What to avoid when you're (trying to be) expecting

AVOID. Yes, this is all stuff that you love…but they can be replaced with new favorites once you stop eating/drinking them and your cravings subside. That usually takes about three weeks, so hang on! Soon you will have new go-tos.  Remember, nothing tastes as good as the head of a newborn smells. Keep in mind why you are giving up these things for motivation and endurance.

1. Sugar. Gone. Done. No more. Gives you wrinkles anyway. Sugary foods and drinks cause your body to release insulin, which is a hormone. High insulin levels have a domino effect on your other hormones. Your endocrine system is all connected. You can’t cause a drastic change in the hormonal balance of your body without triggering other hormones to be in flux as well. This means that as you are making your sex hormones rise and fall every time your body tries to balance out the sugar in your system. Not good!

2. Caffeine. Yes. This is a real thing, not something made up to topple Starbucks. Studies show that women who have as little as one cup of coffee per day have a 50% reduction in their fertility. Three cups of coffee per day has been linked to early miscarriage. Give it up, people. Need to wake up in the morning? Hit the gym or go for a run before work. You’ll have an endorphin boost that caffeine can’t beat.

3. Alcohol. MmmHmmm. I realize that in other countries people drink before, during and after pregnancy. That’s a topic for another time. If you are focused on having a baby, do you really want to take a chance (and a drink?) or would you rather improve the odds of conception? In women, studies show that consumption of alcohol, even in small quantities blocks the production of progesterone, which is vital to conception and carrying a pregnancy to term. In men, drinking reduces the level of sperm-making hormones. One episode of heavy drinking can wipe out sperm production for three whole months…because it takes three months for new sperm to mature.

4. Processed Foods. Anything with high fructose corn syrup, MSG, trans fat, or that is otherwise a soda you need to stop eating/drinking pretty much yesterday, but today works too. Processed foods place toxins in our bodies, and our bodies in turn use up lots of nutrients trying to clean up the mess we have made. Use all the good things you put into your body toward good ends, not garbage removal.