Eating for fertility 

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Want to make a baby? Then it's time to look at your diet

If you're hoping to conceive in the near future it's time to start eating well. Why? Because it turns out your diet can directly affect your fertility levels. That's right - every little morsel that passes your lips either impairs or improves your body's baby-making ability.

But before you start to strip your cupboards bare, take heart: there's no need to panic, and the last thing we want you to do is start an overly strict diet. We're simply talking a few dietary adjustments here and there.

It's pretty much common knowledge that you need to eat healthily once you fall pregnant. But the truth is that if you want to optimise your fertility levels and your chances of producing a healthy baby your eating plan should begin a few months before you conceive.

"A woman's diet is of enormous importance during, but also before pregnancy," says dietitian and Mother & Baby magazine expert Kate Di Prima. "In fact, the nutritional status of the mother at the point of conception can have a profound influence on the health of the baby during the fetal stage, and far beyond."

For starters, you need to tuck into three well-rounded meals a day including small nutritional snacks in between. Those three meals should include five servings of vegetables and two of fruit, preferably organically grown and free of pesticides.

It might seem obvious but one of those meals should be eaten at breakfast time. If you've never been a breakfast-eater, now is the time to change your ways. Eating first thing in the morning will help stabilise your blood sugar throughout the day and also help keep your appetite under control, says Dr Christiane Northrup, author of Mother-Daughter Wisdom (Piatkus, $45). That's important, as being significantly overweight or obese can have an impact upon fertility.

Nutritionists also recommend mums-to-be include a source of protein with each meal. Great sources of protein are meat or fish, eggs, hard cheese, all legumes, skim milk or tofu. It's best to choose wholegrain foods where possible, instead of the more refined ones such as white bread and any other foods prepared with refined flour and/or sugar.  The same goes for alcohol and coffee; even small amounts of alcohol can interfere with fertility, Kate Di Prima says, adding that too much caffeine can have a negative impact on conception time.

If you want to raise your baby-making chances, take a look at foods that get you in the mood.

One of your best options is the oyster. Sure, they're not for everyone, but if you and your bloke can manage to suck down a couple you'll be glad you did, because oysters are packed with zinc, a mineral required for the production of testosterone. Zinc is also important for maintaining optimum semen volume.

If oysters aren't your (or his) thing, don't worry - fish, lean red meat, brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds are also great sources of zinc, according to Kate Di Prima.

If you've eaten all the zinc you can handle and you're still not feeling super sexy, try working a little ginger into your diet. Studies have shown that it stimulates the circulatory system, increasing blood flow to the genitals. The result? Increased sensitivity levels that make sex more enjoyable, meaning you're more likely to want to have it (and that can't hurt your baby-making quest).

And don't forget to enjoy a square or two of dark chocolate, too: an Italian study has shown that women who eat chocolate on a daily basis claim to have more satisfying sex lives.

Finally, sprinkle a bit of nutmeg onto your next hot milk drink. Scientists have found it increases the sexual activity of rats - and hey, if it works for them¡­

Seven fertility-boosting diet steps to take today

  1. Maintain a healthy weight. Being significantly underweight can affect ovulation in women and sperm production in men - the same goes for being overweight or obese.
  2. Go easy on the champers, as too much alcohol can decrease your ability to conceive.
  3. Cut back on caffeine. Research has shown that drinking more than one strong cup of coffee or a caffeine-rich drink in a day may have a negative effect on fertility in women and men, especially if combined with smoking and alcohol.
  4. Don't go overboard on the soy. It's early days but some studies seem to indicate that consuming large quantities of soy products may lower fertility.
  5. Ditch highly processed, fatty foods in favour of a diet rich in healthy, whole foods such as fruit and vegetables, lean meat, fish and nuts to ensure you get a wide variety of vitamins and nutrients that are essential for staying in top shape.
  6. When it comes to dairy, opt for the low-fat products. "It's important to maintain top calcium levels for your bones and the impending little one," says Kate Di Prima.
  7. Finally, don't restrict yourself too much... making babies is meant to be fun, after all!
Conception & Nutrition

If you're trying to get pregnant then here's why you should try Elevit with Iodine!

Pregnancy is physically demanding and you may be struggling to get the extra nutrients you need in your diet. However it's important to know that nutrients don't just benefit you. They benefit baby as well!

Elevit with Iodine contains many important vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, magnesium and B group vitamins. These all play vital roles in the health and wellbeing of you and your baby. Elevit with Iodine contains all the folic acid* you need and is also an important source of iron which helps energy levels.

So if you're finding it hard to keep up with your body and your baby, Elevit with Iodine can help! It's a simple once daily tablet that can be taken any time of the day and is only available in pharmacy.


Elevit with Iodine is a once-daily vitamin and mineral supplement for pregnancy. It is based on a formulation clinically proven to reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida by 92%.2

Elevit with Iodine contains the highest levels of iron, folic acid and iodine in combination than any other pregnancy multivitamin available in Australia.

It also contains a range of ingredients to help meet your changed nutritional requirements throughout conception, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What's more, unlike some pregnancy supplements, Elevit with Iodine is a once daily tablet.

The role of iodine

Iodine is an essential nutrient for growth and normal development of the brain. Iodine intake is particularly important for pregnant women and children.

Speak to your doctor about taking Elevit with Iodine if you have any pre-existing medical conditions.


Before Pregnancy

It's best to take Elevit with Iodine when you first start planning to have a baby, and then continue throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding.

During Pregnancy

If you're pregnant, Elevit with Iodine can help! The unique formulation of Elevit with Iodine contains 800mcg of folic acid, ten other vitamins and eight trace elements, including iron and iodine. The high iron content can help prevent dietary iron deficiency (all too common when you're pregnant).

After Pregnancy

After a baby is born it also makes sense to take Elevit with Iodine. You may have lost a lot of iron during the birth process and it's important for your health to have adequate nutrition levels after pregnancy. If you're breastfeeding, you're also likely to feel like a machine! On average a woman breastfeeding will be making between 700-900mL of milk a day!3 That means you'll need extra nutrients to cope with the demand.

Clinically Tested

Many multivitamin pregnancy supplements make claims but Elevit with Iodine is the only supplement that is based on a formulation clinically proven to reduce the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida by 92%.2

Elevit with Iodine assists in meeting essential iodine needs

  • Iodine deficiency is the most common preventable cause of intellectual impairment 6,7
  • 50% of children and pregnant or breastfeeding women living in Australia have been shown to be iodine deficient or at risk of developing thyroid disease.8
  • Iodine supplementation from the first trimester improves children’s psychomotor development 9

The role of iodine

  • Iodine is an essential nutrient for growth and normal development of the brain.
  • Iodine intake is particularly important for pregnant women and children.5
For more information about Elevit and Iodine, visit their FAQ

The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that all women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or considering pregnancy, take an iodine supplement of 150 micrograms (μg) each day. Women with pre-existing thyroid conditions should seek advice from their medical practitioner prior to taking a supplement.

Public Statement

The Public Statement provides information on the increased need for iodine during pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and breastfeeding, the risks of not having enough iodine and the type of supplements that should and should not be used. Click here to read the statement