This is one main reason why preconception care is so important. If you take the time before conceiving to rid your body of these unnecessary additions, you can boost your fertility, balance your hormone levels, and get your body feeling great so that when the time is right, your body is ready and raring to go. When we remove the things that harm us, our bodies can begin to heal themselves, which is something they do naturally.
Preconception is the best time to quit smoking and stop drinking alcohol. The reason for this is that when you end the use of these products, your body can go into detox mode, and when this happens, all the bad stuff in your body starts to leave. If you are pregnant when you do this, these substances may enter the developing fetus. This is true of all detoxes. If you want to detox, do so long before conception.
Check out the Environmental Working Group’s website to see how your products rate. They have an amazing database for these products. Books like Ecoholic and Gorgeously Green have great product lists for you to check out. I will also have information in upcoming posts.
Another way toxins sneak into our lives is through household cleaners. There are so many chemicals that we inhale and/or absorb through the skin while cleaning and even after the cleaning is done, that just getting rid of them will help you tremendously. Any product with a skull and crossbones or the corrosive symbol should be out of the house for good, and make sure to take them to an eco-station so they can dispose of it properly. Truthfully, any product with any hazardous symbol should be removed from your home.
My general rule is that if I can’t eat it, I shouldn’t be cleaning with it. This does sound extreme, but I just use different combinations of vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, and water to clean.
Toxins are all around us, and knowing this is useful. By removing products that are unhealthy, we can notice a dramatic shift in our health.
When everything is working normally, we have the possibility to create life every month. Now is the time to follow your menstrual cycle and get to know the feelings you have at each stage. It is also a great time to chart your cycle so you can find out when you are ovulating. This is a good piece of information to have when you do start trying to conceive so that you can time sex with your most fertile day(s).
Another way to get what you are feeling out into the world is to journal. Take 5 minutes a day and write what comes to mind. This is an amazing exercise, and you will learn a lot about yourself.
Meditation is another way to get to know yourself. It can be as easy as sitting comfortably, closing your eyes, and counting your breath. Count your inhales and exhales up to 10 and then start over. If you find that your mind is wondering, and it will, just bring it back to your breath. This is such a beautiful way to relax and listen to your body. Five minutes a day is great to start.
Take time to enjoy your baby-less life. This one sounds harsh, but why not go to that movie or out for a special dinner? Soon you may not have the time or energy to do these things, so enjoying them now is smart. When you can enjoy life the way it is right in that moment, that is truly living. What will come, will come whether you stress about it or take a breath and enjoy the scenery. I know which way I want to go! Much of life is thinking/worrying/dreaming about the future, so take a step back and take the time to cherish this moment.
Preconception is also a time to build your stores of various nutrients and fat. Your body will need more of all of these to grow a healthy baby. A great place to start is to add more greens into your current diet. This includes any type of kale, Swiss chard, bok choy, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, etc.
There are so many benefits to upping your leafy green intake. Here are a few: improved circulation; improved liver, gallbladder, and kidney function (which is great when you are removing toxins because they will aid the process); strengthened immune and respiratory systems; and they also promote healthy intestinal flora. They are naturally high in calcium, magnesium, and iron, as well as antioxidants. They are also a good source of folate, the B vitamin necessary to help prevent certain birth defects.
A random, cool thing about greens is that out of all the diets one can follow (paleo, raw, vegan, low oil high carb, etc), all of them agree on the benefits of greens. That’s a big deal because they do not agree on much else.
Along with increasing green intake, you will also want to increase your healthy fats. Seeds, nuts, coconut oil, and avocados are great sources. There are omega 3 fats that are a little more difficult for a vegan to get (EPA and DHA), but don’t dispair, sources do exist. There are now products out there that are sourced from algae that contain these fats. This is great news for us.
Omega 3 fats are needed for the proper development of your baby’s brain, they aid fertility by increasing blood flow to the reproductive organs, and they reduce inflammation. We can also get them through flax and chia seeds and walnuts. To learn more, click here.
During pregnancy, the developing baby needs a lot of protein to build every cell in the body. Protein deficiency can result in reduced growth of the fetus. You can start upping your protein intake at this time to make the transition easier. The recommended amount of protein during pregnancy is 70-75 grams, so you can start increasing the amount a little each month. Check out my post on protein here for more information.
Food is what makes us and our babies at the cellular level. It is important to choose the best we can with the resources we have. Preconception can be such a special time. We can prepare our bodies and minds for the upcoming pregnancy and learn a lot about ourselves and life in general.
You may have also noticed a link to get the free guide on 3 Ways to Aid Fertility. This guide has great tips to help balance your hormones, remove toxins, and get you on track for making a beautiful, healthy baby. Please sign up if this interests you.