EP 28: Planning for Pregnancy + Conception Tips

Updated: Feb 4

POSCAST EP 28



1. If you’re on the pill, get off the pill.

It may take your body a month or more to regulate itself after being on the pill. It is truly different for everyone, but the first step if you're thinking about trying to conceive is to get off birth control ASAP.


2. Take a prenatal vitamin DAILY.

Start taking this when you decide you want to start trying. It must have 400 micrograms of folate (not folic acid which is synthesised), vitamins A & D, iron,Omega 3 (DHA and EPA), and B12. My favorites that I have tried are Ritual which is $35 sent monthly to your doorstep and Actif Organic which I buy off amazon and comes out to under $15 per month. 


Go listen to EP 5: Prenatal Nutrition + Supplementation 


3. LIMIT CAFFEINE.

Ugh, the hardest and worst part in my opinion. 

You don’t have to say goodbye to coffee and go cold turkey, but excess caffeine has been linked to higher miscarriage rates and is known to be harmful to a pregnancy. 

Try to limit intake to 100-200 milligrams per day. General rule is just to have one cup of coffee and avoid caffeine beyond that. Start doing this now, that way when you become pregnant you don’t go through caffeine withdrawal!


4. Workout, exercise, focus on your health.

Stay active, try to move your body intentionally for an hour a day. If you aren't into working out at the gym aim for 10k steps per day.

If you are overweight, try to reach a healthy weight. This will decrease your risk of developing GDM (gestational Diabetes) and other complications during pregnancy, as well as help to increase fertility!


Go listen to EP 14 : Exercise During Pregnancy


5. Eat enough, focus on whole foods!

Being underweight can also interfere with ovulation and fertility.

I don't believe I’ve ever discussed this on the podcast much, but I used to have a semi severe eating disorder combined with over exercise obsession. I was not eating enough and working out more than enough. My body was in such a caloric deficit it shut off all nonessential functions. Basically, my body was so limited on energy it needed all it got to fuel my brain, organs, digestion, and functions I couldn't survive without (this is often referred to as starvation mode).

Guess what is nonessential… your period and ovulation. I did not get a period for 3 years, and it took over a year of being in a calorie surplus with little exercise, restoring all of my weight loss, and lots of physical healing until I regained my cycle. Your body is smart, and it goes back to our natural instincts and evolution. If my body thinks there is a famine, there isn't resources or food, it is going to think it must not be a good time to have a baby because there isn't enough food and conditions are not good outside in the world, therefore it stops ovulating.


6. Pay attention to timing of sex!

Track your cycles and track your ovulation. I love the flow app. You can also look into Basal Body Temperature Charting (BBT) where you take your temperature first thing in the morning, you often see a temperature spike after ovulation that stays elevated. This helps you predict monthly ovulation.

I simply use the flow app and pay attention to the changes of cervical mucus, it becomes more sticky, like egg whites, during ovulation.

It is recommended to have sex starting 5 days before ovulation, the day of ovulation, and the 2 days after. 

Honestly, to simplify it just try to just have sex every other day for the month and odds are you will fall in your fertile window!


7. Avoid lubricants

I truly don’t know how much this plays a role, but some water based lubricants can make it difficult for sperm to travel.

8. Quit any bad habits ASAP.

If you’re smoking, drinking, or doing any other drugs kick them to the curb asap. Even very early in pregnancy they can cause birth defects and fetal issues. Alcohol also can mess with fertility and ovulation, as well as decrease sperm count in men.

Skip the drinks when you’re out at dinner!


9. Avoid toxins (even in basic medications)

I recommend avoiding Acetaminophen (Tylenol) in all cases possible. Truly, you should schedule a preconception appointment with your provider to go over all and any medications you’re currently taking. If you’re taking anything besides a prenatal, probiotic, or fish oil make sure to do research and talk with your provider to make sure it’s safe during pregnancy


Go listen to EP 17 : Toxins You Need to Avoid During Pregnancy for more on this!


10. SLEEP. Aim for 8 hours a night.

Women who lacked in getting enough sleep have been proven to have irregular and complicated ovulation.

TIPS : Stay off your phone for 2 hours before bedtime. Invest in blue light glasses (mine are from Zenni Optical, they have so many designs and you can add your prescription if needed). Get to bed at the same time each night, wakeup at the same time. Relax before bed, take a bath or read a book.



REFERENCE:


Ritual PNV - https://ritual.com/products/essential-prenatal-multivitamin


Actif Organic PNV - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LVYT5RL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1


My Zenni bluelight glasses - https://www.zennioptical.com/p/plastic-round-eyeglass-frames/2068?skuId=206825


CDC tips - https://www.cdc.gov/preconception/planning.html