Don’t wait until you see a positive pregnancy test to think about your baby’s health.
Your baby’s health begins before conception. In humans, the life cycle of an egg is about 120 days and lifecycle of sperm is about 60 days. Your lifestyle can epigenetically affect your baby’s health before you have fertilization of the egg. You have the ability to “turn on and off” genes, which can affect how your baby’s health and genetics are expressed. Through emerging research on epigenetics, we are now able to understand how lifestyle affects your health, and the health of your future or developing baby(s).
My goal and passion is to help moms and dads change their diet and lifestyle before conception. This helps create the best environment possible for the development of a happy healthy baby. It’s no secret that the health status of our children is becoming more detrimental each year. Not to mention the declining health status of young women and moms.
We Need to Change the Statistics
Did you know that 44% of women that develop autoimmune disease have onset after the first year of pregnancy?1 That statistic alone should make you think twice about your health during pregnancy. As a mom, you have to take proper care of yourself to have the ability to properly care for your family. We all want to be super-mom, but self-care has to be a regular scheduled task to ensure your health throughout your own motherhood journey.
As for the skyrocketing numbers of illnesses diagnosed with children today, it should be an easy decision. You must make changes now to protect the health of your future baby. Neurodevelopmental disorders and allergies are continually increasing every year with no sign of any positive change. The autism rate is currently 1 in every 36 (or 59 depending on source), but is estimated to reach 1 in every 2 by the year 2025.2 This is NOT acceptable! It is up to us to make a shift and change the epidemic that is occurring.
The preconception period, or 6 months prior to conception, is the best time to make positive changes to your health. You can create an optimal environment during pregnancy for proper development of baby. I’m not saying that 100% of childhood disease can be prevented during utero, but it surely can’t hurt to make sure you are as healthy as possible before and during pregnancy. What are some ways to positively affect your health before pregnancy? Read on for some of the tips I give to my health clients.
First and foremost, it is of upmost importance to decrease emotional stress. Stress has a negative impact on ALL of your bodily systems. Your body doesn’t know the difference between real or imagined stress, and creates the same cascade of events whether the stressful situation happens or not. We as natural health providers understand the negative impact that emotional stress has on the female body, especially the endocrine system. When women are constantly bombarded with stress, it can affect your hormones in a negative manner. The more cortisol your body has to produce, the less progesterone you may have available. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that many women are being diagnosed with low progesterone levels. Stress may be the culprit to many current health disorders. Its is also known that a high stress level for mom during the first trimester can have a negative effect on baby’s health.³
Stress also has a negative impact on your digestive system. When you have excess stress or cortisol production, you can consequently develop hypochlorhidria. Hypochlorhydria is condition in which the pH level of your stomach is too high. When the pH level of your stomach isn’t at the appropriate level, you may have a cascade of events, including limited enzyme production. Enzymes are substance that help your body break down or digest your food. If you can’t properly digest or absorb your food, there will be little vitamin and nutrient absorption. Also, undigested food particles over time, could put you at risk for developing food sensitives.
Your immune system is also impacted greatly from the effects of emotional stress. I don’t think I have to go into great detail for you to understand that a poorly functioning immune system is not a good thing at all. Without a properly functioning immune system, you are at risk for developing many different chronic diseases, including autoimmune disease. We know, thanks to research studies, that there are many epigenetic markers that can be either switched on or off due to overwhelming amounts of stress. So please, don’t take this recommendation lightly, because this does effect your baby’s health.
Let food be thy medicine is not just a silly quote, but the honest truth. When your body is being fed a healthy diet, amazing healing can happen. Cleaning up your diet and making sure to avoid GMOs at the very least, can make quite a change to overall health. Little is known on the long-term effects of genetically modified foods, so it is best to avoid the unknown. But with new foods and animals being genetically modified each year, it is difficult to avoid them completely. Avoiding the Dirty Dozen, from the Environmental Working Group on conventional produce is a great start! Try buying organic for at least those 12 items will start decreasing your overall toxic load.
Learn to shop on the outside of the grocery store, and only buy necessary items from the middle aisles, and watch your refrigerator and pantry slowly change for the better! Eat things that are occurring in nature, and make sure to incorporate a vast array of colorful vegetables and fruit. Feeding your body a healthy diet won’t only give you great health, but will also give your baby the best health possible. So pick up some organic greens, avocados, and pastured eggs, and eat your way to a healthy conception and pregnancy.
Making concrete changes to your lifestyle can bring such positive advances to your overall health, and the health of your future or developing baby. It all starts with simple shifts that can snowball into large effects on your overall status. Are you interested in more information and guidance during the preconception period? Check out my preconception program called Nourished Mommy Methodology. This is a 6 week program that can boost fertility and help you conceive the baby of your dreams!