More and more women and couples are coming in to get healthy before trying to conceive, which I admire and love. Conception preparation means getting yourselves in optimal health well in advance of conception, in order to:
- Make a healthy baby.
- Optimize mama’s mind/body health during pregnancy.
- Become healthier parents – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
- Increase chances of successfully conceiving when you’re ready.
To influence the health of your baby, know that eggs take a good ten months to develop before ovulation, so starting conception preparation a year before pregnancy is ideal.
Conception preparation helps you…
With physical issues:
- Take care of pre-existing health problems. Our goal is to either resolve these problems or manage them successfully.
- Identify unknown problems that could affect pregnancy, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, hypothyroidism, anemia, blood sugar/insulin dysfunction, and high blood pressure.
- Get nutrient-dense eating down, so it’s a breeze during pregnancy and beyond.
- Detoxify stored chemicals and toxins. A year or more before pregnancy is the time because during pregnancy you do not want to mobilize toxins. Fewer toxins in your body mean fewer toxins in your future baby!
- Resolve digestive problems, so your digestion is better during pregnancy and your nutrient absorption is optimal.
- Investigate and improve your gut and vaginal microbiome. This will greatly influence your baby’s microbiome and immunity, as well as help to prevent Group B Strep.
- Identify any nutrient deficiencies that can affect fertility, conception, and pregnancy.
With lifestyle issues:
- Learn effective stress management techniques. Stress hormones are not conducive to conception. Plus, this will help in your future role as parents.
- Get sleep in order. If you sleep poorly, or stay up late and sleep late, change this before pregnancy. You don’t want to take care of a newborn with your own pre-existing sleep dysfunction. Also, your good sleep habits shape your baby’s sleep habits.
With emotional and communication issues:
- Check-in with yourself emotionally. Do you have a history of depression or anxiety? If so, your risk for pregnancy depression and/or anxiety is higher. Think about this possibility in advance. You may need to wean off medications and find substitutions to manage anxiety and depression. You may need to heal past wounds that could interfere with your mental health during pregnancy or as a parent.
- Get clear on parenting expectations. I encourage parents to communicate about their expectations of themselves and one another as parents. I’ve seen too many couples become pregnant with false expectations regarding their partners. In many cases this has resulted in irreconcilable conflict. Avoid this! Go on a retreat together, have conversations, read books together, or work with a therapist. Spend time together and talk about this big decision and how you both envision it.
What about dads and partners?
Did you know that about 50% of infertility is due to the guys? This is usually a sperm issue. Therefore, it’s great for men to prepare for conception as well. Sperm takes less time than eggs to influence, so 3 to 6 months may be sufficient.
Specific physical approaches for men to improve sperm quality include detoxification, a nutrient-dense diet, and replenishing nutrients not in their diet.
I welcome your questions and comments below,