Preparing for pregnancy might seem like a novel idea, and perhaps it is. While we were researching the area of infertility and how best to improve fertility in men and women, we paid considerable attention to pre-pregnancy health.
We asked ourselves the simple question:
Can your pre-pregnancy health impact on your pregnancy and the developing child?
The short answer is yes, and the long answer is a definitive yes. We are familiar with folic acid and its capability of preventing neural tube defects. However, as effective as folic acid is a doing its job, there is an evolving understanding of how nutrients on their own and together can help us have a healthier pregnancy, ultimately leading to fewer complications and a healthier child.
There is a range of illnesses and conditions that can affect a pregnancy, from nausea and morning sickness to pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. We hope to show how preparing for pregnancy, through being as nourished and as healthy as you can, can limit these complications and in some cases eradicate them.
It makes perfect sense that the healthier you are before becoming pregnant, the healthier your pregnancy will be. We now also know that your health will impact on the health of the embryo, foetus and eventually your child. For example, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has stated that:
‘If you optimize your health prior to getting pregnant, ultimately, you can have a healthier pregnancy, which is not only good for you, but important to your baby.’
We would consider this a pretty strong statement from a national body in America, but most governing bodies or institutes highlight that preparing for pregnancy is essential. Some of the other organisations leading the charge are the World Health Organisation, Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, NHS (UK) and the HSE here at home.
Once we have conceived, the developing embryo and eventually the foetus gets ALL of its nourishment from you, the mother. Again, common sense will tell you that if you are not healthy and have an adequate supply of nutrients, how can you pass this through the placenta on your child?
pre-Conceive before conception primes the body with a constant and comprehensive supply of nutrients that will help you and your developing child. These nutrients are all vital to your health. For example, a deficiency in Omega 3 during pregnancy can lead to the mother’s brain actually shrinking during pregnancy. This is because the foetus will draw nutrients for its development, including its own brain, eyes, nervous system etc. Omega 3 before pregnancy can help limit this and help with diabetes and even pre-eclampsia. Please remember that it is reported that 90% of us are deficient in omega.
What do we mean when we say ‘Prepare for Pregnancy’?
Preparing for pregnancy essentially means getting the body into as healthy a position as possible before conception. Ultimately by preparing for pregnancy, your pregnancy will be easier and less complicated. Preparing for pregnancy has also shown to make conception… more straightforward.
Now, how do we do it?
Preparing for pregnancy does not involve drastic lifestyle or dietary changes. For the most part, it concentrates on living a healthier, more nutritious and ‘limited stress’ lifestyle – which, for some, may be easier said than done! We have tried to support your decision making and have provided some information in our lifestyle section on the site. Hopefully this information can help you on your path to conception, a healthy pregnancy and the ultimate goal.