Why what you eat BEFORE pregnancy really matters
You're basically a superhero.
Think about all that you can do. You can grow a microscopic egg cell into a perfect little human. No man can do that.
Now, think about what you would feed a superhero. Only the best, power food, of course. Just like all superpowers, baby-making demands a lot of high-quality nutrition.
Thankfully, as the savvy superhero that you are, you're thinking ahead. You know that a baby is on the horizon, so you're getting a head start by building up your supply of baby-making nutrients now. Here's why this is such a smart move:
three reasons to eat like you're pregnant, before you're pregnant:
1. FUEL FOR A HEALTHY BABY:
As soon as that egg is fertilized, your little one will be gobbling up the nutrients. All of those teeny-tiny organs form in just the first eight weeks of gestation. That means, all of the nutrients needed for development must be readily available before sperm meets egg.
For example, did you know that an estimated 90-95% of pregnant women are deficient in choline? Choline works hand-in-hand with folate to prevent neural tube defects and to enhance brain function from infancy through adulthood. Despite the prevalence of this deficiency, your prenatal vitamin is most likely letting you down, as most omit choline.
This means that you need to take matters into your own powerful hands. You can build up your reservoir of choline and other critical nutrients by eating a nutrient-rich diet six months to a year before hanky-panky.
(note: Zahler prenatal is one of the few that does provide choline, but it only has 25 mg of the 400-450 mg you need daily).
2. FUEL FOR AN ENERGIZED PREGNANCY:
The more you can fill your tank up now, the less depleted you will feel throughout pregnancy and the healthier your baby will be when they make their debut into the world.
Iron is a prime example. The demands for iron increase by 50% during pregnancy. Iron-deficiency is marked by relentless fatigue, a symptom many believe is an inevitable part of pregnancy, but may actually be avoidable. The issue is that getting enough iron (and absorbing it) is hard. If you're a morning vitamin taker, much of the iron in your multi likely gets flushed down the pot because its absorption is blocked by both the calcium also in that multi and by your ritual coffee or tea. You can stave off the sluggish sleepies during pregnancys by building up your ferritin (your storage form of iron) before it's in high demand.
3. FUEL FOR YOUR FERTILITY:
Infertility is a growing concern. (We prefer the term sub-fertility, because infertility can so often be reversed). The American Society for Reproductive Medicine estimates 11% of women of child-bearing years struggle with infertility. This does NOT have to be you.
Here is the deal: eating a high quality, nutrient-dense diet will enhance your chances of getting pregnant. Research out of the Harvard School of Public Health found that women following the "Fertility Diet" were 66% less likely to have fertility issues.
Why does your food make such a big difference?
One reason is because nutrient deficiencies put your body in a state of chronic stress. The symptoms may be subtle, or even nonexistent, but when it comes time to reproduce, your body cannot be fooled. The good news is that addressing nutrient deficiencies has a delicious solution; eating good food.
So, what should you eat?
What is an optimal diet pre-conception? So glad you asked. There are a lot of ways to eat healthfully. Your needs, goals and preferences are unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all nutrition plan. However, there are research-backed guidelines shown to enhance fertility and improve the lifelong health of baby-to-be.
We have sifted through the research and pulled out the gold nuggets of need-to-know information to set you up for a healthy pregnancy.
It's all laid out in our new online program, Prepare for Pregnancy. With this program, you will get get:
- Two weeks of recipes & meal plans designed to optimize fertility
- A guide to choosing a prenatal
- Best foods for fertility + how to choose the best quality
- Eliminating endocrine disruptors from your diet
ADDED BONUS! You'll also get a free month of Movement & Meditation with Kait Hurley!
This program will launch May 13th. Yes, that's Mother's Day. If you know a lady (a friend, a cousin, a co-worker, etc.) who's thinking about baby-making, this is the perfect Mother's Day gift! If you pre-order now (pre-order price is $12, that's 50% off), Prepare for Pregnancy will arrive in her inbox on Mother's Day.
You were made for this!
PS We would LOVE to hear from you! For those of you just starting out and those of you who are already mamas, will you use the comments section below to tell us about what is/was most helpful to you when preparing for pregnancy (this does not have to be a food-related)?