It’s widely known that certain bacteria can be harmful to unborn babies, but they can also impact on your fertility. Preparing your food safely can help you conceive, as well as helping your baby to develop.
Taking extra care over food preparation may not only help your baby to grow properly once you’re pregnant, it may help you become pregnant in the first place. Studies of male mice that already have toxoplasmosis have shown that they produce significantly less sperm than those without the disease, and that their sperm has more defects. Research in sub-Saharan Africa, China and Egypt has all suggested that toxoplasmosis can also reduce fertility among women.
Establishing safe food preparation techniques may therefore help you conceive. Once pregnant, avoiding gastro-intestinal infections will help protect your baby. The impact that toxoplasmosis***** can have on a growing foetus is well documented. What is less well known is that the chance of contracting listeriosis actually goes up during pregnancy. So taking key steps to reduce your chances of exposure to harmful bacteria makes sense all round:
- Wash all fruit, vegetables and salads thoroughly to remove soil (which contains the toxoplasma parasite).
- Use a separate chopping board for raw meat and wash all utensils, surfaces and your hands thoroughly after preparing it (again to avoid toxoplasmosis).
- Store raw foods separately from cooked foods (to reduce the risk of salmonella, campylobacter and E.coli).
- Heat ready meals until they are piping hot, especially if they contain poultry.
- Make sure that eggs, poultry, burgers, sausages and whole cuts of meat are cooked all the way through.
Cat alert: The parasite toxoplasma can also be found in cat faeces: if you can’t persuade someone else to clean out the cat litter and do the gardening, wear gloves or wash your hands very thoroughly afterwards.
Our experts at The Agora Clinic are happy to advise you on the best diet and lifestyle choices you can make to maximise your chances of getting pregnant.