Sponsored by Melbourne IVF
Words by Sophie Knox
Despite its celebratory mood, the festive season can prove especially difficult when you’re trying to conceive – a calendar packed with drinks parties and dinners throws up all sorts of dilemmas. How do you explain not drinking and saying no to all the potentially risky food on offer? Try these tips to enjoy the season while putting your fertility first.
If you’d like to keep the fact that you’re trying for a baby a secret, have a response ready for when busybodies ask why you’re not drinking or keeping your drinks to the bare minimum (one standard drink equals 100ml wine, 280ml beer or 30ml spirits): perhaps you’re on a detox, trying to drink only one or two nights a week, or you have a busy week of work ahead and would like to feel at your brightest. Same goes for questions about avoiding certain foods – have an answer on call, like you’ve temporarily cut out dairy or meat, or you’ve already eaten.
Think before you eat
Sticking to the recommended preconception diet guidelines can be testing when all kinds of soft cheeses, cold meats and raw fish are doing the rounds. It’s also worth remembering that food that’s been out of refrigeration for more than one hour can possibly be unhygienic and therefore compromise your fertility health. Seafood is often popular at Christmas – it’s all fine if it’s cooked and still hot. If you’re unsure about anything, best to avoid it.
Eat in advance
If you’re really worried about the standard or variety of food being offered, eat something before you arrive. That way you won’t go hungry for lack of food or feel nauseous halfway through the event. You could also take along a plate of healthy preconception-friendly food.
If your hosts are good friends and they know you’re trying to fall pregnant, why not take your favourite softie with you? Ginger beer, bubbly apple juice or sparkling mineral water are far more exciting than tap water, or be creative and take along ingredients for a fruity mocktail so you don’t feel left out.
Put your comfort first
Trying to fall pregnant can be a stressful experience, especially when it’s taking longer than you anticipated, so it’s particularly important to put yourself first. Try to keep late nights and loss of sleep to a minimum and avoid social situations that you know may put you on the spot.
If you do a pregnancy test and discover that it’s negative, treat yourself to one of the foods or drinks you are otherwise not allowed to enjoy in your conception diet. It’s important to acknowledge your disappointment so you can deal with those feelings and move into positive headspace for your next attempt at falling pregnant.
Read more about how eating and living well can boost your fertility here.
Melbourne IVF, part of Australia’s largest network of fertility clinics, Virtus Health, are the leading minds in fertility, dedicated to your success. With more than 35 years’ experience, Melbourne IVF has been helping couples and individuals achieve their dream of a family by offering world-class fertility treatment and access to the very latest assisted reproduction technology. Our collaborative team of expert fertility specialists, nurses, scientists and counsellors work together to give you with the best possible chance of having a baby. To find out more about the Melbourne IVF clinics and specialist treatments, please visit mivf.com.au.