The role of the woman in pregnancy has been well-documented for generations, and of course, most women know that conceiving a child is a little bit more complicated than just making love to your partner. There are many factors that affect a woman's fertility, and thus many things she needs to do in order to get ready to have a baby. But as the saying goes, it takes two to tango and the man involved also needs to do his part.
Here are seven things men should focus on as they prepare to play their own very important role in having a baby.
Cigarettes are filled with a range of harmful toxins, none of which are good for the fully developed bodies of adults, much less the developing cells and organs that create the miracle of life. A woman who smokes while pregnant is obviously putting a child directly in harm's way. A man doing the same thing to his reproductive cells can also cause things to go awry when a couple is trying to conceive.
Cut out caffeine
A study out of Bostononce found that men who drink more than 265 milligrams of caffeine per day have a significantly reduced ability to do their part in fertility. To put it in perspective, a shot of espresso contains about 100 mg of caffeine. That means no more afternoons at the local Italian-inspired café for fathers-to-be.
Increase folic acid and vitamin intake
A lack of folic acid in both the diet of a man and a woman can increase the chances of abnormal chromosomes being formed in a fetus. Supplementing your diet with multivitamins and foods particularly rich in folate gives you the best chance of having a healthy baby that does not carry any lifelong abnormalities.
Get proper sleep and exercise
Stress impacts both men and women negatively in many different areas of life. Trying to start a family is no exception. The more exercise and sleep a man can get on a regular basis, the better the chance that he and mom-to-be will indeed become proud parents.
Reduce alcohol intake
Believe it or not, both a man and a woman can have the occasional glass of wine or beer when trying to have a child, but regular use of either is not recommended. Perhaps settling for a fruity mocktail is a better play. Sure having to neglect your favourite alcoholic beverages for a while might be tough, but look at the bright side, at least you and your partner won't have to worry about having a hangover or a headache for a while.
See a doctor regularly
This one is a given once you and your partner have already successfully conceived and the baby is alive and kicking. Most men think that the main purpose of a visit to the doctor during pregnancy is to review the ultrasound and give you cute little pictures to share with friends and family on Facebook. But of course that's not the only reason to see a doctor regularly. A medical professional can help you and your partner get on the same page when it comes to trying to have a baby and make sure that your body is in good shape, and not just in terms of your weight either.
Let your doctor know you like to start a family so that you can have all the support you need along the way and give your baby the best chance of being born healthy.