Monday, November 30, 2009

Preparing for Conception

I've been gobbling up the posts at Progressive Pioneer. When I saw this post about preparing for conception, I decided to dig into my pregnancy book basket and start sifting through all the information about pre-conception and how to prepare one's body for conception.

According to our current sense of our life trajectory, Matt and I are thinking about trying to get pregnant next summer. Although I am a planner and like to prepare for things in advance, I promise I did not actually run out and purchase any of the books in my pregnancy book basket. Rather, Matt and I went to the public library book store a while back, and they had an amazing sale going on: Pile as many books into your arms as you can and the total cost will only be $5.

So, I had no choice but to pile pregnancy books into my arms (virtually free!), along with cookbooks, CDs, travel books, etc. After I read Amy's post about her own process for gearing up to birth, I dug out some of my books to find out how early I should start preparing. The recommendations range anywhere from a year to 90 days. Luckily, creating the optimal conditions in one's body for a fetus aren't very difficult. Here's the gist:

  1. Eat balanced meals (break out the food pyramid!)
  2. Drink a lot of water (and limit intake of other liquids that include caffeine or alcohol)
  3. Exercise
  4. De-stress
  5. Take vitamins
  6. Limit medicine intake
These pre-baby goals pretty much align with my general approach to health and wellness. Actually, they align perfectly. The only difference is that I'm being more conscious about nutritionally balancing my meals according to the food pyramid (rather than just "eating healthy"), and I'm taking a prenatal vitaminrather than my regular multivitamin.

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The ex-expat said...

Good luck! Without trying to sound alarmist, I'd also add in the most important thing is the moment that you start trying to conceive is the moment you hand your ability to control things.

You might not get pregnant straight away, or you might find out that a positive pregnancy test doesn't always end in a baby. On the other hand things might 'click.' You just don't know what will happen and the only thing you can control is your reaction to it.

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ The ex-expat: I totally agree! It's something I have to remind myself of a lot. Thanks for insight!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sara,
I've heard a lot of negative things about using the food pyramid to guide diet. We don't need that many breads and grains.

One really good piece of advice I've seen is 2 & 5. Eat 2 fruits and 5 veggies a day.

I've checked Ultrametabolism out at my library and found the eating plan there intriguing. It seems to make a lot of sense and focuses on true whole grains (quinoa, bulghur, etc), good fats and lots of veggies. It's about using food to help your body function and to nourish you. I haven't strictly followed it yet, but want to.

I'm not trying to criticize you trying to eat healthy at all, I just wanted to make you aware that the food pyramid is controversial.

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Anonymous: Thanks for sharing! I haven't read much about the controversy around the food pyramid. I'll look into it more. Thanks!

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