Having a baby is an extremely exciting time in one’s life. Sometimes falling pregnant can come as a special surprise, but there is usually some planning, timing and preparation involved. Every parent strives to do the very best they possibly can for their child, so let’s see how you can lay the foundations of good health for your future child and help give them the best possible start to life by preparing for pregnancy.
What is preconception care?
Preconception care is the care you receive before attempting to conceive. It is designed to prime your body, improve your fertility, enhance your reproductive health and get your body in the best possible condition for pregnancy. It also provides a nourishing environment and the nutritional building blocks for your baby to grow and develop and can play a vital role in setting up the health of your future child.
Preconception care makes sure that all the nutritional factors that are essential for the health of the egg, sperm and foetal development are provided. It also ensures that things shown to be harmful and detrimental to fertility and pregnancy are dealt with and removed. It is extremely important that both partners are involved in preconception care as both contribute equally to their child’s health. Ideally, you should start preconception care at least four months before trying to conceive.
This is because sperm take around 116 days to form and it takes approximately 100 days for an egg to mature. Allowing this amount of time of healthy living will improve the quality of the sperm and egg and ensures the health of the egg and sperm are in optimal condition before conception.
What does preconception care involve?
Preconception care addresses potential health problems or issues that may affect your fertility, pregnancy and health of your future child. It is designed to get you in the best possible state of health before attempting to conceive. Preconception care can be as simple as visiting your doctor before starting to try for a baby, who may recommend some important tests and give you information on which vitamins or supplements you should be taking (and not taking) whilst trying to conceive.
Many prospective parents however, choose to see a natural fertility management (NFM) specialist as well who will work together with both parents to complete a full health assessment and provide you with a comprehensive, tailored program to provide you with the best preconception care. They will also address any obvious fertility problems firstly with natural therapies and treatments as well as dealing with the root causes behind any reproductive health problems. These will be complemented by appropriate orthodox medicine where necessary.
One of the most fundamental aspects of preconception care is improving the nutritional status of both you and your partner and eliminating potential toxins and detrimental things and restoring your health. Our modern lifestyles, diet, environmental pollutants and social toxins like alcohol, drugs, caffeine and cigarettes all have a significant negative impact on our nutritional status. Rectifying this is a crucial part of preconception care.
View our article on the essential nutrients needed during preconception and pregnancy. If you are considering starting a family, you may want to consult with a naturopath who specialises in natural fertility management prior to trying to conceive. Optimise your health, enhance your fertility, make a positive difference in your futures baby’s health, give yourself the best chance of conceiving and give the best possible start to your precious baby’s life by investing in four months of preconception care.
For further information on preconception care we recommend reading “The Natural Way to Better Babies” by Francesca Naish & Janette Roberts