Preparing my body for a baby - the basics

Updated: Aug 22

Disclaimer... I am not a doctor, a scientist, a naturopath or nutritionist. All information I provide is from self discovery and lots of research and might not be applicable to you. Please check with your own experts on what might be best for you.


Egg quality is something you will hear about constantly while trying to conceive. When I found out how much money I might possibly have to drop just to get pregnant, I set out to find out how to get the best possible outcome. I have no idea if this will actually work, but it's worth a shot right?


Alcohol

I QUIT! Let's start with everyone's favorite subject... drinking. The exact effect alcohol has on a woman’s fertility itself, is not fully known still to this day. If you think about it, how many babies are conceived on a drunken night out or after a total bender? It happens probably more often then not!

However, alcohol is still a drug and affects your other organs, your mood (brain function) and your overall health and as a general rule, alcohol is not recommended if you are trying to get pregnant.

Facetime with friends! Cheers

During the Covid pandemic lockdowns, I, like many others, drank quite a lot the first few months. What else was there to do?

Zoom trivia party on a Friday night... wine. Outdoor social distanced picnic... whiteclaw. Finished work on time on a Tuesday, move from desk to couch...vodka soda. Facetime with friends... whiskey & dry!

You get my point.




I personally chose to stop drinking, for the most part. The reason I say for the most part, was because it was thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years coming up, so I allowed myself the exception to have have a drink on the holidays. But overall I was going to stop drinking.


If you decide drink while TTC, just try to limit the amount of drinks you have, most research says a glass of wine a couple times a week is just fine. For me, I find this difficult, once I start drinking I enjoy it too much to stop. So I see no point in just having one glass of wine after work, I will always go back for a second. So if like me, you can't just stop at one, just stop all together.


Besides, think of all the money you will save too. You are going to need every single dollar for this baby.


Vitamins

Choosing the right pre natal and other supplements is definitely something to start taking at least 3 months before you start trying. Giving your body time to absorb them. I'm not going to go into crazy detail here, instead I will give you the best advice I was given. Read a book called It Starts with the Egg, written by Rebecca Fett.


Once I read this, I spoke to my doctor, my Insurance nurse and made sure my plan was OK based on any bloodwork I had done also.


I was already taking Conception Prenatal Vitamins since my 40th birthday when I first made the decision. They are good but just didn't feel right for me after doing a lot more research.


These are the daily amounts of each vitamin I personally was recommended to take was below:

* Please check your multi vitamin, if they contain any of the above , remove that from your list of vitamins to add. There IS such a thing as too many vitamins.


I did change my routine and found a much better prenatal vitamin and I highly recommend it! Ritual Essential prenatal. By switching to Ritual, I have been able to cut out many other vitamins. It contains Methyl folate, vitamin E and D already.


EDIT JANUARY 2022

I changed my pre natal vitamin to One A Day® Prenatal Advanced Complete Multivitamin with Brain Support*

After a lot of research, turns out Ritual is a 'designer' vitamin and doesn't have all the necessary goodness. The one a day is easy to take and has ZERO aftertaste! it contains Folic Acid (800 mcg) NOT folate which is not as effective. It comes in 2 different pill forms, the second is Choline which is essential and not in a lot of pre-natal vitamins!


So all I took is:

  • One a Day Advanced Pre-natal (2 pills once a day)

  • 400mg of CoQ10 Ubiquinol (1 x 200mg tablet twice a day)

  • 50mg Micronized DHEA (1 x 25mg tablet twice a day)

  • 1000mg Vitamin C (1 tablet a day)

  • 3mg Melatonin (do NOT take this unless you are undergoing IVF)

BPA - a really crappy toxin

I'd heard about BPA over the years and never really thought twice about it and now I think about it every time I put something in the microwave.


What is it? Well of course... it is a manmade industrial chemical, which is used in a shit tons of products like water bottles, food containers, paper receipts among just a few things. Learn about this in It Starts with the Egg BPA puts some nasty chemicals in our bodies which messes with our own natural hormones. BPA has been shown to mimic estrogen in a women's body and overrides our necessary functions for maintaining an healthy body! What the fuck?!! All these years of heating up food in plastic containers or ordering steaming hot food could have had an impact on my baby making abilities? Just fabulous. Thanks for nothing mankind.


BPA is activated by heat predominantly. But also when something is stored in a BPA container for longer periods of time, it starts to leak into whatever is inside. It is also well known that it is used in printing thermal receipts in shops!


So to make this story short... here are a few tips:

  • STOP buying plastic water bottles - get yourself a great iron flask reusable water bottle, not only does it keep your body clean, you are helping the environment! THINK GREEN!

  • Do not store hot food in plastic containers - buy glass storage containers

  • Avoid touching receipts from stores

  • Throw away all plastic cooking utensils and buy wood or metal

  • Get rid of plastic cook wear like colanders to drain your favorite pasta

  • Limit your amount of take out foods if you know they come in those plastic containers.


Diet

Ohhhhh I love food. I love food so much, so believe me when I tell you, giving up certain foods & maintaining a healthy nutritious diet is certainly one of the hardest part of getting my body ready for this whole baby thing. I don't eat badly at all and very rarely ever eat out but to really keep on track to a healthy body is hard! Throw in holiday season too and you just made it 10 times more difficult. Nothing I love more than a thanksgiving feast, which continues through Christmas.


My doctor said 2 word to me when I asked about things I should try and avoid Gluten & Sugar. Can I cry now? Sugar doesn't bother me too much, but damn I love me some pizza and pasta! I don't eat them often, but when someone says you can't have them, it makes you want it more! To be fair, I'd already switched to brown rice pasta 2 years ago and mostly use cauliflower pizza base but still... going out for a nice dinner you don't really get the option of brown rice pasta. Gluten free sure, but it usually comes in a clumpy mess.


After a LOT of research, the most common meal plan for your best chances is called the Mediterranean diet. Plant-based foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. BORING! But yeah, OK, I will try my best.


This is what I do: preservative free, gluten free, mostly sugar free diet with some exceptions like fruit and the occasional treat. I have a cheat meal every now and then, I bloody well deserve it. I am not and never will be one of those people who count every calorie, write down every mean, measure out every single thing on my plate. But I know what is good for me and what is bad for me.


TOP TIPS:

  • Check the labels of food when shopping, if you can't read it, don't eat it.

  • Eat lots of green veges. Spinach and kale are your best friend - if you don't like it, just add to a fruit smoothie in the mornings!

  • Eat superfoods, like berries, nuts & seeds - great snack foods or throw them in a smoothie as well!

  • Drink a gallon of water a day (4 liters)

  • Avoid caffeine (I personally don't drink coffee so I am not going to write about that here, you can do your own research)

  • Avoid eating out too much, cooking your own food you know exactly what is going in it!

  • Shopping list & Meal Plan. Only buy what is on your list

  • If you hate shopping and cooking, find a good meal kit delivery program. There are plenty like Green Chef, Blue April, Hello Fresh)

  • DON'T SHOP HUNGRY!!



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