Hi there! I touched on this a bit in my blog post "My First Trimester Pregnancy Journey". I truly believe this topic isn't discussed enough. There is so much information out there about how to support yourself during and after baby, but not much out there about what to do beforehand! It usually is not discussed when people start trying to conceive out of fear that it won't happen right away. There is a lot of shame attached to not being able to conceive, or not conceiving fast enough, etc. Us women are very HARD on ourselves. I should also mention that I do not mean for this post to be hurtful to the people having a hard time getting pregnant or those who may not ever be able to. The below list is not going to solve it all, it is just about what I did to work on myself and I was lucky enough to get pregnant.
To be honest, I found the 6 months leading up to when we started to try for a baby (ahhh crazy that we didn't know it was Jack!) sooooo healing, both physically and emotionally. I really focused on getting myself into the best health (I don't mean size WHATSOEVER). I mean health, physical/mental/emotional. One of my new year's resolutions is to be more transparent with you because I really think the world needs more dialogue around topics like this. I finished breastfeeding at 7 months postpartum (if you haven't read my previous posts) and I am back in this mindset about getting mentally and physically ready to get pregnant sometime later this year. So I am going back to the below practises and working towards getting my health in tip top shape, because let's be real, pregnancy/nursing is a lot of work for your body! If you are reading this because you are in that mindset too, YAY THAT IS SO EXCITING! I love chatting about this and am usually a pretty open book, so once again, feel free to message or email me! But here it is...
10 Things I Did Before I Got Pregnant
1. I Balanced My Hormones
Thankfully, I have had a pretty regular period for my adolescent life. I also was never really on the pill (I think a total for 3 months in my entire life, but it made me feel insane) but I still wanted to get my hormones in check. For those of you who follow me on Instagram stories, you may know I go to Energy Tree Studios (in Toronto) to see Anne Matthews for acupuncture and it was extremely helpful. I have said this before and I will say it again, I found it so beneficial before, during + after pregnancy for balancing my hormones and making me feel vibrant
2. I Limited Foods I Knew Were Irritating My Digestive System
I have had different food sensitivity tests done in my life and they always come back the same- showing that I am sensitive to certain nuts, gluten + some forms of dairy (most people are). For the few months leading up to "trying", I made even more of an effort to minimize these foods so my digestion + body would be running as efficiently as they could be. It felt great! I still try to do this when I can because I shouldn't just try and be healthy for when I want to get pregnant, I should try for this all the time- but its nice to not always have to restrict whole foods groups
3. Took a Prenatal
I starting taking this 3 months before we started trying and took Genestra's Pregna Vite. It is beneficial to start taking this before you get pregnant as it allows your body to store some of the vitamins in your body + allows it to run more optimally
4. Detoxed Negativity
I worked a lot on emotional healing and clearing up (and out) any baggage. I give my homeopath a lot of credit with this as I consider her to be somewhat like a therapist to me- pointing out negative patterns in my life and getting an outside perspective. With that being said, I worked on minimizing the toxins in my life, and that involved relationships too. Not everyone will bring out the best in you and you will not bring out the best in everyone. By minimizing these relationships in your life, you are removing stress, anxiety and emotional toxins
5. Minimized Alcohol
I am not a big drinker, at all! I drink once a month at most (unless its wedding season). If you knew me in university (or high school hah), you will probably be like SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! The night after I drink, I feel SO incredibly down (and naturally I am a pretty upbeat person I would like to think) so I have just stopped doing it. I am finally at a stage in my life where I respect myself and my health too much to feel like crap. I am not saying everyone needs to do this, but if something makes you feel terrible- whether it's alcohol, gluten/dairy, a person, a job, you name it, just remove it from your life! In university, I was not secure enough in my own skin to do that, but I am now. If something is not making me feel my best, then it is simple, I minimize it. Because let's be real, sometimes I want a glass of red wine, so I have it!
6. I Got Up to Date with my Health
Figure your SH*T out! Pregnancy is a lot of work, children are a lot of work, so try and get your health in order as much as you possibly can before the sh*tshow begins! LOL I do not mean that in a bad way, but let's just say, you and your health are put on the back burner for a period of time after baby arrives... so focus on you. I saw my naturopath, homeopath, acupuncturist, doctor, masseuse, got blood tests up to date, had sensitivity tests done, etc. Typing that makes me sound SO high maintenance... I guess I am when it comes to my health!
7. Got My Husband on Supplements
My acupuncturist Anne (I talked about her earlier in this post ) mentioned it is beneficial for the husband to take supplements beforehand too as it is not just 1 person making the baby. HOW DID I NEVER THINK OF THIS!!?? It takes two to tango, so why wouldn't it be important for my husband to get on certain beneficial supplements too!? GENIUS. ANNE IS A GENIUS! I love her in case you have not picked up on that
8. Switched to All Natural Make Up Products
For the past 5-7 years, I have been very good about using clean products in my skincare routine and in my home, but I still had not made the full switch to cleaner make up products. I kept putting it off thinking I would never find natural make up that I liked/that worked, but I was wrong! I get most of my make up from The Detox Market and use brands like Alima Pure, RMS, W3LL People, Sappho, the list goes on. Stay tuned for a blog post coming your way soon on that though! Your skin is your largest organ on your body. YES, it is an organ and YES it absorbs things you put on it, so if you are putting make up on it, some chemicals may enter your blood stream. I do not mean for this to scare you, it is just food for thought!
9. I Saved Money!
I get asked this question a lot so I will be honest, I never went on "maternity leave" and did not collect EI because I do not pay into EI. As I am self employed, paying into EI is optional, so I chose to put that money aside on my own instead. Even if you are not self employed and will collect EI, it is wise to save some extra money (if you can! I cannot stress that enough) because the EI payments may not cover all of your expenses (and babies can be expense, HELLO- some breast pumps are $500+). If you are not Canadian and wondering what the heck "EI" is, it stands for Employment Insurance and it entitles you to receive a set amount of maternity (or paternity) pay. It also covers a lot of other areas, but we will not get into that!
You may notice a trend with this list. There is a lot of minimizing/detoxing/removal of things that were not creating positivity in my life. I worked on internal decluttering and I also working on external cluttering. Have you ever done a spring cleaning and felt AMAZING after, wondering why you did not do that sooner?! Well I did a prenatal cleaning (thank you Marie Kondo) and I got rid of possessions I was not using. Things like clothes and furniture that I kept telling myself "would use one day", I either sold or gave to family/friends. I knew other people would appreciate things more than I would. My friends and I have done "clothing swaps" before, where you bring clothes you no longer wear and trade them for your friends clothes they no longer wear. It is like going shopping! Someone else can put a better use to it. Doing so clears out more room in your own life + creates good karma. (spoiler alert: all this decluttering may turn to cluttering when you realize babies accumulate a lot of stuff hah)
Thank you again for stopping by and feel free to message me if you have any questions xo