Preconception Care for Blokes

Your lifestyle – stress, lack of sleep, excessive alcohol, caffeine and dietary habits all take a toll on your body and swimmers. Time to make some simple changes to give your baby the best chance in life:
Supplements
The ideal basics are Vitamin E 1,000IU & Vitamin C 1000mg, Co-Enzyme Q10 200mg, fresh Royal Jelly, Zinc 50ug daily, 4000ug Fish oil, plus a Mens’ Multivitamin (MV) or Mens’ Pre-conception Multivitamin. Metagenics and Bioceuticals manufacture top quality supplements.
       
Lifestyle
  • Aim to go to bed by 10pm, 7 to 8 hours rest is fantastic
  • Enjoy activities you find inspiring and relaxing – what do you love to do?
  • Quit smoking
  • Be mindful to not only cope with stress, but to reduce unnecessary stressors. We choose our thoughts and how we feel about things. Do you react often to things? Being grateful can help you feel really well, rather than complaining about what you hate and don’t want.
My Favourite Health Tip
Avoid cold water or cold foods – this rule is paramount, the cold impairs circulation. If you feel the cold easily, tire easily and have poor digestion and circulation, eating more warm soups, drinking teas and hot water will help you feel energised again.

“The importance of avoiding damaging chemicals is essential. Sperm are extremely sensitive to the effects of chemicals in the environment and in food.”

 
Dietary
  • Start the day with a warm water and the juice of a quarter freshly squeezed lemon, you can take this before your herbs
  • Enjoy a warm, nourishing breakfast like porridge, eggs with mushroom & spinach, dark rye sourdough & boiled egg, natural muesli with some hot water and topped with plain yoghurt, cooked pears or apple
  • Refrain from adding salt to your food, it makes you crave sugar. Cooking with small amounts of natural salt is fine.
  • Eat less sweet & oily foods.
  • Drink room temperature water, warm water, hot water, herbal teas & warm food
  • If you tend to get hot easily and have a lot of heat, eat more greens and fruit, drink more water, reduce spicy, roasted and fried foods, coffee and alcohol, and make sure you get enough rest.
  • Plan for set mealtimes for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea & dinner.
  • Early dinner please, by 7:30pm at the latest!
  • Bone soup, is amazing for fertility and I find that couples who take it regularly (a few times a week) get pregnant sooner than later, it is very nourishing. Here is an example of a bone soup recipe, save it for when you have a day pottering at home and freeze the left overs (skim the fat too!).
  • Eat seasonal foods and those in their most natural state, this includes fresh fruits & vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes, smaller amounts of meat, fats and sugars.
Addictions
  • Seek assistance, when you are ready to give up something, there are some excellent treatments to ensure you do this, including Acupuncture, Tapping & NLP and Hypnotherapy.
  • No fried foods or processed meats – have some nuts and seeds instead. Men who eat processed meats have poorer sperm.
  • Coffee addicts – one weak one per day
  • Alcohol drinkers – 1 glass of red wine every second night with a meal
  • Chilli lovers – Not too much spicy food – very occasional please
  • Chocoholics – try Cacao nibs mixed with some nuts and sultanas
Ladies, did you know that sperm are good for you? According to this State University of New York Study…
Anti-oxidant Foods to Improve both Sperm & Eggs
  • Royal Jelly, chicken eggs, seeds, nuts, berries, marrow bone soup, organic liver, seaweed, micro-algae (spirulina, barley & wheatgrass), oysters, nettle tea & oats.
Look After Your Testicles
Avoid saunas, overly tight clothing, anything that inflames the groin
Avoid electromagnetic radiation locally in the groin area caused by laptops/wifi devices/mobile phones etc
Wear boxer shorts and loose pants
Are you taking medications? Medications can affect sperm motility, morphology and count.
Medications for:
  • High blood pressure: spironolactone, calcium blockers
  • Peptic Ulcers: cimetidine
  • Ulcerative Colitis: Salazopyrin, sulfasalazine
  • Epilepsy: phenytoin
  • Urinary Function: nitrofurantoin
  • Antifungal medication: Grisovin and/or Griseostatin (griseostatin) (Lyttleton, 2009, p.260)
  • Medications such as synthetic testosterone, anabolic steroids and some forms of chemotherapy
  • Antibiotics such as tetracycline and erythromycin reduce sperm motility  (Hargreaves et all, 1998, p.1885)
  • Sperm exposed to X-Rays become weaker and of inferior quality
Why do I  follow your recommendation?
The British Association for the Promotion of Preconception Care (Foresight) has established through research that healthy, well-nourished parents have healthy pregnancies and make healthy babies. They recommend having a sound, well-balanced and ‘clean; (i.e. no junk food and added chemicals) diet and the optimum intake of essential vitamins and minerals. If you a ready to become a parent, now is a great time to make those changes to better you, your partner and future offspring. Following these guidelines will be highly beneficial for you. By following these guidelines 80% of the time and then enjoying what you love most 20% of the time is a great balance to practice. 

xx Ilana Sowter Acupuncture Melbourne, @Ivanhoe

REFERENCES 

Cooper et al. (2009) ‘World Health Organisation reference values for human semen characteristics’. Human Reproduction UpdateVol.00, No.0, pp.1-15.
Hargreaves, C, Rogers, S, Hills, F, Rahman, F, Howell, R, & Homa, S (1998) Effects of co-trimoxazole, erythromycin, amoxycillin, tetracycline and chloroquine on sperm function in vitro. Human Reproduction 13 (7): 1878-1886.
Lyttleton, J (2009) Treatment of Infertility with Chinese Medicine. Churchill Livingstone, Sydney.
Noll, A & Wilms, S (2010) Chinese Medicine in Fertility Disorders. Thieme, New York.

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