By Natalie Pickering, Naturopath. Are you and your partner ready to start trying to get pregnant? Maybe you have already started and haven’t been successful so far.
There are few key things to think about when you are trying to get pregnant, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when all you are focussed on each month is whether or not your period arrives or the outcome of your home pregnancy test. I am passionate about helping couples bring the healthy baby of their dreams into reality so I always spend time explaining the importance of a 3 month preconception period to optimized fertility.
You have an amazing opportunity right now to dramatically influence the health of the baby you will create. The 3-4 months preceding the moment when a sperm fertilizes an egg is when the genetic tissue of the hoped for baby is developing, now is the time to consider all of the aspects of your health and vitality.
Of course you will also want to conceive quickly and enjoy a strong, healthy symptom free pregnancy. The time you spend in preconception is also vital in preparing for a faster conception. It’s a win – win!
In short there are 6 critical elements in a successful preconception plan. I propose an acronym to help keep you on track!
C.R.E.A.T.E. The 6 steps to Optimized Fertility
- CLEANSE – In order for you to produce healthy sperm or ova you will need to follow a fertility cleanse program to remove the reprotoxins in your body which may be interfering with normal hormone production, normal immune responses, healthy cell development, effective management of inflammation and more.
- REBALANCE – Your body will only perform at its best when you maintain a healthy balance of sleep, stress, relaxation and exercise- you will need to adapt you fitness program specifically to support your fertility. Often you need to see a highly qualified osteopath or chiropractor to support spinal health and optimal circulation through the pelvis and your reproductive organs. An effective stress management plan is super important in maintaining or reclaiming your fertility.
- EAT – I know, it seems pretty basic right? Not so! The correct diet for fertility needs to provide all the elements for ideal egg and sperm quality, for ideal hormone balance (not just your sex hormones, the hormones produced by your adrenals, your pancreas and your thyroid are also super important during your fertility journey), for the ideal lining of your uterus for a strong, healthy implantation and to create the correct foundation for your healthy pregnancy. You will need a customized fertility nutrient prescription to provide ideal levels of nutrition for the conception a your healthy baby.
- AWARENESS – Are you in touch with your body? Do you notice when you eat foods that make you feel unwell, is your immune system healthy, neither weak nor too strong? Are you enjoying optimal hormone balance and reproductive health?, If male have you had a semen analysis showing good levels of healthy shaped, fast swimming sperm?, if female have you identified when you are ovulating and that the second part of your cycle is strong enough to maintain early pregnancy? A natural fertility specialist is expert in requesting the necessary tests and investigations and explaining the results, then sequencing the steps to help you reclaim your optimal fertility.
- TIMING -Getting the timing right is more difficult than it seems. Every couple has a unique set of factors that determine the ideal timing of babydancing! Identifying a man’s sperm count, quality and motility, tracking a woman’s fertile mucus production and ovulation all come together to determine a couple’s successful timing. Once you have the timing right you will see there are really only 4-5 good days for baby sex, leaving the rest of the month free for fun sex!
- ENGAGE – Maintaining healthy relationships with you partner, your friends and family and of course yourself, keeps you positive, calm, fulfilled and purposeful. Your fertility is just one part of your life, keeping this in perspective will help you avoid the emotional rollercoaster which can become a part of some couple’s ‘ttc’ (trying to conceive) journey. Using tools like affirmations, visualisation and positive self talk are all wonderful to help you keep you focussed on the changes you can make to improve your fertility and the health of your baby.
Remember by 8 weeks gestation your baby’s entire health blueprint is set for the rest of their life. Its really important that at the point of conception you and your partner are in your absolute best health, your baby’s health will become the lowest common denominator of both parent’s health. Facts like that surely are motivating!
Harvard University conducted a study in 2008 including over 17,000 people and they showed a fertility diet and fertility lifestyle improved rates of conception by 69 percent. From my experience personally and clinically, following the C.R.E.A.T.E preconception program works. I’m in the very lucky position to see the result of many couples preconception health programs, I feel so fortunate and honoured to meet so many gorgeous, vital, healthy babies.
Don’t hesitate to contact me if you’d like to learn more about my Create Conception Program, we can chat about where you are in your fertility journey now and whether the program is right for you.