I’m about halfway through my pregnancy at the moment. While pregnant, I’ve been trying to eat as well as I possibly can, exercise daily, keep my stress levels low, and do whatever I can to help my baby be as healthy as possible.
But the truth is that I’ve been living with the aim of having a healthy baby for far longer than I’ve been pregnant.
It all started at the beginning of 2021 when my husband and I decided that we were going to start trying. For three months before we actually started trying, I adjusted my diet, started taking prenatal supplements, tried to reduce my stress levels, and changed the way I worked out to try and help my body get stronger for pregnancy. I lost weight as I thought it would be beneficial to have a lower starting weight so that my weight at the end of my pregnancy wouldn’t be too high. Plus, because I have PCOS, I thought that losing a little weight could actually help me get pregnant.
Then, I got pregnant on the first try. We were obviously stoked, but unfortunately, I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks and 4 days, a week after my grandfather passed away. I suspect the trauma was a bit too much for my body to handle.
And so, I had to go through the grieving process and start my pregnancy prep once again. Four months after my miscarriage, I joyfully got another positive pregnancy test.
If you’re currently trying to get pregnant and prepare your body for pregnancy, you might find this article very helpful.
Here is what I did:
1. I Focused on my Insulin Levels
I slowly reduced my carb intake and incorporated other habits to improve my insulin levels like taking 10-minute walks after meals and doing workouts aimed at building muscle. (1, 2)
Because I have PCOS, I generally already have a problem with high insulin levels. Many women with this condition struggle to get pregnant until they have lowered their insulin levels. That’s also why losing weight can help you get pregnant because weight loss typically results in improved insulin sensitivity. (3, 4, 5, 6)
2. I Tried to Build as Much Muscle as Possible
This time, I didn’t try to lose weight again, but I did switch my focus to building as much muscle as possible. I became worried about losing muscle while pregnant, as it happens to a lot of women. The idea was to build extra muscle, so even if I did lose muscle while pregnant, I wouldn’t go far below the amount of muscle I had before pregnancy.
I also knew that building more muscle is one of the best things you can do to improve insulin sensitivity.
3. I Focused on Reducing Stress
If you’re stressed, your body is probably not going to think that this is the ideal time to get pregnant and have a baby. I cut down on my work hours a little (easier to do as a freelance writer), took relaxing walks, cut out caffeine, stopped intermittent fasting, and made sure I got enough sleep each night.
4. I Ate a Lot of Fatty Meat
From my last pregnancy, I learned that eating enough red meat, and especially fatty cuts of meat, can be very difficult during the first trimester, and so, I decided to load up on fatty cuts of red meat in the months leading up to my pregnancy.
I also made sure I ate a lot of fatty red meat at the start of my pregnancy, until the morning sickness and food aversions kicked in at 6 weeks.
I’m also a firm believer that eating red meat and consuming enough fat from animal sources can help you get pregnant. The body needs fat for healthy hormone production, and fat from animal sources is the highest quality fat you can find.
Fatty red meat is high in iron, vitamin B12, choline, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, and B vitamins, which are all important for a healthy pregnancy.
5. I Took Prenatal Supplements
Okay, so I didn’t buy a supplement that’s marketed as a prenatal vitamin. I made my own supplement stack. I did research on which micronutrients are needed for pregnancy and took those. My prenatal supplement stack consisted of:
Calcium (from dried eggshells)
Desiccated beef liver tablets
6. I Stayed Hydrated
Staying hydrated is very important when you’re pregnant and when you’re breastfeeding. So, I started making hydration a priority even before I got pregnant. To do this, I not only drank a lot of water each day, but I also consumed a lot of electrolytes. Without enough electrolytes in your system, you’ll struggle to stay hydrated. The electrolytes you need to ensure you get each day are sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. I put enough salt on my food at each meal to get enough sodium, and I supplemented with the rest.
That’s basically what I did to prepare my body for pregnancy. If you’re trying to conceive or want to start trying in the future, you can do some or all of the things I did to help you prepare and get your body to the ideal state for conception
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