The road to parenthood is full of twists and turns, and so much feels out of our control. That’s why it’s comforting to know that there are some things you can control. Real talk—planning for a baby is largely a numbers game, and stacking the odds in your favor means doing everything you can to be as healthy as possible during the conception window. And that’s true for both biological parents. The goal is threefold—successfully conceiving, carrying a strong pregnancy, and delivering a healthy baby at birth and beyond. It all starts now, with these six ways to prepare your body (hers and his) for pregnancy.
Start Taking Prenatal Vitamins Now
Taking a prenatal vitamin during pregnancy is a standard practice, but let’s clear up a few things. Quality prenatals, like Beli for Her and Beli for Him, are formulated to support your body before pregnancy, during that all-too-critical preconception window. For her, our prenatal vitamin promotes hormonal balance, increases overall fertility, and protects healthy egg maturation. For him, our prenatal vitamin helps boost sperm count, improve sperm motility and morphology, and counteracts DNA damage. The fact is, low-quality sperm is directly tied to difficulties conceiving, and the health of both the pregnancy and your baby.
Moms and dads-to-be should continue with their respective prenatal vitamins throughout the pregnancy and after, too. When you choose Beli for Her, you’re opting for a proven formula that protects your baby’s development through all three trimesters. Plus, our no-nausea blend can help alleviate symptoms of morning sickness. After the birth, Beli will help you avoid nutritional deficiencies that have been linked to various postpartum conditions—whether you breastfeed or not.
Beli for Him helps new dads keep their testosterone high after the birth—a time when levels tend to drop dramatically.
Keep in mind that prenatal vitamin quality varies wildly, with many of the most popular prenatal vitamins available today failing to meet recommended nutrient levels—yikes. You’re taking these vitamins for a reason, so make sure the brand you’ve chosen can actually deliver.
Cut Back on Alcohol and Caffeine
You don’t necessarily have to become a teetotaler or switch to decaf during the preconception window, but limiting your alcohol and caffeine levels can be helpful. There’s no direct evidence between caffeine consumption and fertility, but preliminary research is making the link. And hey, it can’t hurt!
The science is much clearer when it comes to alcohol. While so-called light drinking (fewer than five drinks per week) doesn’t appear to be an issue, “heavy drinking” does indeed pose a problem.
Of course, you will be cutting out the booze and espresso completely once you are pregnant, so weaning yourself off early will make thing easier in the long run.
Think of it this way—it’s practice for when you’ll start eating for two! It’s not always easy to prioritize healthy foods over convenience (or flavor), but keep your eyes on the prize. A diet rich in fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and high-quality proteins is critical for the fertility of both biological parents. This is the food that’s creating the healthiest sperm, preserving egg quality, and helping you get pregnant faster. Remember that next time you’re loading up the grocery cart or reaching for that to-go menu.
Commit to Fitness
The stronger your body is going into your pregnancy, the better. Plus, regular exercise is also linked—surprise—to a shorter timeframe for conception. Shoot for 30 minutes of cardio three times a week, and while you get your sweat on, know that you're actively helping improve sperm count and quality and supporting balance and regulation ovulation, respectively. Make it a date!
Minimize Stress (No, Really)
While researchers don’t really know how or why stress messes with your odds of getting pregnant, the connection is certainly there. Managing stress in a healthy way—think prioritizing sleep, building in down time, creating healthy boundaries between work and home life—can go a long way
Yes, this applies to nutrition and exercise, but it really means awareness of all the hidden environmental toxins. Make a point of checking labels on things like supplements, skincare and beauty products, and cleaning supplies. Exposure to toxic chemicals can wreak havoc on the reproductive system—aging your eggs, increasing chances of miscarriage, slowing fetal growth, and reducing sperm count and quality. So do your research, wear protective equipment if you’re concerned about the safety of a product at home or at work, and do what you can to limit your exposure.
There’s an exciting adventure just ahead, and it’s normal to have mixed feelings about it all. Doing what you both can to manage your collective health now can make all the difference later. Get ready! And get Beli.