How I Prepared My Body for PregnancyFeb 20, 2020
This photo is from March 2019 in Kenya.
My husband and I already knew we wanted to start trying for a baby that fall, and this was our big pre-baby trip! After this trip we did a gentle detox to prepare our bodies, but the biggest preparations we made actually happened long before this.
It is recommended to start preparing your body for pregnancy at least three to six months before you want to conceive. Well, I got started a little sooner than that, four years sooner to be exact.
Okay, okay, of course the changes I was making were simply for the purposes of wanting to live healthier in general, not because I wanted to conceive in four years. I’m a planner, but not that much of a planner! But changes are easier done when they happen gradually, allowing them to become lasting changes that you don’t even have to think about anymore.
Creating Lasting Habits
When I wanted to cut out soda and drink more water, at first I had to consciously think about it throughout my day, then eventually it became a habit to ask for water instead of soda. Then came the biggest changing point where I actually started to prefer my healthier choice over my old habit and was shocked at how much sugar I used to consume.
Now remember, a part of lasting changes is also being human. I still love a cold coke on a hot day at the beach while on vacation, but that happens maybe three times a year. It’s not a daily habit, nor a weekly habit, and not even a monthly one. Plus, now I can’t even finish half a soda when I do choose to indulge because it’s too sugary for my taste buds!
My point is, creating lasting habits is a process.
I am going to list out quite a few examples of areas where I personally prepared my body for pregnancy, but please don’t be overwhelmed and think you have to do these all in the next three months before you conceive.
The most important thing is that you start the journey towards healthier living, because not only do you want to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, but you also want to feel your best for many, many more years to come.
How I Prepared My Body for Pregnancy
Cleaned up my diet.
This is the first place I started and is one of the most important. I focused on incorporating more whole foods, including organic when I was able. I started with buying organic fruits and veggies that were on the dirty dozen list. I also prioritized organic meat, dairy and eggs.
Now I eat about 70% organic whole foods and have prioritized this in my budget to make it so. I also had to significantly up my cooking skills, because the best place to eat whole foods is your own kitchen. I still make very simple dishes, but had to expand my horizons of different ways to cook veggies and legumes and grains etc.
One of the biggest ways I was able to clean up my diet was to allow more time to cook, prep and clean etc. This looked like working from home for me, which I know isn’t for everyone, but however your schedule looks, prioritizing getting home at a certain hour or grocery shopping and meal prepping on the weekends makes a huge difference.
Cleaned up my personal care products.
This includes anything you put on your body such as deodorant, toothpaste, lotion, shampoo, makeup, etc. It was important to me to clean up my personal care products because so many of the ingredients in conventional products are now known hormone disruptors! You don’t want anything messing with your hormones when trying to conceive. This was a process for me which felt very overwhelming at first because there are so many natural product options, and some even claim to be more natural yet aren’t.
The thing that helped me the most was signing up for Young Living’s monthly subscription box called Essential Rewards. For the past four years I have chosen what I want in my monthly box and it was the easiest way for me to ditch and switch my products from a company that I fully trusted.
Cleaned up my home cleaning products.
Also included in my monthly Essential Rewards boxes were Young Living’s home cleaners. I use their plant based Thieves household cleaner on literally everything in my home. Home cleaners are always one of the first things new moms realize they need to switch, because they see their babies crawling on their floors and putting their mouths on everything. But why not switch now?! Your hormones will thank you.
Cleaned up my medicine cabinet.
I used to pop a pill for every little ache and pain, cold, and flu. When you’re pregnant you can’t take any of those things, plus there are plenty of reasons to not take them in general! So why not start now? No I don’t just suffer when I get hit with something, now I play on the offense and focus on strengthening my immune system so I don’t get sick in the first place. Below I’ll cover how I do that. But if I’m not on my game and do succumb to sickness, my medicine cabinet is now filled with Young Living essential oils. Now when I have an ache or pain, or cold or flu, I reach straight for my oils and they help me tremendously.
Strengthened my immune system.
One of the biggest reasons I was able to clean out my medicine cabinet is because I now get sick less frequently and with less severity. This is important if you’re wanting to get pregnant because it’s no fun being sick and pregnant! Plus you want a strong healthy body to grow a baby. I have strengthened my immune system in a few ways:
1. My diet. I don’t eat much sugar, which is known to decrease your immune system. I focus on improving my gut health by drinking homemade bone broth in soups and eating probiotic rich foods such as kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. The gut is responsible for much of our immune health.
2. Supplements. My daily protocol during the winter months is vitamin C, vitamin D, probiotics and Ningxia Red. Ningxia Red is Young Living’s antioxidant immune boosting drink made from pureed Ningxia wolfberries. I take 2oz of it every morning and it has made a world of difference for my immune system.
3. Sleep. My husband just had a mild flu and I believe I managed to stay clear because of the above things but also because I slept a full 9 hours every night. Albeit, the 9 hours could be because I’m pregnant, but I am a firm believer in 8 hours of sleep for optimal health for everyone, especially for boosting your immune system.
Started Taking a Prenatal
I have been taking a prenatal for years, simply because it’s a great multivitamin! It’s never too soon to start taking one.
Quit birth control & started charting my cycle with FAM
While I was only on birth control for three months many years ago, I still wanted to include this step because it is crucial for preparing your body for pregnancy. Once your cycle returns after getting off birth control, I highly recommend you start charting your cycle with FAM. I shared in a previous post all about how FAM helped me on my journey to conceive and if you’d like to learn exactly how to practice FAM yourself, I have an online video course specifically for you!
Made more space in my life.
This can look different for everyone, but for me this looked like becoming less busy. I know life in general is busy, but it only gets busier when you add a baby to the equation. So my husband and I started leaving more nights free during the weeknights and more weekends free to just be. We commit to less in general now, and it has felt so good. Soon this extra free time will get filled up again with a baby, but we hope this value for a slower lifestyle that we have established will continue even with children as much as possible.
Moved my body.
I finally found things that I LOVE to do, so that I do them consistently. I’m not an intense worker-outer, but I have found what works for my body and makes me feel good. My routine consists of: a jog or walk outside in nature once a week, a yoga or dance class once a week, a home workout once a week, plus stretching before bed every night. I believe that having these movements built into my lifestyle has helped me stay active throughout my pregnancy and will help prepare me for the marathon of birth. Plus I hope to find a similar routine again once baby is here.
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