Archives for April 2009

Protecting your Family from Swine Flu


With a 23-month old toddler being the first swine flu-related death in the USA, parents number one concern may be keeping their kids safe and health.  But there is no need to panic, says Dr. Bob Sears, although “people should be aware of what’s going on and how to lower their risk of catching or spreading this unusual strain of the flu.”

Staying Healthy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website is being updated on an almost daily basis, and you can read all sorts of timely and useful information about what it is, where it is, how to prevent it, and how to seek care if you suspect it. The symptoms are the same as the regular flu, and it isn’t clear why there have been more fatalities than expected in the Mexico outbreak.

Here are the CDC’s recommendations on what you can do to stay healthy:

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
  • Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Are you worried?

I asked a friend of mine who lives in Texas with her husband and 2 sons whether she was worried about the swine flu, particularly as one Texan baby has died of it. I appreciated her answer and her ability to keep things in perspective:
I’m not worried in the least. The media is ridiculous. There are so many types of flu and people are sick every year. I’m sure the numbers are much higher, many people don’t go to the doctor for flu. Terribly sad about that baby :( but kids die every day from RSV and other flus, etc. I’ll worry when and if I have to, but not because a handful of people in this giant state have it.

What to do if you get sick

If you live in areas where swine influenza cases have been identified and become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, the CDC advises you to contact your health care provider, particularly if you are worried about your symptoms. Your health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

If you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

Relief for the Gassy Baby

Swallowing air, passing gas, and fart jokes are a normal part of growing up. But excessive intestinal gas can make a young baby miserable. How can you get the air out of that little tummy and make baby smile again? The goal is to let less air in, and get more air out:

Letting Less Air In…

Breast-fed babies:

  • Be sure baby’s lips form a good seal far back on the areola.
  • Eliminate fuss foods from your diet if breastfeeding (see elimination diet).
  • Feed baby smaller volumes more frequently
  • Keep baby upright (at about a forty-five-degree angle) during and for a half-hour after a feeding.

Bottle-fed babies:

  • Be sure baby’s lips are positioned on the wide base of the nipple, not just on the tip.
  • Tilt the bottle at a thirty-to-forty-degree angle while feeding so that air rises to the bottom of the bottle; or try collapsible formula bags.
  • Feed baby smaller volumes more frequently
  • Keep baby upright (at about a forty-five-degree angle) during and for a half-hour after a feeding.
  • Avoid prolonged sucking on pacifiers or empty bottle nipples.

…Getting More Air Out

  • Respond promptly to a baby’s cries.
  • Be sure to burp baby during and after feedings.
  • The gas pump. Lay baby face-up on your lap with her legs toward you and her head resting on your knees. Pump her legs up and down in a bicycling motion while making a few attention-getting facial expressions.
  • The colic curl. Place baby’s head and back against your chest and encircle your arms under his bottom, then curl your arms up. Or, try reversing this position by placing baby’s feet against your chest as you hold him. This way you can maintain eye contact with your baby and entertain him with funny facial expressions. (Read more about colic here.)
  • Tummy rolls. While laying a securing hand on baby’s back, drape him tummy-down over a large beach ball and gently roll in a circular motion. Another use for a large beach ball (you can purchase “physio balls” from infant-product catalogs) is the baby bounce. Hold baby securely in your arms and slowly bounce up and down while sitting on the ball.
  • Tummy massage. Sit baby on your lap and place the palm of your hand over baby’s navel, and let your fingers and thumb encircle baby’s abdomen. Let baby lean forward, pressing her tense abdomen against your warm hand. Dad’s bigger hands provide more coverage. Or, with baby lying on her back, picture an upside down “U” over the surface of your baby’s abdomen and using warm massage oil on your hands and kneading baby’s abdomen in a circular motion with your flattened fingers, massage from left to right along the lines of the imaginary “U.”
  • Tummy tucks. Place a rolled-up cloth diaper or a warm (not hot) water bottle enclosed in a cloth diaper under baby’s tummy. To further relax a tense tummy, lay baby stomach-down on a cushion with her legs dangling over the edge while rubbing her back. Turn her head to the side so her breathing isn’t obstructed.
  • Give baby simethicone drops (Mylicon is a brand name) or glycerin suppositories.

