Planning a bubba soon? Here is what you need to know before you start.
Preconception care is an undeniably important aspect of fertility and conception. Not only does it boost both you and you partners (yes, preconception care includes your partner) health but has also been shown to improve health outcomes of your baby through infancy and far beyond. Preconception care should begin at least 3 months prior to conception but ideally 6-12 months prior, especially if you are needing to resolve nutrient deficiencies or other health concerns.
These are the top things on my preconception checklist that can really help support you on your journey.
✔️BUILD A HEALTHCARE TEAM
Having support along the way is a game changer. These can be anyone from an amazing GP, Naturopath/Nutritionist, Acupuncturist, Psychologists/Counselor & Massage Therapists. Anyone who is going be an amazing ally for your fertility journey & beyond. These people will be there to support you through the ups & downs. We have a fantastic team of empathetic practitioners here at Vive. Meet our team here.
Unfortunately not all prenatal supplements are created equal. Look for something with active folate (i.e folinic acid, 5-MTHF), choline, b12, iodine, vitamin d. Naturobest Preconception Multi is my go-to. Purchase here now.
✔️CORRECT NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES
Heading into pregnancy with robust nutrient stores, especially iron/Vit D/B12/folate/zinc, is so important to ensure you are feeling your best & you’re body has everything it needs to function at its best for you & your bub. Maternal nutrition status prior to conception & throughout pregnancy has a significant influence of fetal growth & development.
Stress can have a pretty negative impact on fertility. Finding that practitioner that helps you feel calm, relaxed & supported can help enormously. Prioritise your self-care routine & you! If there was ever a time to top up your cup, it’s now.
✔️TRACK YOUR CYCLE
Get to know your cycle intimately & your fertile window. This means tracking you cervical mucus and basal body temperature. Some women also find the Ovulation Predictors Kits (available in pharmacies), which detect the surge in luteinizing hormone that precedes ovulation really helpful too. I’ve written more about this topic here https://www.nourishnaturopathy.com.au/blog/2018/11/4/the-importance-of-charting-your-cycle
This is the time to invest in the best quality food you can afford. Nourishing food truly is the foundation of good fertility that no supplement can ever replace. Aim for organic where possible but if not just ensure you’re produce is well washed before consumption.
✔️THINGS TO LIMIT OR AVOID
This is a good opportunity to start reducing your intake of both caffeine and alcohol. Aim for no more than 1 shot of coffee daily. Great replacements for coffee include herbal tea (i.e. Pukka Teas are my go-to), dandy chai or decaf coffee. With regard to alcohol, zero intake is optimal. A 2014 systematic review published by Lassi et al determined preconception consumption of alcohol, especially when consumed during the period from conception to receiving a positive pregnancy test where fetal development is particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol could leading to fetal malformations & miscarriage https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4196566/
And most importantly ENJOY THE PROCESS. What an exciting journey ahead 🤰🏼🤰🏽🤰🏿
Some recommended resources:
Real Food for Pregnancy – Lily Nichols
It Starts with the Egg – Rebecca Fett
Awakening Fertility – Heng Ou
Mindy Pearson is a clinical Naturopath with special interests in menstrual & hormonal health, preconception & intuitive eating. Mindy is currently studying to become a Midwife. To book a consultation with Mindy click here or phone Vive on 3399 1002.