Let me start by asking you a few questions, my friend… When you think about preparing for conception, what comes to mind? Most likely, and what I hear from quite a few women – financial stability, contentment in marriage and age seem to come up first.
Now take a moment to think about pregnancy and your future baby – what comes to mind? A healthy pregnancy without complications, a smooth birth, a strong baby with ten fingers and ten toes… sound about right?
I think most of us are on the same page here, but what I’ve found as a Nutritional Therapist working with couples on optimizing fertility and finding natural ways to increase fertility is that most couples leave it up to “chance” or “good genes”, cross their fingers and pray for the best!
And this is by no means anyones fault, it’s how we’ve been taught to think about conception in our current day and age.
The problem is that millions of couples struggle with infertility each month due to common health issues, poor diets and lifestyle habits, stress, a toxic environment, obesity and so on.
What most couples don’t realize is that they have more to say in the matter, the ability to set their conception story on a beautiful trajectory with less stress and more celebration and joy.
Did you know that what you do prior to conceiving can improve your fertility, chances of conceiving naturally and sustaining a healthy pregnancy, encourage less complications and most excitingly, help create a vibrant baby that flourishes upon birth and into their later years in life!? Wow, that’s a lot of goodness.
Most of the underlying issues related to infertility can be greatly improved by enhancing a couple’s diet and lifestyle and decreasing their toxic load and life stressors.
Research shows that the work we put in the 3-6 months prior to conceiving can create a powerfully positive change in our entire conception, pregnancy and birth experience (not to mention how it affects baby!) and the coolest part is that we as future parents have the ability to make it happen by what we eat and how we live on the daily.
I don’t know about you, but I feel pretty encouraged by that fact.
So what exactly do you need to do to get started on a healthier conception path to improve your and your hubby’s fertility? Let’s take a look…
NOURISH. NOURISH. NOURISH.
What you eat is foundational to a healthy body. And a healthy body is a fertile body. Your diet also plays a huge role in your hormonal health, a huge piece of the fertility puzzle.
So many of us have counted calories and restricted vital nutrients like fat from our diets for years leaving us in a poor nutritional state, messing with our hormones and reproductive organs. The fertility diet is all about super-nourishment, incorporating plenty of healthy fats, clean protein sources and nutrient-dense carbohydrates with plenty of vitamins and minerals showered in there.
The simplest way to get started? Focus on real, whole foods and get rid of any processed, packaged junk from your diet. Focus on getting fats from grass-fed butter or ghee, coconut and olive oils, egg yolks, avocado, nuts and seeds and fatty fish like salmon and sardines, protein from sustainably raised, organic meats, poultry and wild fish and carbohydrates from lots of colorful veggies, fruit and a small amount of gluten-free grains like brown rice, quinoa and oats.
I especially love pastured egg yolks, grass-fed liver, cod liver oil and raw cream for baby makin’!
DETOX YOUR BEAUTY BAG AND CLEANING ROUTINE.
The chemicals present in our beauty and skincare products, our household and office cleaning products, the water we drink and shower in, our air quality, etc. can all contribute to the toxic load our bodies walk around with each day. These toxic chemicals can wreak havoc on our precious hormones which can have a grave effect on fertility… in both partners.
The most obvious way to begin improving your environment is by removing the toxic items and replacing them with safe, clean and health giving alternatives. It can seem overwhelming, where do you even start? Begin with what you have control over like your beauty, skincare and household cleaning products and work your way from there.
If you’re not planning on conceiving in the near future, you can begin swapping out products as you run out, but if conception is in the next 3-6 months, consider a major product overhaul. Primally Pure has been foundational to my own product revamp and I only used their skincare products during my own pregnancy (the body butter is perfection on a growing baby bump!).
My favorite all-purpose cleaning product is Branch Basics cleaning concentrate. I use it for anything and everything in my home and I’ve found it’s literally the only cleaning product I need! No joke, it’s that good.
Detoxification is also a very important piece of preconception preparation, but always make sure to work with a qualified health practitioner, like myself, when starting a detox program and make sure to avoid intentional detox while you’re trying to conceive or once you become pregnant.
GET A LITTLE MORE ZEN, MY FRIEND.
It seems like stress is inevitable in our current day and age, right? But research has shown us over and over just how damaging it is on our health, specifically our fertility. If stress is at the root of all disease, I’d sure like to have as little of it in my life as possible!
So, how in the world do we make that a reality? Begin by taking a few quiet minutes to write out the stressors in your life then ask yourself and your partner how you can begin to address why it’s there and how you can begin to decrease it or better cope. We’re not always able to get rid of all our stressors, but just practicing mindfulness and taking some action to better deal can make some pretty powerful improvements in our health journey.
For women, I am always recommending more self-care time. We all need it, big time. Make sure to schedule self-care blocks each week (or daily!) and stick to it. A quiet detox bath, massage, dinner with your bestie, a good book in the park, a long run with your pup… whatever you need to recharge your soul – make it a priority in your life. You deserve it, beautiful.