Read more about gassy, fussy, and colicky babies here!

Fuss-Free Spring Hairstyles

Pregnancy and spring are both seasons of new beginnings, which means it’s high time to shake out your winter-weary locks and let your hair down—literally! After hibernating indoors all winter, we are ready to welcome sun-filled days that stretch long into the evening hours.  Hair experts agree that a natural, get up-and-go style is best for spring. Woman’s Day‘s panel of experts share all the essential coloring, cutting, styling and conditioning tips and tricks for achieving the perfect spring look, and the secrets to maintaining them the whole season through.

Color & Highlights

1. Brunettes: Create dimension by framing your face with warm highlights, but avoid any color that’s more than three shades from your natural hue. A dark brown base will help prevent highlights from looking streaky and dated.

2. Blondes: Maintain that carefree, beachy look by introducing soft, subtle shades—less on the golden side, more on the neutral side. Adding overly harsh or white tones could suggest that locks have been processed. If you prefer chunky highlights, add them further away from your face.

3. Red Heads: A natural red head is rare, so don’t stray too far from your true hue. It’s also important to keep in mind that red hair tends to lighten dramatically in the sunlight. If you’re itching for an update, introduce subtle highlights to the crown of the head, as well as to the ends of your hair; this will help add dimension while maintaining the overall shade.

Cut & Style

1. Curly Hair: An experienced stylist will take into consideration each individual curl, cutting to create movement, varying lengths and strand-by-strand definition. It may be hard to find a great curly-hair stylist, so if you see someone with a cut that you love, don’t be afraid to ask them who their stylist is. When styling your cut, aim for soft, romantic texture.  Skip the gel and apply a smoothing oil or lightweight moose to give each curl a polished finish. If you’re using a diffuser, remember to dry curls with cold air, which helps them set. Minimize hand-contact with locks to prevent frizz; if you need to scrunch curls, use a towel.

2. Straight Hair: The most essential hair secret of all: trim regularly for neat, healthy-looking locks. If you have thin, straight locks, a short and layered cut with bluntly-finished ends will add weight and promote swing. Consider a bob, or if your face is on the rounder side, try a just-under-the-chin length. Additionally, a long side-swept bang will effortlessly frame the face, even when left unstyled. If you’re blessed with thick hair, play up the layers and angles for dimension. To style, don’t just brush and go. Instead, Instead, apply a volumizing product to the roots for lift—then flip, toss and blow dry hair freely.

3. Thick Hair: Adding long layers to thick hair will give it the desired tousled look without promoting frizz. If you’d rather opt for a different style, go for it… but to attain that get up-and-go look, your hair must be cut specifically for the style. The longer thick hair gets, the easier it is to handle, since the weight forces it to behave. Thick, short hair runs the risk of looking poofy. Additionally, when it’s long, you can easily pull it back off your face to create a full, party-ready bun or pony tail.

Condition & Shine

1. Quick Fix: Hot oil is great for achieving an instant light-reflecting shine, but no more than once a week. Keep in mind that fuller hair can better handle constant treatment then fine hair.

2. Long term: Never underestimate the power of a protein-rich diet for strengthening and rebuilding hair. A protein-packed conditioner can work wonders, too.

3. Shampoo: For thick, curly hair, shampooing every two or three days is ideal, as it gives natural oils a chance to condition hair between washes.

Feature photo from the Knot

Visit Woman’s Day for more beauty & style tips!

Soothing your Itchy, Pregnant Belly

You belly’s growing, which means your skin is stretching and often becomes dry and sensitive.  There’s not much you can do about preventing  stretch marks, but you can relieve your itchy belly with these 6 easy steps, from Parents.com.

Moisturize: Rub on a thick, rich moisturizer (like cocoa butter) each night before bed. It’ll soak in overnight, leaving your skin soft and less itchy.

Soft Fabrics: Wear super-soft natural fabrics, like cotton, cashmere and silk, instead of scratchy wools or heavy denims, which can make the itching worse.

Down Under: Go for undies, pants and skirts that rest under your belly. Anything that’s too tight around your belly can cause too much rubbing and irritation.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water, which will keep all of you hydrated — skin included.

