Research shows that every aspect of our reproduction is adversely affected in some way by our sedentary and stressful 20th century lifestyle, diet, and living conditions.” (Naish, Francesca, and Janette Roberts. Healthy Parents, Better Babies. California: The Crossing Press,1999. Print.) Of course it has not improved in the 21st century)
Sounds daunting, but the good news is that you can take action. Preparing for pregnancy is more than deciding that the timing is right for you to have a baby. Preconception wellness is a holistic program which optimizes a couples overall health and wellbeing, to enable their reproductive health and thus fertility. It is a simple, non-invasive low tech approach, based on basic good farming principles – preventive medicine. Focusing on preconception wellness can profoundly improve a couple’s chances of a healthy, successful conception, pregnancy, birth and baby.
Although Francesca Naish and Jan Roberts, wrte their seminal works (the Better Babies’ series) over a decade ago – it all still holds true. In their book ‘Healthy Parents, Better Babies’, research has shown that preconception wellness can benefit couples and families in the following ways:
- Enhanced fertility (even for couples with advanced maternal and paternal age)
- Normal, healthy, full-term pregnancy
- Increased chance of a natural, intervention free birth
- Reduced risk of peri-natal mood and anxiety disorders such as postpartum depression
- Successful and long term breast feeding
- Healthy baby with sound physical and mental development
Preconception wellness is not a new concept. It is actually very old. Historically, couples would take time and care to prepare for their child. Ancient Romans and Greeks banned young women of childbearing age from drinking alcohol and newlywed couples were instructed to “drink no wine or strong drink and eat not any unclean thing.”
The work of Dr Weston Price showed that most traditional cultures had sacred foods to enable the very best babies to come through in well nourished, healthy mums.
So what does preconception wellness entail?
Actively participate as a couple. It takes 2 very healthy partners to make a very healthy baby. Every aspect of preconception preparation should involve both partners equally.
Take time. Ideally the preconception wellness plan is implemented over the longest possible period of time. Both partners need to focus on their plan for a minimum of 4 month (120 days) prior to any attempt to conceive. This time period is necessary to ensure there is an adequate supply on board of all the factors which are essential to the health of sperm and ova and to fetal development, and an absence of all those things which are deemed harmful. Formation of sperm may take up to 120 days.
Ova are susceptible to damage during their period of maturation which is approximately 4 months before ovulation. You CAN make a difference – as the AMH and the ‘old eggs’ argument are really just markers of your reduced health and wellness – and are markedly improved through the daily self care massage that I can teach you, whilst working on all the possible blockages you have in your own system to easy fertility and pregnancy.
You may feel impatient about waiting, but the more time spent on preconception wellness, the more effective the outcome. The less likely are all false starts and heart wrenching issues to deal with.
There are several areas that couples will need to focus on. Please download my fertility app – as the ‘raw ingredients’ section could revolutionise your loves!! As will all the common sense, practical and easy changes I direct you to make. Regardless of whether you see me for a session – this is an invaluable navigation tool through the net and my 35 years of assisting people as yourselves to make better babies – especially when all else has failed . .
- Nutrition is more than just taking a prenatal vitamin. Both prospective parents should research the important foods to eat, foods to avoid, how to combine foods and heed weight management and also take a combination of supplements which will provide an adequate supply of all the essential nutrients. Eat organic and local to minimize chemical residues and maximize nutrient content. You may consider using Skype to have a personalised session together with me – regardless of where you live. Once pregnant, mum needs to continue to focus on her nutrition and supplementation throughout pregnancy and during the full period of breastfeeding.
- Lifestyle improvements. Stop smoking. Avoid alcohol completely. Avoid drugs – both pharmaceutical drugs for chronic conditions and recreational drugs. Avoid caffeine.
- Environment clean up. Avoid exposure to toxic metals, chemicals (consider less toxic cleaning substances), ionizing radiation, and non-ionizing radiation.
- Detoxify. The body’s systems and organs – digestive (includes bowel and liver), urinary (includes kidneys), lymphatic, circulatory, respiratory and skin and immune – all need to be operating at full efficiency prior to conception. Water is the most simple method of detoxifying and 8 glasses (body temperature – no colder) are recommended daily. Eating high-antioxidant containing foods and herbs, dry brushing, Epsom salt baths, deep breathing and exercise also help. Working with an alternative health professional, an acupuncturist, herbalist, and receiving massage and bodywork can all help to enhance your detoxification. I stingy recommend you see what using a safe and effective heavy metal detoxification product – here – will do for both of you – as the breast milk although best food for baby – will carry all the Body Burden you have been exposed to – as will the baby him/herself – as the cord blood now shows at least 260 chemicals that should not be there – take the time to clean yourselves up so baby has a perfect inheritance!!
- This means if you have been told you can only get pregnant with IVF – please stop and get in the best shape to gift the best future for your as yet unmade family.
- Get fit with aerobic exercise, strengthening exercises, and flexibility exercises. It is optimum to combine elements of all 3 in your program.
- Think positively. Identify your negative thoughts and emotions and work at framing them positively. Reduce stress. Identify your sources of stress and develop stress coping mechanisms. Having fun whilst you gain health to allow the best baby possible to arrive in your life may actually be just as important as all the other preparation that you do. Perhaps find out what the natural fertility coach can offer you . .
- Learn how your body works through the fertility awareness method. Use natural birth control during the months that you are preparing for conception. This will give your body time to rid itself of the adverse effects of contraceptive pills and devices.
Look to all I have written especially ‘Helping Mother Nature – a Fertility Guide’ – online available here. Why not invest in the entire package as all you will ever need to know is on these pages and within the apps
This information is not meant to discourage prospective parents or make them apprehensive, but rather to inform and empower. Why leave the bearing of healthy children to chance? I hope this information encourages couples to actively engage and prepare for conception by building and embracing their preconception wellness plan together. The resulting benefits are priceless.