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Cultivating a Healthy Pregnancy - Part 1 Preconception
Posted on February 15 2023,
This blog series is for all the mama’s to be! Pregnancy is one of the most exciting, magical, and transformational stages of life. It’s a time of metamorphosis and change, heart-expanding love, continuous surrender, and all the apprehension, worry, and nervous excitement that comes with the great unknown.
Creating a life is no small feat, and supportive resources can help bring peace of mind during this emotional and expansive time. In our 3-part blog series, Cultivating a Healthy Pregnancy, we’ll be journeying through the 3 stages of pregnancy: the preconception phase, pregnancy, and the post-partum period. We’ll be sharing holistic recommendations and supportive tools to encourage a beautiful, blissful, and easeful transition through pre-conception, pregnancy, birth, and into motherhood.
We’re wishing you a beautiful journey ahead!
In today’s post, we’re talking all about the preconception period – because the pregnancy journey starts well before you’re actually pregnant! Fertility is directly connected to the foods we eat, the thoughts we think, our lifestyle, and external environment. That’s why taking the time to intentionally prepare the body prior to conception (health practitioners recommend 3 months – one year) can enhance natural fertility and help cultivate a healthy pregnancy.
And because preparation and planning isn’t always possible, it never hurts to start implementing some of these changes into your lifestyle now – even if you aren’t planning on becoming pregnant anytime soon.
By learning to connect with our menstrual cycle, nourish our body, and support emotional well-being, we can cultivate a fertile and blissful environment for the creation of new life.
Connect with your Menstrual Cycle
Connecting with the menstrual cycle is one of the most empowering practices women can do to reclaim their fertility. By charting your cycle and learning to understand the different stages that unfold across the month, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your body and fertility. The menstrual cycle is divided into four unique phases: the follicular phase, ovulation, the luteal phase, and menstruation. Tuning into your body's cues to understand when you’re ovulating, and learning to nourish yourself to promote optimal ovulation, will greatly improve the chances of conceiving with ease. The Empowerment Cycle by Sharon Wood is a wonderful resource to help connect you with your menstrual cycle.
Nourish with whole foods
Eating a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, dark leafy greens, high-quality animal protein, nuts and seeds, legumes, and complex carbohydrates helps ensure you’re meeting all the nutritional needs to promote fertility and hormone balance. Some key foods and nutrients to include: B vitamins (found in liver, red meat, free-range eggs, legumes, and dark greens like spinach and collards), omega-3 fats (found in wild-caught salmon and other seafood, chia and flax seeds, and walnuts), calcium (found in organic grass-fed dairy products, tahini, chia seeds, almonds, and lentils), and iron (found in liver and red meat, shellfish, spinach, and legumes). Figs are also an excellent fertility food, and have been revered since Ancient Greek Times.
Up your Folate
Folate is an important vitamin in preventing neural tube defects, and it’s recommended that all women of childbearing age supplement with 400 micrograms of folate (the easiest to absorb form of folic acid) per day, prior to conception and throughout the duration of pregnancy. We recommend Prairie Naturals’s Sublingual Vitamin B12 with 500mg of added folate to meet the daily requirement.
Taking a few intentional supplements is an excellent way to ensure you’re at optimal health preconception.
PRENATAL – To cover many bases at once, we recommend taking a high quality food based prenatal before getting pregnant – Garden of Life myKind Organics Prenatal is our pick!
OMEGA 3’S – Omega 3 fatty acids nourish fertility and support the development of a healthy child. Nordic Naturals Cod liver oil is an excellent choice, and as a bonus contains vitamin A to prevent birth defects.
VITAMIN D – Vitamin d is an important nutrient for fertility and conception, and low vitamin d levels have been linked to irregular menstrual cycles and delayed ovulation. And if you don’t live in a year-round sunny climate or spend adequate time outside everyday, a vitamin d supplement is often necessary. We recommend taking Prairie Nature’s Vitamin D3 in either tincture or capsule form to help ensure your daily needs are being met!
Support Emotional Well-being
Stress relief and the cultivation of joy are often overlooked but vital steps prior to conception, since stress has been linked to hormonal imbalances and decreased fertility. Now more than ever, you deserve to slow down, create space, ask for support, make time for things that light you up, and implement self-care practices and rituals to help alleviate stress and cultivate calm, peace, and joy.
Aside from things like meditation, therapy, mindful movement, setting boundaries, journaling, baths, and making time for fun, connection, and play, we recommend incorporating Harmonic Arts 5 Mushroom Extract. This beautiful blend combines 5 of the most powerful medicinal mushrooms – reishi, turkey tail, chaga, lion’s mane, and cordyceps – to help balance the nervous system, increase natural immunity, build resilience to stress, increase cognitive function, stabilize energy levels, and promote natural relaxation.
We hope you found part 1 of our Cultivating a Healthy Pregnancy series informative and supportive. Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!
Written by Hannah Schmitt