Soak Smart: Avoid soaking in a hot tub; it’ll zap your skin’s moisture. However, taking a warm bath with a soothing oatmeal mix (like Aveeno) can help.

Humidify: Spending a lot of time in a central-heated or air-conditioned space can dry out your skin. Consider buying a humidifier to send some moisture back into the air, which’ll help your belly stay hydrated too.

Pregnancy Rashes:

PUPPP: Some pregnant women develop a condition characterized by itchy, red bumps and larger patches of a hive-like rash on their bellies. This is called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy. The eruptions usually show up first on the abdomen around or in stretch marks, and may spread to your thighs, buttocks, and arms. PUPPP is harmless for you and your baby, but it can itch like crazy! It is treated with topical ointment, antihistamine, or, in severe cases, oral steroids.  Visit Baby Center for more info.

Prurigo of pregnancy: This skin condition is more rare than PUPPP, and is characterized by many tiny bumps that may look like bug bites. These eruptions can occur anywhere on your body, but you’re most likely to get them on your hands, feet, arms, and legs. Although the eruptions can be itchy and annoying, prurigo of pregnancy appears to pose no risk to your baby. This condition generally starts around the beginning of the third trimester and may last for up to three months after you give birth.

Pemphigoid gestationis (or herpes gestationis, although it has nothing to do with herpes virus). In very rare cases, a pregnant woman will develop very itchy eruptions that start out like hives and then turn into large blistering lesions. It often start on the abdomen and spread to the arms and legs. This condition is considered more serious because it may be associated with an increased risk for preterm delivery and fetal growth problems.  Pemphigoid gestationis can come and go throughout pregnancy, and it often flares up after delivery as well. It usually happens again in subsequent pregnancies and tends to be more severe.

Intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy is a liver problem charictarized by severe itchiness in the 2nd or 3rd trimester.  When bile doesn’t flow normally in the small ducts of your liver, bile salts accumulate in your skin and make you itch all over. The itching can be quite intense. The condition itself doesn’t cause a rash, but uncotrollable scratching my turn your skin red and irritated. Call your doctor or midwife immediately if you think you have cholestasis because it may spell trouble for your baby. Depending on your health and your baby’s condition, you may be induced before your due date. Visit Baby Center for more info.
If you develop any kind of rash during pregnancy, it’s a good idea to have your caregiver evaluate it and recommend appropriate treatment, or refer you to a dermatologist.

Image from Woman’s Day

Pregnancy without Heartburn: Is it possible?

Heartburn (also known as acid indigestion or acid reflux) is an uncomfortable but common pregnancy complaint. It may be that up to half of pregnant women experience heartburn, which may occur for the first time while they are pregnant. It feels like a burning sensation in the chest and throat, and a sour, acidic taste in the mouth, often after eating.

Heartburn is caused by some of the hormonal and physical changes in your body. During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone, which relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus. Unfortunately, this hormone also relaxes the valve separating the esophagus from the stomach, allowing gastric acids to seep back up, which causes that unpleasant burning sensation. Progesterone also slows down digestion so that later in pregnancy, as your growing baby crowds your abdominal cavity, stomach acid is pushed up into the esophagus. If you have a short torso, this may exacerbate heartburn.

Foods to Avoid

Though you may not be able to eliminate heartburn entirely, you can take steps to minimize your discomfort.  Avoid food and beverages that cause you gastrointestinal distress (take a look at this chart for a complete list). The usual suspects are:

  • carbonated drinks
  • alchohol
  • caffeine
  • chocolate
  • acidic foods like citrus fruits and juices
  • tomatoes
  • mustard
  • vinegar
  • processed meats
  • mint products
  • spicy, highly seasoned food
  • fried or fatty foods

In addition to this, follow these guidelines to further eliminate discomfort from heartburn:

•  Don’t eat big meals. Instead, eat several small meals throughout the day. Take your time eating and chew thoroughly.

•  Avoid drinking large quantities of fluids during meals — you don’t want to distend your stomach. It’s important to stay hydrated, but sip in between meals instead.

•  Try chewing gum after eating. Chewing gum stimulates your salivary glands, and saliva can help neutralize acid.

•  Don’t eat close to bedtime. Give yourself two to three hours to digest before you lie down.

