glasses of wine or some beers can be very enjoyable, but keep in mind that menstrual problems and decreased fertility has been associated with heavy drinking, even among some women who were having just 5 or less drinks a week.
During pregnancy the consumption of even small amounts of alcohol can increase a risk to the fetus.

Trying to conceive and especially when it is not happening as quick as you expected can be stressful. Having a regular full body massage is calming and relaxing and helps to take these stresses away. It also enhances the circulation and promotes red blood-cells which increase energy levels. A special massage oil of; 5 drops of rose oil and 15 drops of geranium oil added to 2oz of carrier oil can increase the chance of conceiving as well, when massaged into the abdomen, back, inner thighs and buttocks.

If you decide to incorporate regular massage to your pre-conception and prenatal well-being, it is important to seek a massage therapist who is qualified in pre-and post natal massage, because they are trained to work with you in a safe and supportive way.

Written by Anneke Schagen, Hands and Heart Therapies, is a qualified counsellor and massage therapist specializing in the emotional wellbeing during and after pregnancy as well as pre-and post-natal massage. She is also a Certified Infant Massage Instructor with the International Association of Infant Massage (IAIM).