9 natural strategies for pregnancy

prenatalIt took my husband and I nearly 2 years to conceive.  The first year we weren’t really serious, but after about a year and a half into it, I knew deep down I could be improving my health to increase my fertility.  I wasn’t unhealthy and I practiced yoga regularly.  But I also didn’t eat breakfast consistently and was also known as a cookie-holic binging on rich sweet foods.  I wanted help.

Then I came across a webinar on Promoting and Preserving Your Fertility by Alisa Vitti.   She said something that struck home: don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach because it spikes up your blood sugar level.  It caught my full attention because the first thing I did was drink coffee.

I learned that caffeine indirectly causes blood sugar level to spike because it stimulates the adrenal glands.  The adrenals release stress hormones, including cortisol which signal your body to release sugar into your bloodstream for the fight or flight mode.

Wow, what a wake-up call.  I told my nutritionist friend Becca Pozorski about this during our session, and she suggested that I drink 8 oz of water before drinking coffee.  Great idea, totally do-able.  Couple months later, I was pregnant.

I know it can be discouraging when you are trying to conceive and you get your period.  I have been there.  I also know how exciting it feels when you take a pregnancy test and it’s actually positive!

I believe conception is a miracle made possible through God’s Grace.  But I also believe in doing our part, being proactive in our health practices.  I believe the key is chronic hydration, healthy stress management and maintaining a stable blood sugar level. 

I put together a list of the natural strategies I found helpful and hope that it will help others as well.

9 Natural Strategies for Pregnancy

1.  Drink more water!  In Taking Charge of Your Fertility, Toni Weschler shows the difference between fertile and dried cervical fluid.  The cervical fluid on the left is fertile.  When viewed under a microscope, it looks like a beautiful fern, conducive to sperm mobility.  Very fertile quality cervical fluid often forms a fairly symmetrical round circle due to its high concentration of water.  On the right side is dried, sticky, not-so-fertile cervical fluid.  What’s interesting is that chronic dehydration is ascribed to be the root cause of morning sickness.  See You’re Not Sick You’re Thirsty.  So drink plenty of water, half oz per pound in water.  If you weigh 120 lbs, drink 60 oz of water.

2.  Know when you’re ovulating.  The 3 primary signs of ovulation are:  1) slippery, stretchy egg white cervical fluid which nourishes and provides medium in which sperm can travel, 2) higher basal temperature, and 3) cervical position is soft, open, high and wet.  Make sure you get some swimmers in there couple days before ovulation and just keep releasing them every couple days just to make sure one of them will hit target.  For more details, check out Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. (Thanks Sarah E. for letting me borrow it!)

rainbow-vitamins3. Prenatal Vitamins:  Taking prenatal vitamins is one of the first steps in getting pregnant, in fact it is recommended that you begin taking them at least 3 months prior to getting pregnant.  I LOVE my Rainbow Light Prenatal Multivitamins – they are food based and very gentle.

4.  Exercise regularly: Exercise helps reduce stress and oxygenates blood.  It will help you throughout your pregnancy too!

5.  Nutrition:  Eat breakfast.  Apple with almond butter, a smoothie.  Eggs are good source of progesterone, and if possible, buy organic, free range eggs.  Eat high quality proteins, and lots of fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables.  Also eat more vegetarian and plant-based proteins.  Start now, because this type of diet best supports pregnancy throughout the trimesters.

amazing-grass6.  Amazing Grass:  I came across an article on What to Eat To Get Pregnant.  It listed goji berry, maca root, and wheat grass, which are all found in this yummy delicious smoothie called Amazing Grass.  My husband and I drank this with whole organic milk couple times a week.

7. Incubation:  Remember you are an incubator – keep your feet and butt warm!  My mom used to say that if your feet or butt were cold, you couldn’t have babies.  Old wives tale maybe, but I think there’s truth to it.

8.  Visualization and Power of Words:  The month I actually conceived, I found an image of conception and set it as my desktop background.  I would imagine that conception was taking place in my body and affirm that “I am a vessel”…

9.  Insurance:  Make sure you have maternity coverage with your health insurance.

Here are some reminders of what NOT to do:

1.  Don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach.  Drink water first thing in the morning, about 8 – 16 oz, and I suggest diluting coffee so it’s not so strong.  If you can give it up completely, more power to you because it’s not recommended that you drink coffee in the first trimester.

clean-well2.  Don’t smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and no soda.

3.  Don’t eat white flour, enriched flour, white sugar, potatoes, candy or tofu (it’s too processed and has too much estrogen).

4.  If you can help it at all, avoid anti-bacterial soap with all the harsh chemicals.  My friend Cat turned me onto the Cleanwell Plant-based hand sanitizers.  They have a line of soap as well.

5.  Also avoid dry cleaning, but if you must dry clean, then remove the plastic bags from the clothes.  Remember, these plastic bags can also be recycled with your grocery bags.

6.  Men: avoid tight fitting underwear and start wearing boxer or boxer briefs.  No more tighty whitey’s!

May the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, and blessings of the watery depths below, and blessings of the breasts and womb. Genesis 49:25