Whether it is shopping for groceries, clothes, perfumes, appliances etc., we are extremely choosy and want to go for the best. There is no doubt in the fact we would not want to compromise for anything that is not up to the mark. But, sadly, I find that same is not the attitude when it comes to our own body. Whether it is taking care of our body to be fit and healthy or whether it is to take care of it prior to planning a family.
It is very important to realize that one of the pre requisites to conceive a healthy baby is that both the father and the mother must be in the best of health and there are no two ways about it.
Holistic preconception is about nurturing the mind/ emotions, body and spirit to create the most ideal environment for creating and cultivating life. While, much attention is placed on the mother’s health, we know that the health of the sperm is equally important as that of the egg and womb. Precisely why both egg and sperm should be addressed with the intention of increasing fertility and minimizing exposure to toxins.
Prior to starting, both the parents should undergo a complete health check-up (e.g. Medical history, Genetic history, Blood tests- to check for thyroid levels, hemoglobin, Vitamin B12 & Vitamin D, folic acid, Blood sugars). If any medical condition is detected prior, it will only help to correct the situation before conception and reduce the risk of complications in pregnancy like gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, thyroid disorders and anemia.
Start the regime mentioned below, three months prior to your planned conception and continue it till you conceive.
How to prepare for a healthy conception-
- Diet– Diet should include folic acid rich food. Folic acid plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and helps baby’s neural tube develop into a brain and spinal cord.
e.g. Vegetables-Cluster Beans (Gavarfali), Spinach (Palak), Lady Finger, Tomatoes, Broccoli, Beetroot, French beans.
- Dry fruits- Walnuts (2), Almonds(4)
Eat unrefined, fresh and homemade food as much as possible.
Exercise is one of the most important aspects of keeping your body healthy. All exercises improve the blood flow to the pelvic organs, including the male and female reproductive organs which is beneficial to conceiving. (http://goqii.com/blog/excercises-pre-pregnancy-a-good-start-is-half-done/).
Remember “A mother’s health has direct correlation with her baby’s health” , so the earlier you start, the better.
Stop smoking. Avoid alcohol completely. Avoid drugs – both pharmaceutical drugs for chronic conditions and recreational drugs. Avoid caffeine. Avoid exposure to X-rays and Radiations.
Relaxation techniques – Meditation, massage, or Yoga have been known to help people with stress.
Express your thoughts and worries to your spouse, this will eventually strengthen the bond between the couple & always think positive.
Water is the simplest method of detoxifying and 2-3 liters are recommended daily.
- Stopping contraception
Stop hormonal pills and remove intrauterine device (IUD) if any, about 3 months before conception is planned. Use a barrier method (like condom) at this time. Allow a minimum of one normal menstrual cycle between stopping contraception and conception.
- Dental care
If there are any dental problems (e.g. cavity) get it treated before you conceive. Oral infections are associated with premature labor.
A happy healthy mother is equal to happy healthy baby. Martin Luther once said, “Maternity is a glorious thing, since all mankind has been conceived, born, and nourished of women. All human laws should encourage the multiplication of families”.
May this amazing journey of parenthood begin in a holistic healthy way.