- Dr. Liz Homan
Who is thinking about having a baby soon? Do you know that doing some work prior to conception can help get your body into a place a true health and wellbeing before conceiving! When you do this, you may be able to conceive on your desired timeline with more ease and you may also have an easier pregnancy.
So, what are the things that you should be doing prior to conception to help restore your health?
First if you part of the 30% of women who are on birth control, you will need to talk to your physician about ending your prescription. And like most women, you may think that you will be able to get pregnant as soon as you stop taking your birth control. Well, for the last several months or years, you have been convincing your body that you are pregnant, so an egg does not mature, for 21 days out of the month and then for 7 days of the month you take the placebo and experience a sudden decrease in hormone levels leading to menstruation. A woman not on birth control has an egg mature and then the menstrual period is caused when that egg is not fertilized. Due to this, many doctors will recommend waiting at least 2 to 3 months after stopping the pill before attempting to get pregnant so the body has time to begin this process naturally again.
While you are in this 2 or 3 month wait period, you can be focusing on some other areas of your life as well. You want to focus on avoiding chemicals, eating healthy and exercising!
Chemicals, such as those found in processed foods, cleaning supplies, etc. have been found to be unhealthy for you. Links between many food additives and pregnancy risks have been found, for example, a daily intake of artificially sweetened soft drinks may increase the risk of preterm delivery. Another study showed that consuming aspartame during pregnancy may potentially contribute to autism and spina bifida. Most women know to avoid caffeine while pregnant but that also applies to the preconception period as well. Two studies in 2008 showed that women who consume 200mg or more of caffeine are twice as likely to miscarry. If you are wanting some ideas on natural cleaning supplies, check out this post (Clean Cleaning (infinitelifechiro.com)).
We are all aware that we need to eat a healthy, well-rounded diet, but this applies even more when thinking about becoming pregnant! The food that you consume will fuel the body to help the baby develop and you want to make sure that the baby is getting the needed nutrients right from the start before the placenta is developed! You do want to try to eat as organically as possible to avoid the chemical and pesticides that are used on commercially grown foods. Genetically modified foods should be avoided as well since they have not been tested to know the effects that they will have on your growing baby. So with that, you want to try to eat a whole food diet and some say that eating 6 small meals a day is best. You also want to make sure to drink at least 8 glasses of high quality water a day! It is also recommended that you start taking a prenatal vitamin at least 3 months prior to conception to make sure that it gets to the egg that is going to be fertilized. If you have questions on what is a good prenatal vitamin, please let me know and I can get you some good recommendations and resources!
If you are already exercising on a regular basis, make sure to continue with that as you prepare to become pregnant. If you hare not already on an exercise regimen, now is a great time to begin! Since you are not supposed to begin a new exercise program while pregnant, it is important to begin it prior to conception so that you can get the benefits of exercise during your pregnancy. This can be as simple as walking 30-45 minutes a day to doing a more strenuous exercise routine! If you have questions about specific exercise, please reach out to your trainer or I may be able to guide you on a few exercises to help improve your core strength. Your core strength will be really important when baby starts to grow and your body’s center of gravity changes later on in pregnancy.
And while you are doing these things for yourself, encourage your partner to do them as well as I always like to say, “dad is half of the equation” and his health will play a big role in the ease of conception.
These three components are really important in assisting you in having a natural, easy conception, but if you find that after several months of trying to conceive things are not going as planned, please reach out to me and I would love to assist you on a few more specific nutritional and supplemental recommendations to ensure that your body is in optimal health for conceiving.
One final note, chiropractic care can also be really important during this time as well. Chiropractic has been found to correct distortions in parts of the body where the reproductive organs are located, and this can have a positive effect on many fertility issues.
So, if you are interested in learning more on how chiropractic care can impact you and your conception journey, set up a time (bit.ly/InfiniteLC) for an new patient evaluation and we can talk through all of the details.