Feed Your Fertile Body: Nutrition matters whether you are planning to conceive or struggling to.

By Joey Anderson

The creation of life is truly a miracle. I know that’s cliche but when was the last time you stopped to appreciate how miraculous it is? Everything about it from conception, to growing a baby inside of the womb, to getting that baby out of the body during childbirth, to feeding the baby with your body, to watching your child learn and grow. It’s truly remarkable. It’s something that is easily taken for granted when all goes as planned. Not so when there are bumps in the road. I personally struggled to conceive (it took us 3 years to have our son, three month prior to my 40th birthday) and while that was an incredibly stressful, lonely and heart wrenching time, it’s a miracle was no longer lost on me.

Infertility is on the rise. According to the CDC, 10% of women of reproductive age have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant. The statistics vary depending on the source and this one is on the lower end of the spectrum. It’s not uncommon these days to know someone who is or has struggled to get pregnant.

Often, the scenario goes something like this: Couple decides they’re ready to get pregnant, are super excited and they can’t wait! Likely there was plenty of talking and planning around finances, careers, housing and schools there is typically not much planning around preparing the body for optimal health both for mama and baby. Many conceive with no issues but many are experiencing unanticipated troubles getting pregnant. Here’s where nutrition can come in.

Traditionally, cultures knew to prioritize nutrition and specific foods in couples leading up to conception. This was to enhance both fertility and to ensure proper nutrients for the health of mom and baby. Culturally, today we have not only lost many of these traditions but have become careless when it comes to pre-conceptions preparation. The Standard American Diet is doing us no favors here.

Mom and dad’s nutritional and general health status prior to conception are critical. Eating to conceive serves two purposes: one is fertility and the other is that it helps you have a healthy baby. It also helps put baby on the right track for life.

While we can't change our DNA, good nutrition has the power to impact how our genes (and our unborn baby’s genes) express themselves. Can you think of a more important time to make choices about what you eat than when you’re getting ready to have a baby? Attention to your nutrition and health pre-conception increases the chances of conception and reduces the chances of miscarriage as well as health problems in your child.

Conventional wisdom offers us advice that is aimed at preventing negative outcomes such as birth defects like spina bifida. Let’s aim the bar higher and feed the body in a way that supports optimal health for mama and baby.

If you’re experiencing fertility challenges or just planning to get pregnant and you’d like to learn more about how to support your body for conception and fertility that’s what the Feed Your Fertile Body program is all about. It’s designed to educate and support you on your journey to parenthood. If you’d like to learn more about this group program, sign up here for Joey’s upcoming class starting April 16th.

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