Happy May! Spring is here and so is MOTHER’S DAY! Oh, how I have enjoyed being a mother! Celebrating Mother’s Day has always held a special place in my heart, but now even more, being a mother myself and taking care of so many wonderful moms and realizing how much my own mother has done for me!
What I want to talk about today is our health as mothers, specifically our health prior to becoming a mother! The state of health that we are in prior to conceiving has a huge impact on the health of the pregnancy and of the baby! Thankfully, Kyle and I had no troubles when trying to get pregnant with Anna, but I know that is not the case for a lot of families. Here are a few things that we did starting 120 days prior to trying to conceive. Let’s go through a few suggestions and then we will talk about why this is so important if you are wanting to grow your family soon!
Diet- we decide together to eliminate most processed food from our diet. This included items like bread, tortilla chips (this was one of my biggest struggles), and candy. We mainly did this when we ate at home or with meals that we could control. When we would go out to dinner with friends or family, we were not overly concerned, but we did try to order a healthy option from the menu. This is so important because once the egg and sperm come together, the baby receives all of it nutrients from the lining of mom’s uterus for the first 10-13 weeks. This is why we need to make sure that the diet that mom consumes prior to pregnancy is healthy, as this will be feeding the baby and assisting with a healthy implantation. After the 13-week mark, baby then receives it nutrients directly from mom through the umbilical cords, so moms diet needs to stay clean and healthy, and dads, you should try to maintain a healthy lifestyle after as well, but it does not need to be as strict. 😉
Beverages - Neither Kyle or myself are big drinkers, but when out at a community event or with friends, a glass of wine or bourbon are definitely enjoyed (the bourbon is Kyle’s selection, 😊). Once again, we both committed to stop all alcohol consumption and really limit ourselves to drinking mainly water. Kyle would have an occasional glass of iced tea to have something different and I would go with a lemonade randomly. I also cut out my caffeine consumption by not drinking green tea, I was able to substitute that easily with other teas, and thankfully, neither of us are coffee drinkers so we didn’t need to worry about that, but if we were, it would have been one of the items to get eliminated as well.
Exercise – getting into the best physical shape prior to pregnancy was really important for me as I wanted to continue to work as long as possible during my pregnancy (and thankfully I was able to see patients up till the day before we had Anna). But the reason that it is so important to start a good exercise regimen prior to pregnancy is because it is not recommended to start a new program during pregnancy. So, for us, this meant running or doing a HITT style workout at least 3 times a week. I was able to continue exercising most of my pregnancy and even run the Hot Chocolate 5K at 7 months pregnant. If you are not currently exercising, it is a great time to start, especially as the weather warms! Start by going for short walks, and then increase the distance and the speed of the walk to get to a good cardio activity for around 20 minutes.
Mindset- getting into the right head space to welcome a child into our lives was huge! We were enjoying our time together as a couple and liked our freedom so knowing that all of that was going to change was a bit intimidating. This is when I picked up adult coloring and even found some great options with pregnancy mantras (let me know if you would like a copy). We also talked about how our life would change and got excited to see each other become a parent! I can image how this conversation is different when you already have one child- you may be telling yourself that we are at a good place now, and have somewhat of a routine, or possibly even asking yourself how could you love another child like your first? These are things that need to be talked about as a couple as you prepare for pregnancy. Some other good ideas here would be journaling or mediating.
Sleep – oh glorious sleep! How I miss sleeping like I did before we had Anna! 😊 We made sure to give our bodies plenty of rest to allow for it to regenerate as it needed. Sleep is the time that our body heals from the stresses of the day! We wanted to make sure our body was as healthy as possible, so we had a focus on getting plenty of sleep!
And of course, Regular Chiropractic Care! I cannot leave this biggie out of the equation. Kyle and I have both been getting adjusted on a regular basis (at least every 2 weeks) for a long time now. Kyle has it easy as when he wants an adjustment he asks me and usually I say yes. 😉 The reason chiropractic care is important because subluxations in the lower back may interfere with the communication from the brain to our reproductive organs. Chiropractic adjustments in the lower back will help restore the proper communication and allow for the organs to function as they are initially designed. To me, that is a big deal as we need to ovaries to release a healthy egg, we need the uterus to be healthy for implantation and we need healthy sperm production!
So these are a few of the things we did. But, why? Well, we wanted to eliminate all possible risks by making sure that my egg and Kyle’s sperm were as healthy as they could be. And no, this does not guarantee a healthy child, but we thought it wouldn’t hurt. And Kyle choose to do these things even though he was not the one getting pregnant because baby is 50% mom and 50% dad, so it is important for dad to be just a healthy as mom.
And why for 120 days prior to trying to conceive? There are a few reasons, but the main one being that the egg that is released at ovulation started its journey of maturation 120 days prior. And for sperm, it takes 60 days to change their health, so this gives them ample time to become healthier. Also, in this time, our red blood cells are fully replaced, making sure that they also are as healthy as possible, so they can deliver good nutrients to the baby.
So, these are a few recommendations for families that are wanting to start trying to conceive soon. For those that may have been trying to conceive for a while now and are having difficulties, I also have some supplementation recommendations. If this is you or someone you know, please let me know so that we can talk more on this to help you have a healthy pregnancy and child!
Thanks for reading, and sorry it was such a long post this month! But lots of important information to share! Please share this is someone who you may feel will benefit from this information!