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Preparing For Pregnancy

Preparing for PregnancyInfertility is a huge problem these days. After talking to many women who are having trouble making a baby, I’d like to focus on preparing our bodies in a healthy way for pregnancy. Most people begin preparing their bodies for pregnancy after they conceive, but what they do not always realize is that the most important preparation actually takes place before conception.

You wouldn’t wait to prepare the baby’s new room until after the baby is born, so why would you wait to prepare the womb until after conception?

FERTILITY ROADBLOCKS
Many women feel that getting pregnant is hard work. This is no surprise since so many factors affect a woman’s ability to conceive: stress, hormone imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, poor diet, and exposure to environmental toxins are just a few problem areas. More often than not, these roadblocks are interrelated. The good news is that nutritional therapy and removing environmental toxins from your body and home environment can address and usually relieve all of these major obstacles. As a nutritionist, I address client’s nutrient deficiencies and teach them how to make better food choices for their body so that they can relieve stress, balance hormones and provide the nutrients their body needs to provide a stable and healthy environment for baby.

Nutrient deficiencies can impede upon a woman’s ability to conceive. The human body is designed to reproduce only when it can healthily support another life. Thus, when a woman is missing vital nutrients, fertility is decreased in order to protect the mother and baby from a failed pregnancy. This is becoming more common as our food is increasingly produced from nutrient depleted soil and processed with chemicals and additives.

As our world becomes more industrialized, environmental toxins become more and more apparent in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. It only makes sense that the more we are exposed to these toxins, the more we need to be aware of how they are affecting our health and the health of our children.

Detoxifying the body of heavy metals and other environmental toxins before pregnancy can be extremely beneficial to the health of Mom and baby because these toxins can be damaging to the fetus and can cause birth defects, infertility, and miscarriages. It is very important that women should never detoxify the body while pregnant or breast-feeding. This is because the toxins that are expelled from the mother’s body during detoxification can easily be passed on to the fetus or through the breast milk.

STEPS FOR HEALTHY DETOXIFICATION
– Nutritional detoxification: Sunshine Wellness offers nutritional consultations on the appropriate cleansing diet and supplements for you and your baby-to-be. Also check out our past newsletter, Nutrition Tips & Essential Supplements for Pregnancy.
– Eat organic to avoid pesticides, growth hormones, and antibiotics. Sunshine Wellness never uses meats from animals that that have been given hormones or antibiotics and we use whole organic foods whenever possible. For more information on the crops that have the highest pesticide residues, visit www.foodnews.org.
– Replace chemical household cleaning products with natural and biodegradable ones (your local health market, Trader Joe’s, Tri-County Produce, Lazy Acres, and Lassen’s have a good selection of safe household products).
– Avoid using plastic and Styrofoam to store or heat your food in. The chemicals and PCBs in these materials that leach into your food when heated have been linked to fetal development problems such as learning disorders, slowed mental development, neurological defects, and reduced birth weight.
– Do not have mercury fillings put in or removed while you are pregnant or trying to conceive. Mercury is a neurotoxin and can cause severe health issues for you and your baby. Ideally, ceramic fillings, even though they are more expensive, should always be chosen over mercury fillings.

ESTABLISHING HEALTHY INTESTINAL FLORA
Most would not think that good digestion and the existence of healthy bacteria in the gut would have so much influence over the health of a woman’s baby, but it does. Babies do not have any bacteria when they are born. They must receive these beneficial bacteria from their mother on their way through the birth canal and, after birth, from breast milk and their environment. If the mother has high yeast and low beneficial bacteria in her gut, conditions are typically similar in her vaginal tract, and during birth, the baby will be exposed to this imbalance.

The most common reason for lowered levels of good bacteria in the gut are antibiotics, which kill good and bad bacteria. This is why it is so important to reestablish the good bacteria in the gut during and following a round of antibiotics. You can do this by adding live and fermented foods to your diet, such as kefir, yogurt, and pickled vegetables. If you do not reestablish the good bacteria, yeast, parasites and bad bacteria will be allowed to proliferate, creating a hostile environment for the fetus.

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