Be Prepared for Pregnancy
Cleanse and tone your body for the healthiest pregnancy possible. Research shows that taking the time to do preconception care leads to fewer symptoms in pregnancy, a healthier life for the child and a great chance at falling pregnant.
It takes close to 4 months for both the male sperm and the female egg to reach maturation. So, ladies, the egg you release this month has spent 4 months growing to full egg status inside your body and guys, the sperm you release today started its growth journey 4 months ago!
We understand that you want to be pregnant yesterday!!! However there is too much evidence supporting the fact that this four months is critical not only in achieving conception but for delivering a healthy baby.
That means to have the healthiest possible egg or sperm a minimum of 4 months is required for your preconception “get healthy” program. Typically, this 4 month period should NOT include a detox as you do not want the gamete (baby egg or sperm) being exposed to any toxins mobilised by the detox program. Detoxing should occur 6 months prior to conception.
So you have a wonderful grace period of up to 6 months in order to get yourself into tip top shape. You can do a lot in 6 months!
What are some of the factors that impact on fertility?
|Females and Males||Females||Males|
|Weight loss >10-15% of normal weight||Recent oral contraceptive use
(within 2 months)
|Inadequate zinc status|
|Inadequate antioxidant status (especially selenium, vitamin C and E)||Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa||Heavy metal exposure (lead, mercury, cadmium, manganese)|
|Inadequate body fat||Vegan diets||Halogen (in some pesticides) and glycol (in antifreeze, de-icers, some foods)|
|Excessive body fat, especially central fat||Age > 35 years||Estrogen exposure (in DDT, PCBs, some foods, plastics, etc)|
|Extreme levels of exercise||Metabolic syndrome||Sperm defects (quality, motility)|
|High alcohol intake||Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)||Excessive heat to testes|
|Endocrine disorders (eg hypothyroidism, Cushing’s disease)||Endometriosis||Steroid abuse|
|Structural abnormalities of the reproductive tract||Polycystic ovary syndrome||High intake of soy foods|
|Chromosomal abnormalities in sperm and eggs||Poor iron stores|
|Severe psychological stress|
|Diabetes, cancer, other disorders|
Factors related to altered fertility in women and men (Judith E Brown, 2011)
What does a preconception program include?
A 4-6 month preconception program is recommended for all couples looking to conceive. Curious about what this includes? Here are some of the features:
- Initial history taking and testing: There are standard things you will do in your preconception program and there are individualised things. You might be able to go to the health food store to get some basic supplements for yourself but it will take a professional case history and various tests to tailor your program specifically to you. Testing may include basic blood testing, functional pathology testing such as hormone testing, nutritional assessment, body composition analysis and live blood viewing.
- Egg and sperm optimisation: Did you know zinc is required for healthy sperm and adequate amounts of iron and B12 are essential prior to pregnancy. Also, an abundance of antioxidants in the diet will help protect the sperm and egg on their path to maturation. These and other nutrients are necessary for optimising your chances of conception and for ensuring the healthiest baby possible. Remember research now shows that the health of the egg and sperm significantly contributes to the health status of the child over his or her lifetime and as male fertility contributes 50% to the chances of conception, male preconception care is essential too
- Clean food, clean life: You will do an audit of the chemicals and lifestyle toxins you are exposed to and will be encouraged to adopt a clean lifestyle. This includes natural, wholesome and preferably organic food, chemical free cleaning and personal care products, minimising exposure at work, alcohol reduction and so on.
- Stress management: one of the biggest impediments to conception is stress. It’ s wise to get started on a relaxation program or stress management plan sooner rather than later.
- Correction of deficiencies and previous disease states: If you’ve just come off the Pill its possible you will be deficient in folic acid; if you have been stressed for a long time you may need to restore magnesium levels inside your red blood cells; if you’ve been hooked on coffee you may need some nervous system support or gentle liver support; if your periods are irregular or absent then your plan will need to include regulation of the menstrual cycle.
- Emotional support and education: Of course the pregnancy journey is an emotional one. Armed with education and a referral network you’ll be able to support yourself and each other towards success.
These are just some of the examples of how your individualised program will work for you.