Are you bending over backwards trying to get pregnant? Take these vitamins regularly to boost your chances of having a baby!
♥Honest Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and decide to purchase an item, I’ll receive a small percentage at no extra cost to you. This has in no way changed how I feel about these products or skewed my opinion of them. I only promote products that I have either purchased and used, or researched thoroughly and believe to be the best on the market.♥
I understand how exciting conception can be for women. That excitement can quickly turn to frustration as the months tick by. There are many ways for you and your partner to increase the odds of successful conception. Certain supplements and vitamins can boost your chances. Read on to find out how they can improve sperm count and leave your man with stronger, more flexible sperm. Even if you’re not in a hurry to conceive, taking these vitamins a few months before you start will ensure that your developing baby has the best nutrients from the very beginning of development.
Folic acid is the number one supplement that you should take before, during and after pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association recommends that every woman of child bearing age take at least 400 mcg of every day. What makes folic acid so important? Folic acid, also known as B9, helps prevent serious spinal cord and brain defects as your baby’s neural tube develops. The neural tube and other organs begin forming a few short weeks after conception. Since many women are unaware that they are pregnant so early after conception, prepare yourself by taking folic acid a few months before trying to have a baby.
Folic acid is also important for men. Consuming at least 400 mcg per day of folate builds healthier sperm and prevents chromosomal abnormalities in the developing baby.
You can get folic acid on it’s own in supplement form or through a complex prenatal vitamin. I’ve experimented with a few brands of prenatal and my favorite by far is Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal. It has become my go-to prenatal throughout my pregnancy. This is a raw, whole food multivitamin packed with plant-based ingredients that are easy for your body (and your baby) to absorb. My favorite thing about this prenatal? It offers 800 mcg of folic acid! None of the other raw prenatals I tried offered as many nutrients as the Vitamin Code brand. It even has an anti-nausea booster built into the pills.
Both you and your partner need zinc before pregnancy. It boosts your immune system, helps your cells to divide properly and helps your body produce the hormones it needs for conception. Almost every cell in our bodies contain zinc. Not only does it regulate your estrogen and progesterone levels during your monthly cycle, zinc is essential for allowing your body to produce a fully mature egg for fertilization. Needless to say getting enough zinc plays a vital part in proper fertility.
Zinc is also important for proper sperm health. Men who do not get enough zinc in their diets cannot develop fully mature sperm. These sperm may not have the strength or the motility to make the long trip to fertilize the egg. If fertilization occurs these sperm might not be healthy enough and could pass on chromosomal defects to the developing baby. This increases the chance of miscarriage in the first trimester.
Depending on your diet you might not need a zinc supplement. Women and men should aim for 15 mg during conception (25 during pregnancy). If one or both of you are vegetarian, you might need up to 30 mg of zinc. Taking a good, raw prenatal or multivitamin should give you about 50% of your daily amount of zinc. Men can also take a raw zinc supplement. Vitamin Code has a zinc supplement that is easy on the body and easy to absorb.
You can supplement your zinc levels naturally with certain foods but remember that heating zinc-rich foods can reduce the mineral content by 50%. Oysters have the highest levels of zinc but if you don’t love them as much as I do try eating red meat, pumpkin seeds, yogurt or shrimp on a daily basis.
Click here for a fertility boost: Garden Of Life Vitamin Code Raw Zinc, 120 Capsules
A good prenatal is a multivitamin specifically formulated for the needs of pregnant women or women who are trying to conceive. They help to fill the nutritional gaps that a woman needs during pregnancy. Most men can benefit from taking a raw, complex multivitamin since the high amounts of trace minerals can greatly improve sperm health, concentration and motility. Raw multivitamins are safe for vegetarians and vegans as well.
If you are lactose intolerant, like my husband, you might want to consider an alternative multivitamin. Many raw multivitamins contain lactose or probiotics that can aggravate the digestive system of people with dairy allergies. Nature’s Way makes a great gummy multivitamin, the only one that my husband was able to find that uses real fruit and vegetables without adding lactose.
As stated above, I believe the best prenatal on the market today is Vitamin Code Raw Prenatal. For men, Rainbow Light makes an effective food-based multivitamin complete with probiotics and enzymes for easy digestion. It is both gluten and soy free.
Click here for strong sperm: Rainbow Light, Men’s One Multivitamin, 150 Count
Click here for lactose-free health support: Nature’s Way Alive! Men’s Gummy Vitamins
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are good fats found in certain fish oils. They are instrumental in regulating hormone production and promoting healthy ovulation. This allows for increased blood flow to your uterus. It helps to normalize your monthly cycle for conception, giving you a more regular cycle to chart your ovulation accurately. Fatty acids also increase the amount of cervical mucus you have each month. This creates a slippery environment to help sperm reach your egg for fertilization. Fish oils have also been linked to higher cognitive function in babies and the prevention of miscarriage. They are essential for conception.
Fish oil is very important for the production of healthy sperm. Consuming fish oil regularly significantly increases sperm motility. When a man is lacking in fish oil his body will draw upon cholesterol reserves to help grow his sperm. Cholesterol doesn’t grow sperm very well. His sperm will be weaker and damaged. Men should take high-quality fish oil supplements 2-3 months before conception.
When you choose a brand of fish oil, you want to make sure it contains both DHA and EPA fatty acids. DHA helps your baby develop a healthy central nervous system. EPA encourages a healthy circulatory system. Choose a good dietary supplement that contains at least 400 mg of DHA and 120 mg of EPA in the daily value.
You also want to make sure that you fish oil is free of contaminants. Many ocean fish contain mercury and other pollutants. All fish oil pills will say that they have been tested and have removed the mercury content of the fish to levels recommended by the FDA. It is wiser to choose a brand of fish oil that uses wild alaskan pollock or deep ocean sardines. They are naturally extremely low in mercury.
Two of my favorite brands of fish oil are Wiley’s Finest and Nordic Naturals Prenatal Blends. Both of these fish oil supplements have superior blends of contaminant-free fish oils. Wiley’s Finest has 120 mg more DHA than the Nordic Naturals brand. I would recommend either of these supplements to support pre-conception, prenatal and postnatal health for mothers and their children. Neither of them has made me queasy during my pregnancy.
Click here for better fertility: Wiley’s Finest – Wild Alaskan Fish Oil: Prenatal DHA 600mg DHA – Omega 3 Supplement – 60 Softgels
Click here for easier conception: Nordic Naturals – Prenatal DHA, Supports Brain Development in Babies During Pregnancy and Lactation, 180 Soft Gels
Calcium supplements are necessary for building strong bones in both you and your baby. You need to begin taking calcium before you conceive because your body will store the mineral for when your baby develops. Calcium also gives sperm the energy they need to reach a woman’s egg. Women trying to conceive should consume 1,000 mg of calcium a day. Men should consume about 1,200 mg a day.
Calcium is a macromineral – it’s too big to fit the daily amount in your prenatal. You’ll need to rely on a good calcium supplement to get your daily amount filled. My favorite calcium supplements are Bluebonnet Liquid Calcium and Country Life Chewable Calcium. These are food-based, which means they absorb more thoroughly into your body than mineral-based formulas can. Chewable supplements are easier to take if you’re experiencing nausea. They have a chalky, vanilla taste – similar to Tums.
Click here for strong bones: BlueBonnet Liquid Calcium Magnesium Citrate, Blueberry, 16 Fluid Ounce
Click here for healthy baby development: Country Life Cal-Snack Chewable Calcium With Magnesium (milk free)(vanilla orange flavor), 120-Wafers
If you or your partner have a history of infertility or troubles conceiving the antioxidant Coenzyme Q10 might be able to help. Some studies show that when taken regularly this antioxidant gives more energy to the reproductive system and leads to healthier sperm and egg production. While these studies are not definitive there is no evidence that Coenzyme Q10 is damaging in any way to the human body. It might help and it is unlikely to harm you. For couples who have had little success conceiving Coenzyme Q10 might be worth a try.
Click here for a fertility boost: Viva Naturals CoQ10 200mg, 90 Vegetarian Softgels – Enhanced with BioPerine® for Increased Absorption
Just For Men
These supplements are known to significantly benefit male fertility. Hand them to your partner for a boost in fertility.
Declining male fertility is thought to be the result of oxidative stress – where free radicals in the body begin to damage sperm cells over time. Antioxidants like vitamin C and E have been able to counteract this effect by removing free radicals from the body. Carotenoids found in orange fruits and vegetables also have a free-radical-busting effect on the body. This promotes increased sperm concentration and motility.
You can get antioxidants naturally through your diet by juicing (read my post on juicing here) or by eating berries, nuts, broccoli and beans on a regular basis. You can also get them in supplement form. Vitamin Code makes a wonderful raw antioxidant blend containing vitamins A, C, E and selenium. If you take a multivitamin make sure that the combined amount of what you consume is within a healthy limit for each vitamin.
L-Carnitine is a special antioxidant that boosts sperm energy. It also encourages proper sperm growth, giving men the best chance to have healthy, mature sperm for fertilization. The more L-carnitine each sperm has, the better they will be able to swim and the higher concentration of sperm in each ejaculation. EverPure makes a very highly recommended L-Carnitine supplement that is vegetarian friendly.
Click here for healthier sperm: EverPure L-Carnitine Tartrate – 180 Count 500mg – Vegetarian Capsules – No Harmful Additives
What supplements are you loving (or hating) during pregnancy & conception? Help other mom’s by chatting in the comments section below!