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Preconception Considerations | Podcast Episode 2

By Kasey Willson


 

 

 If you’re thinking of starting or adding to your family, this one is for you.

 Did you know that spending time now (preconception) to nourish and nurture your body, can play an important role in your fertility, pregnancy and health of your baby to be? You have the power to positively impact the health of your future children. How amazing is that?!

At the time of conception, the health of your future children is determined equally on the health and genetics of you and your baby’s father. Your egg maturation process starts up to 4 months before ovulation and sperm take on average, 72-76 days to develop and mature. 

So along with improving your hormone, cycle and egg health, it is just as important to get your fella on board to put in the time, and effort to detox  and optimise his nutritional status for healthy sperm, and therefore fertility. Why? For the best chance of a healthy conception and bubba creation.

 5 Preconception Considerations

Before you start trying, here are 5 factors to consider to set yourselves up for healthy conception.

Time frame

Taking into consideration the time it takes for your egg and sperm health to mature, if in your control, don’t be in a rush. Allow a 3-month time frame to detox your bodies, such as endocrine disrupting substances, heavy metals and other chemicals such as residue of the main ingredient in Round Up, glyphosate. Just some examples of foods that can support detoxification include organic chlorealla, rosemary, coriander and dandelion herbal tea. Adding food sources of glycine, such as organic bone broth, collagen or gelatin, can help gut healing and natural detoxication from glyphosate too. There are many nutrients and herbs that are important in this phase too, including zinc, selenium and N-acetyl cysteine. 

Follow up this detoxification phase with by a 3 month nourishment phase where you provide your body up with the crucial fertility and pregnancy health foods and nutrients.

For example, at the time of conception, you require healthy iodine levels, as you will be providing your baby with your thyroid hormones for the first half of your pregnancy.  As iodine is an integral component of thyroid hormone, healthy levels at conception are a must. Iodine is deficient through our soils and ontop of thise, absorption is effected by exposure to chlorine and fluoride- common additives to mains water supply. Iodine also plays an important role in supporting the IQ of your baby.

Although supplementation is necessary, one of my fav ways of adding iodine into my daily die is through a high-quality seaweed salt. This brand is my favourite.

Undergoing a detox plan, followed by specific fertility friendly nourishment preconception is the basis of my preconception guide Glowing Mumma and something, especially helpful for guidance with herbal and nutritional supplementation.  

 Know Your Cycle

Too many times as a Naturopath, I have seen women presenting to me not understanding the basic events of their reproductive cycle. Do you know when you ovulate? When to try for conception & what signs to look for that are indicating an infertile cycle? 

For example, my ovulation day is not day 14, it is usually a few days later and I know this through body awareness and specifically tuning into  my signs of fertility, coupled with a fertility tracking device. 

Tune into episode 1 to get the ins and outs of what happens throughout your cycle so you know when you’re ovulating to avoid guess work and frustrating with months of trying. Once you have detoxed and nourished, having the powerful knowledge of  when you ovualate will give you the best chance of a successful conception.

Get Tested

Semen Analysis

When it comes to your man and his sperm health, it is better to pick up any challenges sooner rather than later. It would be a disappointment to waste time trying for a baby, to find months later that there was an issue with his sperm health that was impeding your conception chances.

This one is where the fellas can step up. As a woman we carry the baby, birth the baby, breastfeed the baby (if that’s your choice). Just remind him of that when he squirms at the thought of this test.

See your GP for arranging this one and a little tip is to collect his sample within a condemn, so the full ejaculate is captured for testing.

Bloods

How long has it been since you and your partner had a blood test? Have you got copies?

Now is the time to get an up-to-date snapshot of what your bloods are indicating for important fertility health nutrients, such as Iron, Zinc, B12, Homocysteine, Folate and Vitamin D, just to name a few. Thyroid health and blood sugars are also important to investigate.

If Indicating The Need

  • Toxicity testing eg. if you work in an environment exposed to heavy metals or chemicals
  • Hormone testing eg. if showing symptoms of imbalance such as short luteal phase (learn about this in episode 1)
  • Stool analysis or food intolerance testing eg. if either of you are experiencing issues with your digestion.

This will allow you to know where you’re at, and give you guidance with any specific areas that need addressing to improve your overall and fertility health. And remember you have time if you put aside this 6 month window, to get your test results back and start woking on re-balancing your body through your functional health practitioner.

Start Making Changes

Now is the time to address areas of your life that may be impacting your fertility and therefore potential to conceive. A good place to start is asking yourselves these questions…

Do you have amalgum fillings?

Do you use endocrine disrupting substances such as hair and body care products containing phthalates, parabens and fragrances?

Do you burn fragranced candle or use air fresheners in your home work or car?

Do you weld, paint or exposed to other chemicals or heavy metals in your home or work?

Are you having doses of medications and vax that could impact your fertility?

Do you have mould in your home?

Are you overweight, underweight? Or undernourished?

How are your stress levels?

Do you consume alcohol or drugs regularly?

Are you taking the OCP or on other hormonal contraceptives? Or perhaps you have the Copper IUD and copper detoxification will be paramount for you.

Do you drink out of coffee cup takeaway lids? Or deal with till receipts regularly?

How often do you see the sun? Learn how to optimise your vitamin D status here

Are you eatig inflammatory foods?

Do you consume toxic laden GM or conventionally farmed foods? 

 Start Detoxing

Three simple ways you can start to detox, includes:

  • Through your foods.

Trans fat and industrial seed oils: soybean oil, peanut oil, rice bran, canola oil, corn oil, cotton seed oil, grape seed extract, safflower oil, sunflower oil, vegetable oil & heating these oils frying and in hydrogenation, to make processed products and spreads like margarine.

Refined sugar can also steal nutrients and encourage a state of dysbiosis in your gut.

  • Through lifestyle.

Start using practises that can support fertility and detoxification such as sunshine exposure, IFR sauna, coffee enemas, castor oil packs

  • Through supplementation.

Gain guidance, such as my Glowing Mumma Preconception Guide, to know what to add on top of your diet. Herbal and nutritional supplements play an important role in encouraging the removal of toxins from your body. Just be sure you're seeking qualified advice and high quality supplements.

 Preparation Plays An Important Role Preconception

When you make the joyous decision to start or add to your family, take into consideration factors that may be impacting your fertility and compromising your chances for optimal fertility, a healthy conception, pregnancy and bubba. Devising a plan of your foods, practises and supplementation choices will support the detoxification phase of your preconception care. Give yourself time to make these changes and naturally allow your body to detox, ready for preconception nourish phase. 

I can’t wait to guide you through this special stage of life when the time comes.

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