The ‘Make Me Pregnant’ Diet! 

Rebecca McPhee
Dietitian Member of the DAA


3 Minutes

Wouldn't it be great if a magic pill existed such as a 'make me pregnant' pill? Imagine…going to the Pharmacy to buy a pill that would instantly make you pregnant, no emotional rollercoaster, no expensive treatments, no disappointment!  

Having complete control over fertility would be a dream come true. The reality is that becoming pregnant is a bit like winning the lottery. There are so many factors that affect fertility, including some that are not in our control. Whilst there is no magic pill to fall pregnant, there is a lot you can do with your lifestyle to increase your chances of getting pregnant. 

 

What can I eat to increase my fertility? 

Magic pills are out of the question but there are diet and lifestyle tips you can follow to increase your chances of getting pregnant. The School of Public Health at Harvard Medical School conducted an eight-year study of more than 18,000 women which revealed ten evidence-based suggestions for improving fertility. 

What the study found was that certain diet and lifestyle factors can help with infertility issues such as ovulation. The main theme coming from the study is that a healthy lifestyle is all about balance - including more of the good stuff like nutrient dense foods and less unhealthy stuff including less stress and over-exercising. 

 

Here are key nutrition tips from Harvard Medical School:  

  1. Aim for a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight can cause an imbalance in hormone levels including insulin, testosterone and levels of FSH and LSH (which are the ones that drive the growth of follicles and ovulation). If you are above a healthy weight, losing just 5-10% of your body weight can kick-start ovulation! 

  2. Take a multivitamin daily that contains 500 micrograms of folic acid plus other B vitamins. A pregnancy specific supplement for both men and women is the easiest way of including the right amounts of nutrients needed for a healthy pregnancy.   

  3. Choose low GI wholegrains rather than white refined, high GI grains. Swap white bread for wholegrain bread, white rice for long grain brown rice and cornflakes for rolled oats. Low GI wholegrains are packed with fibre, B group vitamins and will help you feel fuller for longer.  

  4. Use more unsaturated 'good fats' such as extra virgin olive oil, oily fish and avocado 

  5. Include protein sources from vegetable foods such as legumes, lentils, nuts and seeds and less from animal foods  

  6. Get plenty of plant based iron rich foods including beans and legumes, whole grains like quinoa and oats, and leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli and kale 

  7. Include whole dairy foods such as plain milk and yoghurt and avoid skim based varieties temporarily  

  8. Avoid trans 'bad' fats – these are found in many packaged, processed and fast foods. These are discretionry foods and should be kept to a minimum.  

  9. Keep well hydrated with water. Coffee and tea are fine in moderation. Avoid sugared soft drinks, cordial and energy drinks.  

  10.  Keep active daily but avoid overdoing high intensity workouts. If you are below a healthy weight, too much exercise can work against conception so include more gentle exercise.   

 

In summary 

  • There is no magic diet that will increase fertiltiy 

  • Include a pregnancy supplement which contains 500 micrograms of folic acid  

  • Aiming for a healthy weight is one important way to improve egg quality and therefore fertility  

  • Focus your diet on wholegrain breads and cereals, vegetables, fruit, dairy, good fats such as olive oil and protein foods including plant varities such as legumes, lentils, nuts and seeds 

  • Don’t overdo exercise and manage stress levels 

 

References 

  • The fertility diet: Groundbreaking research reveals natural ways to boost ovulation & improve your chances of getting pregnant J Clin Invest. 2008 Apr 1; 118(4): 1210. 
  • Neelima Panth et al. The Influence of Diet on Fertility and the Implications for Public Health Nutrition in the United States. Front Public Health. 2018; 6: 211. 

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