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  • Writer's pictureErin White

Prepping Your Body for Pregnancy




There are so many things that go into conceiving a child, but what about prepping for that and pregnancy itself? Not surprisingly there are so many ways we can help prepare our bodies to carry and ultimately deliver that sweet bundle. In today’s blog post I’m going to highlight nutrition, supplements, and working out to help prepare our bodies for pregnancy!


**Please note this post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you!**


Nutrition:

There’s a very strong correlation between nutrition, overall health, and our fertility. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post (linked here), a poor diet can make our cycles vary and then make ovulation less predictable or prevent it all together. Our men aren’t out of the woods either, an unhealthy diet in men can lower sperm quality and count. It’s very important to stock up on whole, unprocessed foods and get key vitamins and nutrients to support good health. Foods to eat include dark, leafy greens and vegetables of all kinds, grilled, lean meat and fish, whole grains, and dairy in moderation. Try to eliminate packaged foods and check your labels for their ingredients. Protein is also a huge part of our daily caloric intake and should be carefully considered. While it’s not necessary to go completely vegan or plant based, there are a lot of good options out there that help limit the amount of saturated fats we consume. Some good alternate protein options include nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains, and soy products.


When trying to conceive it’s important to consider stopping drinking alcohol as it can negatively affect fertility and has not been proven safe at any point in pregnancy. For men, alcohol can also bring down sperm count. Limiting your caffeine consumption should also be done in those months leading up to conception. Taking it down to no more than 300 mg a day can help with overall fertility.


Supplements:

It’s never too soon to start a good prenatal supplement regimen! Most of us get all or most of our essential nutrients through food, but supplements can help meet our daily vitamin and mineral requirements that we fall short in. Your prenatals should include at least these 13 ingredients:

· 400 mcg of folic acid

· 400 IU of vitamin D

· 200-300 mg of calcium

· 70 mg vitamin C

· 3 mg of thiamine

· 2 mg of riboflavin

· 20 mg of niacin

· 6 mcg vitamin B12

· 10 mg of vitamin E

· 15 mg zinc

· 17 mg iron

· 150 mcg iodine

All of these are crucial to have in your prenatal and studies suggest you should start taking them 3-6 months prior to trying to conceive. But if you just now start that’s fine too! Soon to be dad’s also need some additional supplements into their daily intake and these include antioxidants, calcium, and vitamin D. I've linked the blog post for my go-to prenatal supplement bundle as well as the DHA and vitamin B6 I'm taking! I use BINTO for my prenatal regimen && you can get 20% off your order with code: FITWITHFAITH!


Fitness:

Being physically active whatever that looks like for you is one of the best ways to help our bodies prepare for pregnancy. Daily exercise has been shown to reduce the overall time it takes couples to get pregnant. If working out is new to you, consult with your doctor on what type of exercise is best. It’s best to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day and to not overdo it. Developing a good exercise routine can help you maintain a healthy weight and make it easier to gain the appropriate amount of pregnancy weight without having to worry about not weighing enough or weighing too much once you conceive.


Here are some physical therapy based fitness tips to help prepare your body for pregnancy and guard against pain and dysfunction.

· Strengthen your pelvic muscles – Our pelvic floor is a huge part in carrying our babies so it’s obvious why it’s so important for it to be strong. To strengthen your muscles down there, do pelvic floor contractions (Kegals). To do this pretend like you have to urinate and then hold it. You relax and tighten the muscles that control urine flow. It is important to find the right muscles to tighten so you don’t develop incontinence, pelvic pain, or low back pain.

· Focus on your core – Preparing your core for baby can help prevent diastasis recti (separation of the abdominal muscles). Crunches and sit-ups can put too much pressure on our core and can increase the likelihood of diastasis recti. Instead focus on planks and exercises to strengthen

your transverse abdominus. To do this lie on your back or side with your spine in a neutral posture, (gentle curve in your low back). Try the following connect cues to produce a deep, isolated contraction of TA: Imagine a line that connects the inside of your two pelvic bones (front of hips). Contract your pelvic floor by drawing the muscles from behind your pubic bone to your tail bone and the left and right sides of your pelvic floor together. Then, like a drawstring bag or zipping a zipper, gently draw the entire pelvic floor up.


· Learn proper breathing – Being able to concentrate on your breath can help prepare your body and mind for baby. It’s also important to know how to properly breath while exercising to keep your heart rate low and offer more stability to prevent injuries. There are so many great YouTube videos out there to help teach you how to breath.

· Straighten up – Having good posture goes a long way not just in pregnancy but in life. Poor posture can have major effects on our whole bodies and therefore cause pain. Establishing good postural habits pre-baby can help with carrying the extra weight during pregnancy and lessen the chances of low back pain. Be more conscious when sitting at your desk/computer and think about your core. If needed place a pillow behind your back to help you sit up straighter with more support. When bending down to pick something up be sure to bend with your knees not at your waist to take pressure off of your low back. If you have a more sedentary job, make an effort to take breaks to walk around and stretch out to keep your back and hips from tightening up.


I will be going more in depth in a future blog post about exercise and training our bodies for pregnancy from a physical therapist’s point of view so stay tuned for that!



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Hi, thanks for stopping by!

I am a wife to my amazing husband Zach and a momma to an angel baby and now a beautiful baby boy. I am an anxiety warrior, a follower of Christ, and a devoted wife, mother, daughter, friend, and sister.

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