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Mother and Baby Magazine
You know you should avoid certain foods when you’re pregnant. But did you know that there are a whole lot of foods to avoid if you're trying to conceive Things to avoid* Raw or undercooked meat, poultry and eggs (and home-made foods using raw eggs) * Liver and liver products containing high levels of vitamin A * Soft, ripe cheese such as Brie * Blue vein cheese such as Stilton * Soft cheese made from unpasteurised sheep's or goat’s milk Caffeine An American study found that taking in more than moderate amounts of caffeine (the equivalent of three cups of coffee a day or about 300mg) can lower a woman’s chance of conceiving by 27 per cent compared to a non-coffee drinker.
>>Top tips for pre-conception health>>The top 10 natural fertility boostersAlcohol Women who drink as little as five units a week significantly lower their chances of conceiving. Try to avoid alcohol altogether during the three months before trying to conceive. The tiny liver bud only starts developing a month after conception and these first four weeks – often before you are even aware you are pregnant – are one of the most vulnerable times for alcohol-induced foetal damage. But don’t panic if you had a few drinks before you knew you were pregnant. As for men, drinking three to four units a day can affect sperm by lowering testosterone levels, and in the long term it can shrivel the testicles.
For advice about alcohol, contact Alcohol Concern.
Cigarettes Female smoking has been directly linked to infertility. It’s not just women who have to quit. A Finnish study found that 41.9 per cent of men who smoke are infertile, compared to 27.8 per cent of men who don’t smoke. And men who smoke have fewer sperm when they ejaculate. And if that isn’t enough to convince him to quit, point out that smoking is medically proven to cause impotence. Men should give up smoking at least three months before trying for a baby. It takes 100 days to make a sperm – and that is 100 days in which sperm can undergo irreparable damage. And parents who smoke are more likely to produce children with genetic defects, and at least twice the risk of childhood cancers. For help on giving up smoking, contact QuitRecreational drugs No, you can’t substitute alcohol and cigarettes for cannabis or cocaine. And we don’t need to tell you why! For help contact Frank
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>>Boy or Girl? Can you really choose?>>Work out your dates with our ovulation calculator>>How to predict when you're most fertile
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