Preconception Health: A Quick Start Guide For Couples!
Key Facts About Preconception Health & Fertility:
Most couples spend more time planning their weddings than they do planning and preparing to get pregnant.
Preconception health is just at important for men as it is for women. Research suggests that when couples do experience infertility, men account for 50% of cases.
Infertility and miscarriages are on the rise. 1 in 6 couples will be affected by infertility.
You don’t have to wait the 6-12 months of trying to conceive before investigating to see if you have any underlying factors that could interfere with trying to get pregnant.
Just because you are told your blood work is normal, doesn’t mean it is optimal. Which could mean there is an imbalance in your body that could affect your fertility.
Working with a doctor that specializes in preconception health can help you to develop your health plan that will not only help you to feel at your best before getting pregnant, but also provide your baby with positive health benefits and reduce complications.
Research Has Shown...
Supportive, personalized nutrition
Identifying and correcting hormonal imbalances
Reducing environmental toxin exposure
Correcting nutrient deficiencies
Reducing stress levels
Improving lifestyle factors like sleep and exercise
Learning your body’s fertile signs
... Can All Have A Positive Impact On Fertility
There is so much that you can do to empower yourself and take charge of your health prior to getting pregnant! - Dr. Jessica
Are You Healthy Enough To Get Pregnant?
The following are important areas that are foundational to conceiving successfully and reducing your risk of a miscarriage. When working with patients in my private practice I always consider these five areas where in depth testing can be done in order to put together an individualized treatment protocol.
Vitamin & Mineral Deficiencies
Blood Sugar Imbalances
Your Preconception Checklist
Here is your action packed checklist for how to get started optimizing your preconception health
1. Hormone Harmony
Establish Regular Menstrual Cycles (your cycle should be 28-32 days)
Remove birth control at least 6 months prior to conceiving
Track your cycle to identify your optimal fertility window
2. Balance Your Blood Sugars
Reduce / avoid simple sugars and carbs: replace these with complex carbohydrates like organic vegetables and low-sugar fruits like berries
Increase your physical activity
Try eating your meals with in a 12hr window (aka avoid late night snacking)
3. Nourish Your Body
Eat Nutrient Dense Foods: berries, herbs & spices, brussel sprouts, bone broth, nuts & seeds.
Choose a high quality prenatal vitamin and start at least 3 months before trying to conceive
Ensure your blood work has been analyzed for optimal, not just the normal lab ranges
4. Clear out the Toxins To Lower Inflammation
Identify toxins in your environment: check your personal care products, cleaning products, cookware for Phthalates, BPA, parabens and replace with low toxin alternatives.
Do a whole body detox / cleanse
Increase your antioxidants to help remove excess toxins from your body: try this antioxidant rich smoothie.
2 cups plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk (oat, hemp, coconut)
1 handful raw spinach
1 cup frozen / fresh blueberries or mixed berries
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
½ of an avocado
A few ice cubes, if desired.
3 tbsp. hemp hearts or 1 scoop protein powder
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You may add more water if you would like a thinner consistency.
Supporting The Swimmers
Lifestyle Factors That Affect Sperm:
Smoking: research has shown that smoking causes DNA damage to the sperm
Reduce Environmental Toxins: Phthalates, BPA, lead & other heavy metals, chemical & lubricants
Cell phones: electromagnetic waves emitted can damage sperm. Don’t carry them close to pelvic area
Alcohol: several research studies have shown that even small amounts of alcohol in the 4 weeks before an IVF cycle resulted in failure twice as often and miscarriages 2.7 times more often
Medications: antidepressants, acetaminophen and those that lower stomach acid
Cannabis: early research suggests there may be a negative impact on sperm (PMID: 30916627)
Stress: the stress hormone cortisol directly affects testosterone production
Sleep: lack of sleep can increase levels of anti-sperm antibody, which lowers sperm motility & survival
My mission is to help you feel empowered to take small, actionable steps so you can optimize your health, balance your hormones, correct nutrient deficiencies and feel confident that you have done everything you could possibly do to get pregnant naturally and reduce your risk of having a miscarriage or other problems that might make it hard to conceive. - Dr. Jessica
Remove the all or nothing mindset. Every small step you take towards optimal health brings you one step closer to growing your family! My motto is Progress over Perfection!
If you are thinking about wanting to get pregnant within the next 3-9 months now is the time to reach out and book your Health Discovery Call where you can speak with me directly and see what
it would be like to work with a Naturopathic Doctor that has a special clinical focus in preconception health.