What Should I Eat During Pregnancy? Many women get the wake up call to adopt a healthy lifestyle when they see the positive sign on the pregnancy test. While enhancing health at any point in pregnancy is beneficial, the ongoing pregnancy nutrition of the mother and father three months to a year prior to conception has an impact on fertility, ease of conception, health status of the baby in utero and at birth, and the health of the baby throughout his or her lifespan. Hormones run the show when it comes to achieving hormonal harmony. The balancing act of hormones in the body is a well-timed and choreographed dance that are affected, both positively and negatively, by the foods we eat, the environment we are surrounded by, and the state of our mentality. We must eat to support our hormones so that we work with our body versus against it. The female body is strong, intelligent, and resilient if given the necessary tools to do so. Women are incredibly sensitive to changes in dietary pattern, prolonged nutritional deficiencies, and both physical and emotional stress, and all of these factors can immediately shut off the body’s ability and desire to reproduce. Low-calorie diets, fat-free diets, low protein diets, extreme avoidance diets, over-exercising, high stress levels, poor sleep habits, negative self-talk, and medicinally controlled menstrual cycles have negative effects on the ability to conceive with ease. Pregnancy Nutrition and Why it is Important Preparing the female body for pregnancy ideally begins during the reproductive years long before pregnancy is actually achieved. However, because many pregnancies are not planned, it is important to always be primed and in optimal health to carry a baby as the first few weeks after conception are when a fetus is at highest risk for birth defects. Unless the pregnancy is planned or you are very in-tune with your body, often times women do not realize they are pregnant until symptoms occur such as missed period, nausea, breast tenderness which may not happen until 6-8 weeks. On average, women are not able to get in to see a physician until after 8 weeks of pregnancy, at which point so many developmental milestones have occurred that are dependent on good nutritional standing. Foods for Fertility To increase chances of getting pregnant and carrying a healthy baby to term is highly dependent on several factors which include adopting a real-food diet, avoiding “health stealing” foods, ridding the body of unnecessary toxins, evaluating your body’s ability to utilize certain nutrients based on your genetics, ensuring adequate nutrient status, and supporting your gastrointestinal system. Nicole’s Five-Phase Approach for Fertility Involves: Learning to Eat for your Hormones Optimizing Your Nutrient Numbers Healing your Gut and “Growing your Bugs” Enhancing Your Detoxification Pathways Prioritizing Sleep and Stress Management Overcome Your Fertility Challenges with Integrative and Functional Nutritional Therapy: The decision to have a baby is a big one. And let’s face it, if you have been trying to conceive for a long time, the act of making a baby can become quite robotic, boring, and chore-like. Couple that with the added stress of being let down at yet another negative pregnancy test which only makes matters worse. In the following section, you will be walked through the most common causes of subfertility with strategies to identify the root cause and better manage your condition. What are the Suggested Lab Tests? DUTCH Hormone Testing LEAP MRT Food Sensitivity Test SpectraCell Micronutrient Panel SpectraCell Cardio-Metabolic Panel SpectraCell MTHFR Genetic Screen Diagnostic Solutions GI-MAP Stool Test Initial visits are recommended one year prior to conception, during each trimester, and three months after birth to ensure optimal nutritional health for healthy conception, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and post-partum period. Call us at 281-741-9447 or contact us online to schedule your private consultation today.