How To Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy
Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy
There is increasing evidence that chronic environmental stressors and endocrine disruptors cause an imbalance in female sex hormones. Endocrine disruptors imitate hormones we produce naturally and send mixed messages to the brain and its target organs. This error in messaging is believed to contribute to chronic disease states like obesity, thyroid disorders, metabolic syndrome, painful periods (dysmenorrhea), endometriosis, PCOS and insulin resistance.
In pregnancy there’s a high turnover of bone, and our bones store lead. A study by Environmental Working group found 232 toxic chemicals already in the umbilical cord blood of newborns! Our body has a maladaptive response when there's an overload of environmental endocrine disruptors.
Should you prepare your body for pregnancy? 1982-2002 infertility rates increased and it’s believed that endocrine disruptors are one cause to this rise. Endocrine disruptors create a state of inflammation and when we are in chronic inflammation in pregnancy it increases rates of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure in pregnancy, premature birth, low birth weight, thyroid dysfunction and prenatal depression, and postpartum depression.
Preparing your body for pregnancy doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive. Humans are incredibly resilient. We want to use this information to optimize health and reducing the risk of maternal body burden (overall load of toxic chemicals). Below I laid out a few steps you can take on your own to prepare 3-6 months prior to conception. Don’t do a full detoxification program while you are pregnant.
The suggestions I’m making below are changes you can make to your life at any point- prior to pregnancy or during pregnancy.
Phase 1: Eliminate Toxins In Your Environment
Reduce environmental endocrine disruptors. Check out Environmental Working Group for more information!
Top 12 endocrine disruptors:
Review cosmetic use:
To find which cosmetics have harmful chemicals in them, check out skin deep. They provide an overview of what chemicals are in your beauty products and how they are rated.
Juice Beauty, Beauty Counter, Mad Hippie, Herbivore are my top favorite companies with clean and safe beauty products.
Antibacterial, household cleaners:
Use vinegar, lemon, baking soda for a cheap solution.
Seventh Generation, Young Living, Dr. Bronners are a few, safe cleaning options.
Avoid high mercury fish. National Resources Defense Council is a great resource to figure out which fish is in high mercury and PCBs. Supplement with fish oil. Safe and clean options are Nordic naturals or Carlson. You want to choose your fish oil safely as our oceans are ripe with PCBs.
Limit rice products: There is an arsenic risk with rice or rice products like energy bars and granola bars because of rice syrup. You can eat rice, but limit the quantity.
Get to a healthy body weight for your size- a BMI of 20-24, ideally. Use the BMI calculator to figure out where you land. Anything over 24.5 is overweight. This BMI can increase inflammation and cause pregnancy complications.
Phase 2: Eliminate Toxins In Your Body
Increase nutrients that naturally detoxify.
Many pregnant women are low in protein, iron, iodide, magnesium and B vitamins. Increasing these nutrients will help to naturally detoxify your body via your liver. You need ample protein to carry these nutrients through the body to help detoxify.
Prenatal vitamin to lower rates of prenatal complications.
Take care of your gut by pooping every day!
if you’re not pooping everyday it’s keeping toxins in your body allowing them to recirculate in even more toxic forms. Pooping is your body’s way of getting rid of the toxins that your liver broke down.
Flax seeds (quick and easy: 1-2 tablespoons of flax seed/day)
Take a probiotic with lactobacillus and bifidobacterial species in them.
Increase leafy greens
Use water filter
Top 8 Detoxifying Foods
Dark leafy green vegetables like broccoli, bok choy, kale, or collard greens. They contain fiber and indols that help detoxify liver.
Berries, purple grapes, pomegranate and walnuts. These foods have a high amount of ellagic acid, which increases detoxification in liver and packages them in a way that is safer for your body.
Fiber: soluble fiber helps with bowel movements, acts as prebiotic and feeds healthy bacteria.
Probiotic or lacto-fermented foods.
Turmeric: 2 tsp or 1 tbs OR can take 500-100mg twice/day of active component of turmeric, cercumin.
Warning: stop taking once pregnant. There' haven’t been any studies on turmeric in pregnancy at this dose.
B vitamins. Rich dietary sources are eggs, poultry, green leafy veggies, legumes. They contain methyl groups that help the liver break down toxins.
Sea vegetables to remove heavy metals, like kelp or algae. They contain plant sugars that bind heavy metals and toxins and facilitate their elimination. Main Coast Seaweed it a great source.
Cook with rosemary, cilantro, thyme, garlic and onions help improve detoxification in liver.
There are supplements your can use while trying to get pregnant to eliminate heavy metals. These include: branched chain amino acids, n-acetyl cistane and glutathione, B complex, bioflavonoids, green tea extract, broccoli extract, artichoke, milk thistle.