Planning for a baby is one of the most exciting times in a woman’s life. Often, the practical side of things takes precedence when it comes to foreplanning. Everything from arranging the baby shower, to prepping the baby room, to preparing an overnight hospital bag has to be done before you can embrace the love of your newborn.
However, ensuring that you are in good health before conceiving is one of the most important gifts you can give your unborn child. Getting your surroundings ready for your baby is important, but mental and nutritional readiness are just as, if not, even more important.
Below is a list of tips to consider and implement before you conceive to ensure safe delivery and a healthy newborn.
5 Pre-pregnancy diet & lifestyle tips:
1. Detox your body
Detoxing your body before pregnancy will ensure that your fetus will grow in a clean, toxin-free environment while receiving all absorbed nutrients without interruption. Cleansing the liver and the colon is two body systems one should focus on before conception. Benefits include purified blood, healthy weight gain and regular bowel movements while lessening the chances of swollen feet/ankles, gestational diabetes and acne.
The gentlest way to cleanse the colon would be to increase one’s fiber and probiotic intake over time. If you have been occasionally constipated, an effective and additional approach would be to acquire a herbal laxative from your nearest pharmacy. A simple way to cleanse the liver would be to drink lemon water with a dash of cayenne first thing in the morning along with eating liver – nourishing foods like cruciferous vegetables, grapefruits and berries.
2. Eat whole foods
Foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, free-range/organic meats (and let’s not forget water!) contain key nutrients that should be readily available for your fetus upon conception.
3. Incorporate supplements into your diet
Implementing a healthy diet and taking staple supplements like a Multivitamin, Omega 3, and Probiotics will ensure that your body is equipped to handle the pull of energy and nutrients from your cells once the baby is conceived.
4. Prenatals before conception
There is a well-known myth that Prenatals should only be taken once a woman finds out she is pregnant. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, taking prenatal supplements before conception is one of the best things you can do for yourself and the baby you are prepping for. Prenatals can replenish your nutrient stores and decrease the possibility of any health complications during pregnancy and after the baby is born. Important nutrients like Folic Acid will inhibit neural tubal defects and ensure healthy brain and spinal development upon conception.
The food that we eat (if not organic) comes from depleted soil and is genetically modified or conventionally grown with pesticides. This truth evidences the lack of nutrients in today’s food and the importance of incorporating prenatal supplements into one’s daily regimen.
5. Ensure positive energy and a positive environment
A chaotic life, filled with drama and toxic relationships can lower your immune function and take a toll on your health. It’s important to keep a positive attitude and an even more positive environment with the least amount of stress for optimized health. Having people that support and celebrate you on a daily basis will lift your spirits and help keep stress at bay. Implementing daily stress management techniques before and during pregnancy will decrease the possibility of miscarriage or premature birth.
An article published by Endocrinology, June 2003 issue shows the relation between stress and miscarriage. Stress triggers the secretion of CRH (Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone). Studies have found that this hormone was significantly elevated in women who had a spontaneous abortion (miscarriages).
Bringing a baby into the world is a divine gift that we women are blessed with. Before we conceive, let’s take the time to optimize our health and ensure we are giving our babies the perfect start to development and growth.
Dr. Dina Khairie is a medical specialist who has spent nearly a decade in key positions at NoorVitamins. After receiving her doctorate in pharmacy from St. John’s University in New York, she began her career working as a supervising clinical pharmacist in the community pharmacy arena.