•  Sleep propped up with several pillows or a wedge. Elevating your upper body will help keep your stomach acids where they belong and will aid your digestion.
•  Watch your posture. Putting pressure on your stomach can cause heartburn in pregnancy. Sit in an upright position to keep the pressure off your stomach. When you stand or walk, keep your posture erect for the same reason.

•  Gain a sensible amount of weight, and stay within the guidelines your health care provider suggests.

•  Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Avoid any tightness around your waist and tummy.

•  Bend at the knees instead of at the waist.

•  Don’t smoke. In addition to contributing to a host of serious health problems, smoking boosts stomach acidity.

An over-the-counter antacid that contains magnesium or calcium may ease discomfort, but check with your prenatal caregiver before taking one, because some brands contain aluminum or aspirin or are high in sodium. Some heartburn relievers such as Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Gaviscon may also prove helpful.  If these measures don’t help, talk to your caregiver about prescription heartburn medications that are safe during pregnancy.

Yoga has proven to be great help for some people in coping with heartburn. Yoga helps to reduce stress and anxiety, promotes relaxation, and stabilizes digestion.  Click here or here for some simple prenatal yoga instructions that may provide some relief.

Image from fitsugar.com.

Pacifiers: In or Out?

To many mothers, pacifiers seem to be a godsend. The second the baby starts to fuss, pop one in his mouth and you have a quiet, contented baby. But there’s always been something that bothers me about using a pacifier and my kids never did. I can’t exactly put my finger on it, but it has to do with the fact that if baby’s fussing, doesn’t that mean that something is wrong? If he’s hungry, tired, dirty, or wants to be held, will popping a pacifier in his mouth really solve the problem? Won’t that give my baby the message that his real needs are being ignored?  Although I have yet to make peace with the pacifier, when I see other babies blissfully sucking away (or better yet, using one to fall asleep on his own!) I wonder why I don’t give pacifiers another chance.

I just read an article at Lamaze.org that makes me feel better about my decision not to use pacifiers. Jeannette Crenshaw, MSN, RN, IBCLC, LCCE, FACCE, says that the risks versus benefits are not as straightforward as they may initially appear.

Reasons to Pop in a Pacifier

In favor of the pacifier (besides for the obvious quick-comfort factor) is research suggesting that babies who suck on pacifiers don’t sleep as deeply and wake more often than those who don’t. While this might not seem like a desirable situation, these are factors believed to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). For this reason,  the AAP’s SIDS-reduction guidelines include the recommendation that babies be given pacifiers during naps and at bedtime (but not to force it if your baby refuses). If you’re breastfeeding, the AAP suggests waiting until nursing is well established or until your baby is about a month old.

Reasons to Pass on the Pacifier

On the flip side, these same benefits (babies who don’t sleep as deeply and wake more often) can be achieved by breastfeeding your baby.  Pacifiers are linked to higher rates of ear infections, diarrhea, yeast infections and dental problems. In addition, pacifiers can also interfere with successful breastfeeding, which provides protection against the likelihood of your baby getting ear infections, diarrhea, yeast infections, etc.

Feeling like a Human Pacifier?

What happens to me, in absence of a pacifier, is that my babies come to consider me the Human Pacifier. Whenever they get fussy I pop them on the breast and they’re sucking away as blissfully as any pacifier plugged baby (but more so, considering that they get to suck, nurse, and be held by mommy all at the same time!).

It’s true that babies do at times want to suck something just for comfort, so you may be wondering what’s wrong with using one in between feedings. But there are still more good reasons for avoiding pacifiers, says Dr. Sears, especially in the early weeks while baby is learning to latch on and suck at your breast:

  • Pacifiers are artificial nipples. They require a different sucking motion at the breast and can lead to problems with nipple confusion.
  • A baby who is given a pacifier instead of being offered the breast may not nurse enough to gain weight adequately.
  • Without enough stimulation from baby’s sucking, mother’s milk supply may dwindle. Comfort sucking at the end of a feeding helps to build mother’s milk supply.
  • A 1999 study reported in the medical journal Pediatrics showed that mothers who used pacifiers during the first six weeks after birth tended to wean their babies earlier.
  • Prolonged pacifier use can lead to crooked teeth. Between two and three years of age, toddlers can cause their upper front teeth to protrude by sucking intensely on a pacifier, especially at night.

