Preconception care is individualized healthcare that is provided during the reproductive years prior to pregnancy with the goal to improve your health and the future health of your child. If you are wanting to start your preconception journey, it is typically recommended to start at least 3 months (with an optimal time being 6+ months) prior to trying to conceive. It takes both sperm and eggs around 3 months to go through the full maturation process, thus the changes you make to optimize your health today will impact your future fertility.
I like to think of the preconception journey as a way to optimize your health and nourish your soil so you can grow a healthy baby. Major areas to prioritize during the preconception time are nutrition, hydration, hormones, gut health, environmental health, stress and sleep.
For nutrition, it’s important to eat in a way that balances blood sugar and thus is hormone supportive. In every meal, include a protein source, a healthy fat, non-starchy vegetables and a starchy carbohydrate. Make breakfast the most nutrient dense meal of the day and aim for 30-40g of protein with it. Eat every 3-4 hours and avoid skipping meals. Aim to eat as organic as you can while prioritizing organic meat and dairy. Drink at least ½ of your body weight in ounces of water daily and make sure it is mineral rich.
Having regular menstrual cycles is key to preconception care so you are able to track your menstrual cycle and identify your fertile window. If you are having irregular cycles or symptoms around menses, seek additional support from one of our naturopathic physicians. For an overview of the Fertility Awareness Method, see our recent blog or webinar on the topic.
Another main area of focus during the preconception time is environmental toxins. Our current world is full of endocrine disrupting chemicals that can either mimic or block hormones. One of the major areas to focus attention on are the personal care products that you use. We want to avoid personal care products that include phthalates and parabens. To determine if your products might be toxic to your health, look them up on the Environmental Working Group’s website Skin Deep at https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/.
Laboratory testing and supplemental support can also be utilized during this time. General lab testing to consider include: CBC, CMP, hsCRP, cortisol am, DHEA-S, testosterone, prolactin, TSH, free T3, free T4, thyroid antibodies, vitamin D, iodine and ferritin. Hormone specific lab testing to consider include cycle day 3 estradiol, FSH, LH and AMH along with 7 day post ovulation progesterone and estradiol.
To start your preconception journey, call 480-588-6856 to schedule a FREE brief meet and greet with one of our naturopathic physicians.
For a more detailed overview of this topic, watch our recent webinar here: