IVF success tip 1: Avoid alcohol, sugar, hydrogenated oils, and processed foods
These foods have very little nutritional value and can disrupt the body’s normal metabolism. The body has to work hard to process these items and eliminate associated toxins. Alcohol is particularly detrimental for the development of the foetus. No alcohol should be consumed after the embryo has been transplanted following IVF.
Processed foods and associated sugars and oils can elevate inflammation, and this will adversely affect the immune system. It’s important to be as healthy as possible to support a healthy pregnancy.
IVF success tip 2: Eat low glycemic index foods such as whole grains
The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking system that classifies foods based on how easy they are digested. Foods that have a low GI ranking are digested slowly and are thus more filling. This is important for reducing weight gain and maintaining healthy blood glucose levels.
In addition to whole grains, other low GI foods include legumes, low-fat dairy products, sweet potato, broccoli, red peppers, and mushrooms; among others. Not only are these foods filling, they are also highly nutritious.
IVF success tip 3: Eat plenty of ‘good’ fats
Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for your body. Eat plenty of fish, nuts, and avocados. Cook with oils made from seeds or plants, such as sunflower, flax-seed, olive, peanut and sesame. These fats and the fatty acids they contain are also important for the development of the brain and eyes. They also help the placenta to grow, supporting healthy birth weights.
IVF success tip 4: Eat soy products in moderation and don’t smoke
Soy based products can interfere with hormone levels if consumed in high amounts. This is due to the presence of phytoestrogens. In small qualities soy products can be a good source of protein without contributing to hormone changes. If you are going to consume these foods, focus on whole soy products such as tofu, soybeans, tempeh, and soymilk. It’s also important to only select GMO-free and organic soy products that have gone through the fermentation process.
Smoking is not good for your health or the health of a developing baby. If you do smoke, make sure you quit before starting IVF treatment and don’t start smoking again. If you are having trouble quitting, speak with your doctor for advice.
IVF success tip 5: Exercise regularly
This is great for lowering stress and improving circulation. Keeping active will support overall health and vitality. It’s important not to participate in overly strenuous activities. Any exercise regime should take into consideration medical history and exercise experience.
As a general rule, pregnant women should aim to engage in moderate exercise 4 times a week for 30 minutes a day. Recommended activities may include walking, swimming, water aerobics, stationary cycling, and light to moderate resistance training. If uncertain what exercise program you should be considering, it’s a good idea to seek advice from your doctor.
IVF success tip 6: Try to eliminate caffeine
It’s very important to limit or remove caffeine from your diet if you are trying to conceive, during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. There have been studies that have found links between caffeine consumption and negative effects on the developing foetus.
While not all research has confirmed these findings, there is sufficient evidence to indicate that caffeine could be harmful. Consequently, no more than 200mg of caffeine should be consumed daily during pregnancy. Ideally, caffeine should be avoided all together during and after IVF treatment.
IVF success tip 7: Try acupuncture and meditation
Deciding to undergo IVF treatment can be a stressful time for couples. It’s imported to find ways to relax and reduce stress. While there is no concrete research that strongly links stress with inability to conceive or pregnancy problems, reducing anxiety and stress is good for overall emotional and physical well-being.
Practices such as Mindfulness meditation and acupuncture can help to lower stress levels. Acupuncture also has the added benefit of improving overall circulation. Other options may include yoga, breathing exercises, or other activities that assist in reducing anxiety.
IVF success tip 8: Have a thyroid function test
Prior to undertaking IVF treatment, it’s recommended to have your thyroid function checked. If you have an over-active or under-active thyroid it will disrupt metabolism and adversely affect your overall health. Having a healthy thyroid function during pregnancy is very important. The thyroid produces a hormone which plays a crucial role in foetal development. Conditions such as maternal hypothyroidism can lead to failed IVF treatments or result in adverse pregnancy outcomes.
IVF success tip 9: Ensure plenty of sleep before your IVF treatment
It’s important to try and get into a good sleeping routine for at least two weeks before your IVF cycle. Ideally you need eight hours of sleep every night. It’s also recommended not to sleep with light interference.
By sleeping in complete darkness your natural melatonin production can be increased. Not only is this hormone important for a good night’s sleep, it also helps to improve emotional well-being and is necessary for the development of healthy follicles.
IVF success tip 10: Take a quality food supplement before, during & after IVF cycles
There are lots of great supplements that are formulated with important nutrients to prepare the body for pregnancy. These dietary supplements can support you while undertaking IVF treatments, as well as supporting your baby during pregnancy.
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