You may have heard that my husband, Steven, and I are expecting baby number two. Well, you heard right! We’re planning to welcome him or her into our family in the first part of October and we couldn’t be more excited! I’m sure once Laramie figures out what’s going on she’ll be excited too. :-) Pictured below: Laramie making the baby announcement on Easter.
I often get questions from soon-to-be mommys about preparing for their new addition. I love talking to pregnant women about what they could be doing to improve their health DURING pregnancy, but often forgotten is what could be done BEFORE pregnancy to make the transition into pregnancy easier for mom and her new little addition. These are called pre-conception considerations – things we should be thinking about BEFORE THE BABY!
1. Ditch the birth control. This seems obvious, but most people assume that you are ready to conceive as soon as you stop taking it. Hormonal birth control (pill, IUD, implant, etc) should be stopped AT LEAST six months prior to conception. A year is better. Hormonal birth control is designed to “trick” your body into thinking it’s already pregnant. Imagine what this has done to your normal hormone balance after taking them for 3 years, 5 years, or 10+ years. To achieve and maintain a pregnancy, your body needs to learn how to regulate your hormones without synthetic assistance. To avoid pregnancy, consider barrier methods or Natural Family Planning such as the Creighton Model. Visit http://www.creightonmodel.com for more information.
2. Ditch the drugs. Again, this sounds like a no-brainer. But think of all the times you took Tylenol or Advil for your headache or some NyQuil for that cold. No matter how “safe” drug companies would like you to believe their medications are, the safer route is to assume that there IS NO SUCH THING AS A SAFE MEDICATION DURING PREGNANCY. Start practicing natural, non-medication treatments for aches and pains or colds. Might I recommend CHIROPRACTIC?! Chiropractic is so much more than pain relief, but boy are we good at it! Did you know that one adjustment can boost your immune system by up to 400%? If you have a cold or flu, getting adjusted can help you get better faster or it can help prevent getting sick in the first place! I also recommend checking out one of my Natural Parenting Classes where I talk about several other natural remedies for common conditions.
3. Eat more nutritious foods. Load up on vegetables and fruit and eliminate the processed foods. Start cutting out caffeine. Making these changes can take time; trying to do any of it “cold turkey” (starting or stopping) can be harder even after you’ve found out you’re expecting. This is also a great time to start supplementing your nutrition with – what else? – supplements, especially folic acid. Forget the pre-natal vitamins you can buy at any big box retailer. They’re not worth taking. Find a high quality whole food vitamin that contains at least 400 mcg of folic acid. The best way to get it is from dark green leafy veggies or from juicing, but if you’re short on those, supplementation with a whole food based supplement is a great second choice. Anyone who is of child-bearing age and could possibly become pregnant needs to make sure they are getting enough folic acid. It is important in the first few weeks of development - AKA: Before you even find out you’re pregnant! Starting to supplement after a positive pregnancy test is TOO LATE!!!
4. Exercise! Get in a great exercise routine before pregnancy. It will be much easier to continue once you are pregnant.
5. Reduce your stress and put on a happy face. Having a positive attitude during pregnancy and reducing your stress load will make for a healthier, happier baby. Again, changing these things can take time and it’s much easier BEFORE you’re pregnant!
For more information, please check out my Natural Parenting Classes. For more information click HERE.