4 Steps to Prepare for a Healthy and Holistic Pregnancy
Updated: Aug 31
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Preparing the body to get pregnant is something that today’s culture largely overlooks, but is so important! When I did a search for how to prepare the body for pregnancy, the results were slim and consisted of taking prenatal vitamins and stopping drinking alcohol. These are definitely not bad tips, BUT I would argue that there is so much more to do ahead of time to make sure that your body is the healthiest it can be to grow a human being! Growing a baby is the absolute largest task we can ask our body to do. It requires a MASSIVE amount of energy and nutrients to grow a life!
Here are FOUR things you can do to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy:
1. STOP hormonal birth control
Hormonal birth control is terrible for your health! It is often prescribed to “fix” “period issues”, which are underlying hormonal issues. Hormonal birth control only masks the symptoms, it does not fix the underlying issue, and often when women come off hormonal birth control, the original problem is worse as the birth control depletes the body of minerals, exasperating the problem!
Because hormonal birth control can exacerbate hormonal issues AND deplete the body of minerals, it’s so important to come off birth control as soon as possible before you want to conceive. The longer your body has to heal from birth control before becoming pregnant, the better.
See my post here on why you should stop hormonal birth control.
Struggling with hormonal issues? See my post here 6 Steps to Balance your Hormones.
2. Take the Time for True Healing
If you’re preparing to get pregnant, now is the time to focus on whole body health. It is the time to go to counseling if needed, heal trauma from your past, and/or focus on healing physical illness. It’s time to get to the root cause of your illness and work on gaining true health. I know that many of the things we are told are “chronic” can be recovered from with a good diet and lifestyle change! Human bodies are miraculous!
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel van der Kolk is an EXCELLENT resource on healing generational trauma, and how that impacts the physical body!
Did you know that 66% of Americans take one or more prescription drugs?
If you are on a regular prescription, it might be good to establish care with a good holistic/functional doctor in your area and discuss a plan of action. Emphasis on holistic/functional, as regular doctors are trained to treat symptoms, not the root cause.
I am not a doctor, and this is not medical advice, BUT if you’re on a prescription, and want to conceive, I would establish care with a good holistic doctor and work out a way to get off that prescription. Get to the root cause of your problem, and begin really healing your body.
Preparing for pregnancy is all about making your body as healthy as it possibly can be! For more information, I would highly recommend the Red Pill your Healthcast podcast by Lauren Johnson and Dr. Charlie Fagenholz.
3. Focus on nourishing and remineralizing your body
Today, the Standard American Diet (SAD) leaves everyone nutrient-deficient and depleted! Frankly, SAD results in sick people. But what actually is a healthy diet? There is SO much information out there and a lot of it conflicts with other advice! I’ve come to land on eating an ancestral diet. If you believe that human beings are designed to live on planet Earth, then you’ll likely land on ancestral eating as well. Emphasis on the word designed. There is so much to say about this kind of eating and why I chose it, so see my other posts on this topic:
See my post here on what ancestral eating is.
See my post here on 5 books that led me to an ancestral diet.
See my post here on 6 reasons I chose to stop a vegan diet.
Because of the massive amount of nutrients, it takes to grow a baby, focus on superfoods!
See my post here for 5 Superfoods to Eat to Prepare for Pregnancy.
Today, popular diet culture views foods like kale and spinach as superfoods. While these foods are definitely good for you, I would argue that there are many more foods with a wider nutrient profile that are bioavailable (easy for the body to absorb). Nutrients in kale for example are difficult for the body to absorb as kale is difficult to digest. Foods like organ meats and eggs are true superfoods, as they truly nourish and replenish your body!
4. Create safety in your body
Your body is wise. Much wiser than we give bodies credit for. For example, if we’re feeling stressed, our body can delay ovulation. Stress hormones communicate to the body “I’m not safe, this is not a good time to grow a baby.” You may have noticed this phenomenon if you track your menstrual cycle. See my post here for how to track your cycle. Many women have experienced the loss of their periods during a time when they were under-eating or over-exercising. That’s a tell that the body was not ovulating. The body did not have what it needed to get pregnant, so it stopped ovulation (which of course means you can't get pregnant).
Knowing this information, we need to create safety in our bodies. The body interprets all stress the same way. In other words, the body does not differentiate between work stress, social stress, the stress of a 5-mile run, the stress of a car crash, or the stress of skipping breakfast. All stressors prompt the release of stress hormones in our bodies (obviously different amounts of stress hormones depending on the stressor. Missing breakfast and being in a car crash would prompt very different amounts of stress hormones to be released).
Some things are out of our control (like a car crash), but many are within our control. Take as much time as possible before you get pregnant to lower stress in your life and your body. That can look like creating new boundaries at work or with your family. Maybe saying no to invites or work assignments. Lowering stress also involves keeping your blood sugar balanced. This means eating a carb and a protein every 2-4 hours. A drop in blood sugar prompts a release of stress hormones to keep things running. See my post here for 5 pro metabolic snacks. This also means eating breakfast in the morning. Preferably 30 minutes after waking, and drinking your coffee either with breakfast or after you eat. Waking up and immediately drinking coffee without eating creates a huge spike in stress hormones! Don’t do it! Do everything in your power to remove stressors, lower stress, and create safety in your body. An excellent resource is the book Burnout.
If you have the time and luxury to prepare for a pregnancy, wow, what a blessing. I recognize that many people do not get that luxury! Reducing stress, focusing on nourishing foods, healing the body, and getting off hormonal birth control are all EXCELLENT for the body and general and will definitely prepare the body for a healthy pregnancy. Did I leave anything out? If you’ve had a baby, tell me how you prepared for it in the comments!
AND did you get pregnant? Congrats!! Me too! You may have learned that the first trimester can be BRUTAL! See my post here for Tips and Tricks for Surviving the First Trimester!