It’s understandable that sometimes Mom’s patience wears thin. Or nipples get sore. Or mom is just not available all the time. But it is OK to be a Human Pacifier. As Dr. Sears points out, you want your baby to learn to seek comfort from people, not plastic. Your baby’s need to suck for comfort will diminish with time. Meanwhile, enjoy cuddling with your baby at your breast.

Having said all that, pacifiers are far from the worst thing you can give your baby. The decision to use a pacifier — or not — is up to you. Let go of any guilt or pressure, and try to figure out what works best in your situation. If you have a baby who really seems to need one, then “use it, don’t abuse it, and quickly try to lose it!” Follow DR. BILL’S BINKY ADVICE on how to use the pacifier properly.

  • Select a one-piece model that will not break into two pieces, allowing baby to choke on the bulb. Also, be sure it is dishwasher safe and easy to clean.
  • Be sure the base of the pacifier has ventilation holes. Avoid large circular shields that may obstruct baby’s nasal passages when baby draws in the pacifier during intense sucking.
  • One size doesn’t fit all. Choose a smaller, shorter, newborn-sized pacifier for the early months.
  • Pacifiers come in a variety of nipple shapes. Some are symmetrically round, like a bottle nipple. Others are preshaped, supposedly to duplicate the elongated, flattened breast nipple during sucking. Preshaped nipples, however, may not always fit baby’s mouth, especially if the pacifier turns during sucking or is inserted upside down. Some pacifier manufacturers claim orthodontic benefits, but these are questionable. Try various shapes and let baby’s discerning mouth decide.
  • Avoid attaching the pacifier to a string or ribbon around baby’s neck or pinning the pacifier string onto baby’s clothing. This is a setup for strangulation. it is better to keep one hand on baby and the other hand on the pacifier. Or use a pacifier clip with a ribbon that is too short to pass around baby’s neck (Like this elegant  personalize pacifier clip!)
  • Avoid making your own pacifier out of a cotton-stuffed bottle nipple. Baby may suck the cotton through the hole.
  • Resist the temptation to sweeten the offering by dipping the pacifier in honey or syrup. If baby does not yet have teeth, he is too young for honey or syrup. If he has teeth, he is too old for the decay-producing sweets – and probably the pacifier, too. If he has to be enticed to suck by sweetening, he would probably benefit from some other form of comforting – having a change of scenery, going out in the fresh air, playing, cuddling with you, rocking to sleep, and being held more.

Image from mommyspeechtherapy.com

What’s your pacifier preference? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Breathing Strategies for Easier Birthing

According to American Pregnancy, here are some important benefits of patterned breathing during labor:
  • Breathing becomes an automatic response to pain
  • Mom remains in a more relaxed state and will respond more positively to pain
  • The steady rhythm of breathing is calming during labor
  • Provides a sense of well being and a measure of control
  • Provides more oxygen, which provides more strength and energy for mother and baby
  • Brings purpose to each contraction, making them more productive
  • Patterned breathing and relaxation become habits for life’s every day stressors.

In order to help you breath naturally during labor, here are 9 Breathing Strategies from Dr. Sears:

1. Breathe naturally between contractions, as you do when you are falling asleep.

2. When a contraction begins, inhale deeply and slowly through your nose, and then slowly exhale through your mouth in a long, steady stream. As you breathe out, let your facial muscles relax and your limbs go limp as you imagine the tension leaving your body. Think of this exhalation as a long sigh of release.

3. As the contraction peaks, remind yourself to continue breathing at a relaxed, comfortable rate.

4. Ask your partner to remind you to slow down if you start breathing too fast in response to an intense contraction. Have him take slow, relaxed breaths along with you.

5. If you still find yourself breathing too fast, stop for a minute and take a deep breath, followed by a long, drawn-out blow, as if you are blowing off steam. Do this periodically to remind yourself to slow down.

6. Partners should watch the mother’s breathing patterns for cues as to how she is coping. Slow, deep, rhythmic breathing shows that she is handling her contractions well. Fast, spasmodic breathing communicates tension and anxiety. Use massage, model proper breathing, or suggest a change of position.

