I think we all have things in life where we have said “Man, I wish I knew that before I…(fill in the blank).”
For me, one of the biggest regrets I have is not getting serious about preparing my body for pregnancy BEFORE actually getting pregnant. The more I have learned since having my daughter (and her subsequent health challenges), the more I wish I knew then what I know now.
The Toxic Burden of Babies:
As I’ve discussed in other blog articles, the world we live in now is not that of our ancestors. Here are some alarming statistics:
- On average babies have ~200 toxins found in their umbilical cord blood and receive 2/3 of a mother’s toxic load.
- The average American baby is born with the highest recorded levels of flame retardants among infants in the world.
- Babies inherit the gut/microbiome of their mother, especially of that during the third trimester.
- Children’s health issues, including cancers, mood disorders, asthma and allergies have all been on the rise in recent decades.
Mom’s Pregnancy + Postpartum Issues:
And it’s not all just about the future health of babies– not preparing/cleansing your body prior to pregnancy can impact moms too:
- During pregnancy, mothers lose 4-5 POUNDS of minerals to their baby.
- If their mineral stores were already depleted prior to getting pregnant, the baby will only take as much as is enough to keep the mom alive (and thus there is a chance that the baby will be born deficient too)
- Postpartum depression is associated with copper toxicity/ deficiency
- This is usually brought about primarily due to birth control use prior to pregnancy (and not just the copper IUD)
- Vitamin B6 deficiency is also linked with mom’s postpartum issues
- This is interesting because B6 is what is often given when women experience morning sickness in the first trimester.
- Speaking of morning sickness, it is thought that it is directly correlated to the health of the mother’s liver.
- The liver is massively impacted by birth control use and is the body’s major organ for dealing with the daily burdens of chemicals, dirty water and inorganic foods each day.
So, What Should I Do?
Unfortunately it is not as simple as beginning to take a prenatal vitamin right before or when you find out your pregnant– in fact based on your body’s mineral status combination prenatals may actually make your mineral status/health WORSE.
If you are serious about having a child in the next year, I would begin getting serious about your body and the environment that you will be bringing the child into 3-6 months prior to trying to conceive. If you are already trying and/or are already pregnant don’t fret, just jump in today and clean up as much as you can.
Your Biggest Considerations
NUTRITION: Switch your diet to an organic diet with a good portion of grass-fed, pasture-raised animal products being sources of protein and healthy fat for your body. Your baby will need adequate protein for growing muscle and cartilage/tissue, healthy fat to develop their brain and hormones and good quality carbohydrates for their gut health. If you need help in this category, schedule a Nutritional Review Session and I’d be happy to help.
WATER: If you haven’t seen my Instagram posts or blog post on water, check them out. This is a huge category most people ignore and yet is a major source for chemicals, heavy metals and carcinogenic toxins in our daily lives. I’d especially consider looking into a shower/tub filter for when you will be bathing your baby and filtered water for mom to drink if breastfeeding or to mix with formula if you go that route.
AIR: This is a two-fold area. The products you use that are scented (anything that contains “fragrance”) is constantly releasing hormone-disrupting chemicals into the air. Your baby breathes a lot more times per minute than you do and has a smaller body, thus they are more susceptible to toxic burden than adults are.
- Step 1 is to begin removing/replacing all your fragrances (room sprays, plug-ins, scented candles, perfumes, etc.) from your home.
- Step 2 is to invest in an Air Purifier like an Air Doctor to keep in your main living area and also your bedroom and the child’s future bedroom.
- Furniture, flooring, paint and other household products continue to off-gas things like flame retardants, heavy metals and phthalates into your home as time goes on. The air purifier work to minimize your exposure by filtering it out for you.
PRODUCTS: As you begin to think about your baby registry, look into the quality of the products you will be purchasing. Again avoid anything scented, but look into things like clean car seats, mattresses, diapers, sheets, clothing materials and more. When in doubt, organic is best but sometimes that may not cover everything to avoid. Do your research, your future child will thank you!
The Best Choice: Do Testing Beforehand
As a mom who wishes she knew then what she knows now, I would love to support you on your journey to becoming a parent by using functional lab testing to assess your health status (and even your partner’s- sperm quality is a massive contributor to baby’s health, too!) before beginning so that you are stepping into pregnancy strong and ready to produce the healthiest baby possible!
Some tests I suggest are:
- Overall, an HTMA Test is a powerful tool to help us assess mineral status/balance and any heavy metal load that may need to be considered.
- If you have gut problems, you will likely pass them on to baby so a test like the GutZoomer can be helpful to see what gut healing needs to happen before getting pregnant
- If you are having problems conceiving or suspect hormone issues may be at play, a DUTCH test can look deeper into the health of your adrenals and sex hormone balance to assess if support is needed there.
The Best Gift You Can Give a Child is Health
This is something I am very serious about because it IS serious- we each only get one life and one body to live with. Instead of putting our time and focus into decorating the best nursery for our future child, it is our job to focus on how optimizing our own health can benefit theirs in the future. I know this isn’t talked about in our world and I want to make it more common.
If you’re ready to get started on your journey to conceiving, feel free to book a free Discovery Call to chat about your health today 🙂