A new year is fast approaching, and during this season many of us begin thinking about plans for the future and new beginnings. Are you considering a new phase in your life? Is getting pregnant part of your dreams for this coming year? Normally, when this time comes, we consider our savings and the space of our home, but we often put aside preparing our body and mind for pregnancy.
If you are looking to conceive in your 30s and 40s you may require more support in preparing your body for fertility and pregnancy, but it doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Read on what our in house practitioners recommend for preparing your body to get pregnant and increase your fertility.
Tips from our Nutritionist: Mareike
What we put into our bodies has a dramatic impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. Before you try to conceive, Mareike has some great nutritional tips on preparing your body for pregnancy:
- Heavy metal toxicity: Get a test to measure your heavy metal toxicity and work with a nutritionist to eliminate it.
- Weight: Try to reach a healthy weight and start (or continue) regular, moderate exercise.
- Detox environment: Do a detox of your home and environment to ensure it’s clean and healthy.
- Hormones: Check and balance your hormonal system through nutrition
- Nutrition: Develop a healthy eating plan.
A healthy eating plan is easy and your nutritionist can help you develop one that will work for you. Some general nutritional guidelines include:
- Eat organic fresh fruits (1-2 servings per day) and vegetables (8-10 servings per day)
- Eat raw nuts and seeds (flax is beneficial for progesterone production)
- Optimize protein intake (from both vegetable and free-range/grass-fed animals)
- Increase zinc intake (this supports ovulation, healthy estrogen and progesterone levels, and boosts immune function)
- Eat more omega 3 fatty acids (higher intake is associated with a better ovarian reserve and higher rates of conception)
- Combine carbs with protein or fat with each meal (and make sure your first few bites are a protein or carb to prevent blood sugar spikes)
- Take more folic acid (look for this in your prenatal vitamins too).
Also try to minimize eating:
- caffeine and alcohol
- sugar (real and artificial)
- food additives (like preservatives or colourings)
- refine flour products
- red meat
- dairy products
Tips from our Osteopath: Kaitlin
Our Osteopathy tip for boosting your fertility in your 30s and 40s is good for both partners to do: exercise! It’s been shown that when both partners get more moderate, regular exercise their fertility gets a big boost!
Moderate exercise is generally preferred to vigorous exercise. According to one study, male partners who were moderately physically active at least three times per week, for one hour, had higher sperm counts compared to men who performed more vigorous exercises more frequently.
Tips from our Naturopath: Samantha
As we age, our chances of fertility issues increase, but they’re not beyond our control. For clients who have infertility fears, Samantha recommends that you get a set of lab tests done to help identify any potential obstacles so you can make changes now so they don’t impact your ability to get pregnant.
Your naturopath will suggest the recommended labs to get, and they include testing for:
- reproductive hormone levels,
- thyroid hormones,
- anti-müllerian hormone (AMH),
- vitamin D,
- fasting blood glucose,
- fasting insulin, and a
- lipid panel.
Tips from our Fertility Counsellor: Loren
Our bodies already have all the wisdom and knowledge to conceive a child. Sometimes we just need to let our body do its thing! As a fertility counsellor, Loren helps her clients look at their mental and emotional “body.”
The first step is to know what your body feels like in homeostasis when everything is working as it should. This is often a feeling of calm when your thoughts are quieter. For many, this is the time right before falling asleep, or just as you wake up.
Secondly, learn to recognize when your body is out of homeostasis. This often happens when you’re upset or feel out of control. We may experience unpleasant feelings or worries, feel unease, or just feel that something is off.
Finally, once we can recognize these two states-of-being in ourselves, we can learn to manage them. Breathing is a great place to start.
Breathing happens in your belly, not your chest. To check where your breath is coming from, put your hand on your tummy and the other on your chest. Whichever one is rising and falling is where you are breathing from.
Here is a simple breathing exercise you can do to help feel calm in 5-10 minutes:
- Deliberately focus on slowing your breathing down and breathing only through your nose when possible.
- Breathe in for a slow count of four, then pause.
- Breathe out for a count of four, then pause again.
When breathing like this, focus on making your breaths as smooth as possible. Pay attention to your exhale to make sure it’s smooth and steady. Some people like to visualize their stress or anxiety blowing out of them with each exhale.
Tips from our Acupuncturist: Kelsey
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture can also be used to boost your fertility in your 30s and 40s. Here Kelsey’s top 5 tips for boosting your fertility:
- Have healthy menstrual cycles: Knowing where in your monthly cycle you are, can help you better care for your body and give it the extra support it needs during each stage.
- Focus on diet: In TCM we take an energetic view of ourselves so that our body can help energy move freely. When trying to conceive, a healthy digestion and kidney system can help boost your fertility at any age. Enjoy a diet with chicken or duck (meat and eggs), seeds and nuts, oysters, and seaweed and algae. Also eat Yin fruits like raspberries, pineapples, asparagus, beans, proteins, tofu, fish and organ meats.
- Make lifestyle changes: As many will tell you, your sleep won’t be the same when you have a newborn in the house, so get as much, good quality sleep as you can right now. Do what you can to minimize stress in your life (try yoga or meditation). Kelsey also recommends that men say away from hot tubs and tight clothes (which can heat up sperm). And, she encourages both partners to get moderate exercise several times a week too.
- Try acupuncture: Consider starting acupuncture treatments about three months before trying to conceive. Acupuncture and TCM help to restore the balance in your body and for women, it can improve their uterine lining, increase blood flow to the uterus, regulate your hormones, and reduce the stress associated with fertility struggles.
Thinking of trying to conceive in 2021?
If you’re preparing to get pregnant in 2021, now is the time to get your mind and body in alignment so your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy and child increase. Don’t wait and be surprised by fertility problems. Our team of fertility experts in a wide range of holistic health specialties can put together the perfect bundle of services to help you prepare to conceive your own bundle of joy.
Learn more about the fertility programs at Thuja Wellness and book a complimentary 15 consult with a fertility specialist to get started.