7. Don’t pant. Panting is not natural for humans. (Dogs and cats in labor pant because they don’t sweat. It’s their way of releasing body heat. ) Panting not only exhausts you, it lessens your oxygen intake and may lead to hyperventilation.

8. Don’t hyperventilate. Breathing too fast and too heavily blows off too much carbon dioxide, causing you to feel light-headed and have tingling sensations in your fingers, toes, and face. Some women tend to hyperventilate during the height of intense contractions and need caring reminders to relax their breathing. If you start to hyperventilate, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, as slowly as you can.

9. Don’t hold your breath. Even during the strain of pushing, the blue in the face, blood-vessel-popping breath holding you see in movies is not only exhausting, but deprives you and your baby of much-needed oxygen.

Image from medicine world.org

Can fertility be affected by what you eat?

Yes, according to Pregnancy Examiner!  Lackluster nutritional habits and deficiencies may impair hormonal function and inhibit proper ovulation in women, or sperm production and viability in men, thus reducing the chances for conception.

On the journey to parenthood, fertility issues are split pretty evenly between men and women. It’s important to visit a doctor, OB/GYN or fertility specialist, who can run tests and do blood work to diagnose any underlying obstacles that need to be addressed in order to get pregnant. But in addtion to these efforts, there are dietary choices that can help boost fertility for both men and women.

Fertility Boosters for Her

Water: Staying hydrated helps maintain optimal health and proper reproductive function.

Spinach: Leafy green vegetables like spinach contain folic acid which is important for preventing birth defects and is a vital ingredient for producing viable eggs. It is also rich in antioxidants and iron.

Yellow and Orange Vegetables: Beta carotene, an antioxidant, has been shown to maintain hormonal balance and ward off miscarriage.

Broccoli and Cabbage: Cruciferous vegetables contain a phytonutrient called DIM that helps with estrogen metabolism. They are also known to prevent fibroids and endometriosis in women.

Carrots, peas and sweet potatoes: Containing beta-carotene, these veggies help regulate the menstrual cycle, thus improving chances for conception.

Strawberries, blueberries, oranges, papaya, kiwi and cantaloupe – Full of vitamin C and antioxidants, these fruits offer healthful reproductive benefits to women trying to conceive.

Meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products: Protein is made up of amino acids which are vital for viable egg production and for making LH and FSH, important fertility hormones. NOTE: Scientific research suggests women who get more of their protein from PLANTS and less from animal sources have fewer overall ovulatory issues.

Whole grains: Try to consume natural unrefined whole grain bread products, as the refining process removes more than 15 key nutrients, such as B vitamins and iron.

Oysters: With an abundant amount of zinc, oysters are known fertility enhancer, however high mercury levels from seafood have been linked to miscarriage. Think moderation.

Fertility Boosters for Him

Water – To maintain optimal health and proper reproductive functions, one must remain optimally hydrated.

Spinach* – Rich in antioxidants and full of folic acid and iron, leafy green vegetables are a vital ingredient for healthy sperm.

Red vegetables* – Containing lysopene, tomatoes are a carotenoid and are a known sperm count enhancer. 

Fruit* – Oranges contain the antioxidants glutathione and cryptoxanthin, which are associated with strong, viable, healthy sperm. Strawberries, blueberries, cantaloupe and papaya offer wonderful healthful benefits as well.

Meat, chicken, fish, eggs and dairy products (Protein) – The amino acids in protein are vital for sperm production.

Oysters – With an abundant amount of zinc, oysters are known fertility enhancer. Be certain to monitor mercury levels when consuming seafood. One Dutch study cites sperm production increase by up tp 74% by using a zinc and folic acid supplement.

Vegetarian sources of protein – Beans, lentils, brown rice, quinoa and other whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds – Pumpkin seeds (¼ to ½ cup a day) are naturally high in zinc and essential fatty acids which are vital to healthy functioning of the male reproductive system. Sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, which is also vital for optimal sperm production.

Whole grains – Try to consume natural unrefined whole grain bread products, as the refining process removes more than 15 key nutrients from grains such as B vitamins and iron.

Organic foods – Switch to organic foods. Some studies suggest chemicals and pesticides used on foods can impair sperm viability.

*Studies have indicated the more fruits and produce a man consumes, the less sluggish his sperm is.

Source: Pregnancy Examiner

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