If the joys of motherhood are beckoning, now is the time to start preparing the body to conceive. Carrying your baby is a beautiful experience. You and your husband will create a life, and then that life will grow within you for nine whole months.
What the body can accomplish never ceases to amaze.
In order to become pregnant and create the most nourishing environment for your baby, it’s important to make several changes today. Parents realize the importance of the first several years for cognitive development. Too often we discount the power of the first nine months.
You control the environment that your baby will start their life in. Research shows the importance of the nine months in the womb for development. A baby’s brain and nervous system are some of the first systems to start developing. Your body’s relationship with your growing baby is so strong that your baby’s taste buds are even influenced by what you eat during pregnancy.
Giving your baby the most nourishing environment starts prior to conception. Luckily, the same steps we take to create that environment also increase fertility and your chances at becoming pregnant.
While your diet should be tailored to your unique chemical makeup, here are several diet basics that are universal.
It Takes Two to Tango
Too often when we talk about infertility, we isolate our focus on women. Your partner’s health plays equally into conception. As the old saying goes, “It takes two to tango.” Your child will be built from 50% of your DNA, and 50% from your partner’s genetic makeup.
While you are working to establish foundational health, ensure that your husband’s health is accounted for as well. I’ve often worked with couples where the woman is taking every measure to increase fertility where her husband maintains a processed diet, decreased physical exercise, or detrimental activities such as frequent hot tub use.
You can do everything in your power to prepare your womb to conceive, but if the sperm doesn’t have the gusto to make it, you will be facing another month of infertility.
Preparing for conception is something you both need to commit to in order to make the healthiest baby possible.
Caffeine is a stimulant. That’s why so many Americans clutch to their java to kick start their day. As a stimulant, caffeine increases your heart rate and blood rate.
Not ideal for preparing the body to conceive.
While some experts suggest limiting caffeine to 150 milligrams per day (the equivalent of a 12oz cup of coffee) or less, it’s best to completely cut it out if you can. Stimulants aren’t ideal for nourishing the body.
In addition, the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology released a study citing that caffeine consumption of 200mg per day or more increased likelihood of miscarriage compared to those who didn’t consume caffeine. Other reports, such as one by Epidemiology, didn’t conclude there was an increased risk.
While the scientific world finalizes their findings, it’s much better to be on the safer, caffeine-free side of the equation.
Remove Processed Gluten
There are countless unexplained causes for infertility. Studies looking into potential reasons have started to pinpoint gluten as one of the roadblocks to conceiving. A Prospective Study cited that 5.6% of patients struggling to conceive were suffering from undiagnosed Celiac Disease.
Whether or not you have untreated Celiac Disease, removing gluten for 4-6 months can help alert the body to start conceiving. Creating a baby primarily utilizes fats and proteins. There is little starch involved in the process. By altering your diet to provide more ample resources for growing a baby, you signal the body that it’s time to prepare for pregnancy. When the body starts preparing, it helps to increase the likelihood of conceiving.
Eliminate Trans Fatty Acids
It’s not news that trans fatty acids are detrimental to our health. Despite the warnings, the mainstream adoption of foods such as doughnuts, cookies, muffins, fries, and more continues. I recommend completely removing all sources from your diet immediately. Not only are they a hindrance to getting pregnant, a study that followed 104 girls on their 25 year journey to adulthood noted that increased amounts of trans fatty acids was independently associated with an increased risk of having at least one miscarriage.
The deep fat, fried foods aren’t worth the risk.
If you’re worried about removing some of your favorite flavors from your weekly routine, consider homemade options. Often you are able to use substitutes that keep flavor but remove trans fatty acids.
Increase the Healthy Fats
As mentioned, babies are primarily made from protein and fat. This means you need to increase your healthy fat consumption. Additionally, sex hormones are made primarily out of fatty acids. Low-fat diets limit the production of sex hormones.
Here are several healthy fat sources you can build into your diet:
- Coconut oil,
- Whole milk and cream,
- Egg yolks,
- Full fat cheeses,
- Dark chicken meats,
- 80-85% lean ground beef,
- Nuts and seeds.
Especially with fat sources, it’s very important to choose organic. Nature stores nutrients in fat cells. When we choose food sources that have been exposed to chemicals, pesticides, and other harmful substances, the toxins are stored in the fat.
Alter Special Diets
Many women I work with choose to follow vegetarian or vegan diets. When done properly, these diets can be incredibly rewarding for the body.
It’s important to know that your vegetarian diet for daily living and the vegetarian diet for an expecting mother are different.
Even if you are consuming the necessary nutrients from your diet today, the needs of your baby will alter the way the body uses resources. Particularly in specialized diets, it’s essential to evaluate your needs and adjust consumption to meet the new nutritional needs.
Underscoring Importance of Nutrition
It’s almost a daily occurrence that someone mentions that as humans, we have been conceiving since the dawn of time. Why then, would they need to work with a nutritionist on something as natural as childbirth?
The reason is that there is currently an epidemic in society, particularly in America.
While childbirth may be a natural part of life, diseases such as ADHD, diabetes, and pediatric depression occur when the components of the body are not in unison. In short, it’s a chemical alteration and not a natural one. Many of these diseases are directly related to the toxins that we put in our bodies.
In the United States, we are one of the richest countries in the world, yet we see the highest incident of ADHD, autism, and other development disorders.
It stems from our Standard American Diet (SAD) and the unnatural modifications that we have made to our food in the last several decades. The food we eat is no longer the nourishing sources that we put into our bodies decades ago. Rather, it fills our systems with toxins that alter our chemical makeup.
We also see the impacts in couples struggling to conceive. The CDC states that, “12% of women 15–44 years of age in the United States have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term.”
What was once a very natural process now sees countless barriers.
Working with me, we can return pregnancy to the more natural process that nature intended. It starts with the food you use to nourish your body with. Contact me today to schedule your free, fifteen-minute consultation. Together, we can put you on the road to conceiving.