For awhile I was fickle about whether or not I wanted children. One year into this mothering gig, I have no doubt in my mind that I’d like to parent more babies. It may sound corny, but I feel like I was born to be a mom. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that Apollo was conceived almost two years ago. One day Mitz and I decided that we’d be open to trying and a month later I found out I was pregnant. There was virtually little planning and zero effort put into preconception. Fortunately, I lived a relatively healthy lifestyle which resulted in a healthy pregnancy. Next time around, I would like to be a little more prepared. After doing a little more research, here are some things I am applying to our journey preconception. I am sharing with you mamas in case anyone is in the same boat!
Why is it important to prepare your body?
There is nothing a parent wants more than a healthy baby. I’ve come to believe that preconception is your first opportunity to help improve not only your health but your baby’s as well. Did you know that the fetus’ organs begin to form within weeks of conception? This tells me that the healthier mama is, the likelihood of baby being healthy will also increase.
What’s up, Doc?
Schedule a trip to the doctor for a physical. As adults, I feel like this this something we often overlook. Since it takes two to make a baby, both you and your partner should be checked out. During this visit, your health care provider will go over your family health histories, you can request blood work for deficiencies, and discuss all things in regards to optimal health. Schedule a dentist visit as well. Gum disease is associated with preterm delivery. In the event you need dental treatments, preconception is the perfect time to get those visits in.
You (and your baby) are what you eat!
Take this opportunity to clean up your diet. You never know how your body will react to pregnancy… some women get so nauseated that they can only stomach comfort foods while others crave nothing but salads and fruit. Before I conceived Apollo, I LOVED bananas… during pregnancy and up till now, I have to force myself to eat it. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help build up your nutrient reserves to cushion you a little in the event all you want is french fries.
Meet your new BFF: Prenatal Vitamins
As a vegan, I am a proponent for getting your nutrients from whole foods, plant based sources. However, I also know that we don’t live in our grandparent’s world. The soil is seriously depleted resulting in food devoid of nutrients. This is when supplemental vitamins come into play, specially when prepping your body to house two beings. Most women start taking prenatal vitamins once they find out they’ve conceived but I say up the ante and start taking them before. Take it even a step further and choose a prenatal line that provide products for the different stages of pregnancy. I recently discovered Prenatal Ease. After some research and back and forth correspondence with one of their founders, I’ve chosen this line to help with our journey to baby number 2. I’m currently taking Preconception; it’s the first of their prenatal line formulated specially for women trying to conceive. It helps build up your nutritional stores with essential vitamins like B12 and B6 – both essential for healthy ovulation and aides in implantation. Preconception is vegetarian friendly and easy to swallow with no aftertaste like some that I’ve taken in the past. You can learn more about Prenatal Ease vitamins as well as their plant-based skin care line here.
Work it out!
If you are already active, keep it up – albeit lower the intensity. If you are not accustomed to working out, pregnancy is not the time to take up anything too exerting (like weight training, marathon training, cross-fit, etc) but this does not mean sit on your bum your whole pregnancy. (Unless there are complications or ordered by your doctor). Walking, swimming, & yoga are some great low impact activities you can do. Study after study shows that an active pregnancy reduces your risk of certain pregnancy complications like per-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, and helps keep weight gain under control. During my pregnancy, I also found that exercise helped alleviate aches and pains and helped stabilize my moods.
Fake it till you make it!
A wise friend told me once that her approach to getting ready to have a baby was to act like she already was. Brilliant! I think this approach helps you make better choices: to drink alcohol or not, stay up all night or get a good night sleep, eat all the chips or opt for a green smoothie. What would you do or not do if you knew you were already pregnant?
Thank you, Prenatal Ease for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.