Remember, it takes two to make a healthy baby, so now is the time to get both of you on board to do a quick MOT of lifestyle, diet and exercise habits. Maybe there are some small changes you can both make together to improve your chances of conception and give your future baby a head start on the road to a lifetime of good health. There is lots of evidence now linking the Dad-to-be’s health and dietary habits with his sperm quality — healthy sperm will help to programme the baby for a long and healthy life.
So what does Dad need to do?
Achieve a healthy weight — If Dad is overweight, now is a good time to start to lose a few pounds to get on the right track. More exercise for both parents-to-be is a great idea for overall health and remember, you will need to be fitter for all the running around you will be doing over the next few years once you become busy parents! So go for lots of fruit and vegetables, lean meats and fish and high-fibre, wholegrain breads and cereals. These fresh foods should be the basis of a healthy diet, cutting back on take away and processed foods at the same time.
Limit Alcohol Intake — A high intake of alcohol can affect sperm quality and your chances of conception, so if alcohol intake is a concern, now is a good time to cut back — why not both do it together and spend more time going to the cinema, going for a walk or cooking a nice meal: activities you can enjoy together without too much alcohol.
Stop smoking — If Dad is a smoker, now is the time to try to kick the habit. Remember, babies and smoke just don’t mix so don’t wait until the baby is born to address the issue. Look for help and support — check out www.quit.ie, the HSE website for helpful hints and tips.