As you probably know, I am almost 7 months pregnant with our first baby and I am SOO excited!! Now that I’m adding the role of “mommy” to my life, I’m hoping to incorporate some baby and mommy related posts into the blog so that others who may be going through the same journey can learn from things that I’ve learned and experienced throughout this process. In today’s post I’m going to start at the VERY beginning, before I was even pregnant and share the things I did to help prepare my body for pregnancy.
Do a blood test
This may not seem like a super obvious thing to do (or maybe it does to you overachievers out there), but I thought doing a blood test was an absolutely necessary first step for me. My family doctor did a prenatal blood test which basically tested my hormone levels and overall health to make sure my body was in good shape for the demands of pregnancy. The benefit of doing a test like this is to allow yourself to make adjustments through the use of supplements or changes in your diet if your results don’t come back as expected (i.e. if your iron levels are too low). This can help give your body the best chance at carrying a successful pregnancy once you address any concerns prior to conceiving.
Start prenatal vitamins
A great way to prep your body for the upcoming demands of growing a baby is to start taking prenatal vitamins in advance. Our body is the sole source of nutrition for the little baby growing inside of us, so making sure that we have all the nutrients needed to supply them with all of their needs is a MUST. Folic acid is especially important during the early stages of pregnancy, before some women even realize that they are actually pregnant, so taking a prenatal with at least 400mcg of folic acid prior to pregnancy is super important. I used the Nestle Materna + Prenatal DHA vitamins before and throughout my pregnancy, but there are so many great brands out there. Pro tip: a lot of women report feeling nauseous after taking their prenatal vitamins, so taking it before bed may work best for you.
Ok this is not a common one that you may hear of, but I swear by it. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I am obsessed with essential oils and the ways in which they support our bodies. A few months before we were ready to try conceiving I started to use a serum from Young Living called Progessence Plus as it’s known to support healthy hormones in women. Specifically, it contains a natural form of progesterone found in yam extract which provides a ton of hormonal support when used topically for women at all stages in life – young women, women who have rough, irregular cycles, women who want to achieve better reproductive health, and even women going through menopause. Since low levels of progesterone can be a cause of infertility or miscarriage, using this serum helped me to support my hormones in a way that would further support my reproductive health.
A lot of women do this and there are so many great tools to help you with this process. So many people get frustrated when they are unable to conceive (rightfully so), but a huge part of the problem can be not having sex during the correct window of ovulation each month. We’re only able to conceive for a short amount of time each month, so narrowing down that time to the exact day is our best bet at conceiving. If you have a very regular cycle like me, you may not need to do this. But if you have an irregular cycle, then tracking it using an app or an ovulation test can increase your chances of conceiving significantly. Since sperm can live in us for up to 72 hours, aim to have sex approximately every other day leading up to your time of ovulation.
Eat healthy & exercise
I think this one is a bit of a no-brainer, but eating healthy is not just reserved for when you’re actually pregnant. It’s a vital part of prepping your body to grow a tiny little human. You want your body to be at it’s best, both physically and nutritionally, which means eating healthy and exercising even a small amount is essential. It helps to get your body full of nutrients and in the best shape possible to support the baby growing inside.
We decided that we were ready to start trying to conceive about 2 months before we actually tried. During that time, I did all of these things except tracking my ovulation since my cycle is so regular, and I got pregnant the first month that we tried. Needless to say, I now swear by these tips and I hope they help you in your journey to conceive. Of course, everyone’s body and journey is different and I understand that these tips may not always work for every single person. But I do hope that they help in physically prepping your body for when your little one starts to grow. Let me know what tips and tricks you have to prep your body for pregnancy below.