Don’t know WHY you are not getting pregnant? Tried everything and nothing has worked so far? Overwhelmed by all the contradictory advice? Sick of putting your life on hold? Stressed out by the lack of real results?

Looking after your health and wellbeing is always important, but especially so when you’re thinking of having a baby. Here are 5 natural ways to increase your chance of conceiving:

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Being under or overweight can disrupt normal reproductive cycles and increase the time it takes to conceive two to fourfold.

Stay active, but don’t overdo it. Exercise is important for general health, so it’s important to keep up your fitness routine. However, you may want to take the pace down a notch. If falling pregnant is your number one goal, your body needs energy to produce a healthy egg. High exercise volume or intensity may impair ovulation, so engage in more moderate activities like walking, Pilates, and yoga.

Avoid alcohol. The latest research shows that in order to optimise sperm, egg and embryonic quality men and women should definitely avoid alcohol due to is teratogenic effects, says Gabriela Rosa, naturopath, fertility expert and author of Eat Your Way to Parenthood. Alcohol has also been shown to negatively impact egg and sperm quality including count, morphology and motility leading to triple sperm defects, which are generally enough to cause serious fertility concerns, Rosa adds.

Eat by the rainbow. Rosa advises her clients to improve their nutrition by focusing on a whole foods diet. Antioxidants found in colourful fruits and vegetables such as vitamin A, C, E (and many others) improve the development of sperm, egg and embryo, reducing the risk of miscarriage and helping to create the healthiest possible baby, says Rosa.

It takes two. A healthy egg requires a healthy sperm. There’s no point in a woman drinking green tea and eating kale if her partner is downing soda and Big Macs. According to Rosa, Men are 50% of the conception and healthy baby equation and need to follow the same principles outlined for women when it comes to optimising fertility. A healthy diet is paramount for optimum male fertility as well as many other lifestyle and environmental factors, which make a very important difference to a couple’s ultimate outcome of creating the healthy baby of their dreams. For this reason it’s best to avoid junk foods and takeaways, which can contain bad trans-fats and lower sperm quality and production.

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