What is the best way to prepare for a successful pregnancy?
Pregnancy is like a marathon, and just as you would train for a marathon, preparing for pregnancy ahead of time is a great idea. How far in advance to you need to get ready for a pregnancy? Three to six months is a good amount of time to put the following strategies into place.
Here are 6 things you can do to help prepare for pregnancy
1. Get Tested for Iron and Vitamin D Levels
Iron – low iron levels in the first trimester of pregnancy contribute to pregnancy complications in the third trimester, including low birthweights and premature deliveries. Have your iron levels tested, including both Hemoglobin and Ferritin. If they are low, it can take three or more months to get levels back up to normal, which you want to do before you get pregnant.
Vitamin D – vitamin D promotes your fertility in two important ways. It both increases the quality of your eggs and lowers the risk of miscarriage. Most Americans are low in vitamin D, and here again it can take three or more months to bring levels back up to normal.
2. Take Your Vitamins
Get started early on a good vitamin protocol for pregnancy.
This way you have plenty on board before you get pregnant, just in case you are unable to stomach vitamins during your first trimester due to nausea and/or vomiting.
At our clinic we recommend this basic regimen for prenatal support:
- Prenatal Multivitamin
- Folic acid
- Essential fatty acids
- Vitamin D
3. Eat Well
The leading cause of fertility challenges is blood sugar issues. If you eat a lot of carbs and sugar, you probably have abnormal blood sugars. This makes it more difficult to get pregnant and it increases the risk of a miscarriage. You want to get your blood sugars controlled long before you get pregnant.
The way to manage blood sugar issues is by eating well:
- Limit carbs
- Emphasize protein
- Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast
- Eat regularly, with a meal or snack every 3 – 4 hours
- Include protein with every meal and snack
4. Get Enough Sleep
Poor sleep can disrupt hormones and interfere with normal egg development and ovulation. This makes it hard to get pregnant. Poor sleep can be due to:
- Restless sleep
- Not getting enough sleep
- Going to bed late
- sleeping during daylight hours
Getting enough sleep is a combination of good habits, a restful sleep environment, and sometimes gentle herbs to help with sleep. For more tips on how to sleep well, read our blog here.
5. Manage Your Stress
Stress has a big impact on women’s health in almost every way you can imagine:
- hormonal imbalances
- irregular periods
- thyroid issues
- decreased fertility
- weight gain
Many of the things you do to prepare for pregnancy – eating well, getting more sleep, regular acupuncture – also help to manage stress. Read more here.
6. Get Acupuncture
Acupuncture has been used by women for centuries to improve their fertility by:
- boosting egg quality
- treating a thin uterine lining
- supporting a healthy pregnancy
Acupuncture is great for treating a wide variety of women’s health issues that contribute to fertility challenges, including painful periods, endometriosis, and PCOS. A typical treatment plan might include weekly acupuncture sessions starting 3 – 4 months prior to getting pregnant.
At our clinic we help women prepare for pregnancy in all the ways described here. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and would like to work with our clinic, you can book an appointment online here: https://theoldershawclinic.janeapp.com/