Some of the most rewarding things in life often require a decent amount of preparation. As you start thinking about getting pregnant, consider taking three months prior to your goal conception month to prepare your body to conceive. Why three months you ask? Studies have shown that it takes your ovarian follicles around 90-120 to develop before they’re mature enough for ovulation. In our founder Jill Blakeway’s book, “Making Babies: A Proven 3-Month Program for Maximum Fertility” she refers to that time period as a “pre-memster” and sheds light on how you have the ability to improve the quality of the egg that could one day become your baby. Here are some ideas on just how to do that:
Start Taking a Prenatal Vitamin
A prenatal is similar to a multi-vitamin, but with a few additional ingredients (such as folate and higher doses of iron). It’s not uncommon for prentals to upset your stomach, so it’s a great idea to try one out before you become pregnant to see how your body reacts to it. If finding the right prenatal feels daunting, check out this blog post to help you decide which is best. Other supplements to consider adding would be a fish oil and/or CoQ10. These are great if you’re over 35 and are concerned about declining egg quality.
Regulate Your Cycle
Paying attention to your menstrual cycle is incredibly helpful when trying to conceive. Period tracking apps can be helpful, easy resources for tracking details like cycle length, cervical mucus, and the number of days in your flow. If you want to take your research a step further, consider tracking your Basal Body Temperature. If you find your periods are short (less than 25 days), long (more than 30 days), or irregular, a combination of acupuncture and Chinese herbs are extremely effective in regulating your cycle.
The pre-memster is a great time to get off of hormonal birth control. However, we understand that coming off the pill isn’t always easy. Here at Yinova, many of my patients are transitioning off hormonal birth control quite often. While we hope that your period comes right away, that might not always be the case. Oftentimes, birth control is used to mask a reproductive disorder, like polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and so when you come off the pill we may still need to address that underlying concern. The earlier you transition off birth control, the sooner we can work with your body to promote a regulated cycle.
Reduce toxin exposure
BPA is an important toxin to avoid on a regular basis, but especially when trying to conceive as it has been shown to reduce egg quality. BPA is found in plastic containers and is most dangerous when exposed to heat, like when heating up your leftovers in plastic containers or letting a plastic water bottle sit in the sun. It’s good practice to switch your Tupperware to glass and to drink filtered water from a metal bottle. Another toxin to limit exposure from is phthalate, which you can do by switching to clean beauty products. This is also great to do before your future baby starts using every inch of you as a teething device.
Improve Overall Wellness
A good place to start your pre-mester is by re-examining your diet to make sure it’s nourishing and supporting your body. You’re preparing to host a baby for around 40 weeks, so aim to enter this journey feeling as strong and healthy as possible. This can include adding high-quality fats, lean proteins, and organic produce into your everyday diet. Getting the recommended eight hours of sleep each night is what we should all strive for, but it’s even more important during this pre-memster. If going to the gym is part of your routine, just be careful to not overdo it. Try switching the high-intensity cardio workouts to more mind-body exercises like yoga, walking, or pilates. Regular acupuncture treatments and Chinese herbal formulas prescribed by your practitioner can play a very supportive role, too.
Make space for the baby
You’re courting a soul to join your family. Take these three months to create space in your life for where a baby will fit. Let your schedule have gaps; maybe stay in on Friday nights, and try to use the weekends for rest. Your life is about to change, and slowing down as you prepare to conceive will help to reduce stress levels and improve your chances of conception.