Written by Gabby Borgerink
Trying to conceive is an exciting, yet stressful, time. There can be so much conflicting information online and from various practitioners about what to do and what not to do. In today’s blog I want to give you some starting points to focus on if you are in the beginning stages of trying to conceive.
First off, it is so important to get your nutrient stores prepped not only for when you are trying to conceive, but also for once you are pregnant! This will improve the whole process and support both you and your baby. Preparation is key for an overall better pregnancy experience. Instead of focusing on what not to do or what to remove, let’s focus on what good things we can add in to help nourish your body.
Pills or Whole Foods?
Try to get your nutrients from whole food sources. Most prenatal vitamins have synthetic nutrients and sometimes not in the best form for absorption and utilization in the body. Sometimes they can even make you more deficient.
A good example of this can be folic acid and folate (Vitamin B9). You do not want synthetic folic acid as this is a crucial nutrient during the first few weeks after conception and synthetic folic acid can make you deficient in natural folate that can be used in the body. Folate is important because it is protective against birth defects. Food sources are:
- beef or chicken liver,
- avocado, and
- black-eyed peas.
Some other very nutrient dense foods to include in your diet would be: eggs, grass-fed dairy products, coconut products, oysters, sardines, root vegetables and a variety of meats.
What to Eat & How Often
You definitely don’t want to be skipping meals or eating reduced calories! This signals to your body that there is lack of resources and can unintentionally prevent you from ovulating - or can reduce your progesterone which is vital for sustaining pregnancy. Eating regular meals and snacks with protein, fat and carbs is the best way to signal to your body that you are safe, well fed and have the resources to create a baby. It also ensures that your blood sugar is balanced which helps reduce stress on your body and promotes progesterone production.
These are the original multivitamins, from before we specially formed multivitamins. They are extremely nutrient dense and a great source of
- B vitamins,
- and more.
Beef liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods and can give you many important nutrients such as Vitamin A, B vitamins, zinc, copper, and iron. You can eat these cooked - or you can get them in capsule form!
We want to avoid drinking empty water. This means water lacking in minerals which is one of the most important components to staying hydrated. Instead of drinking empty water, look for nourishing herbal teas such as raspberry leaf (though this one should be avoided throughout the first trimester) and nettle tea, coconut water, broths made from grass-fed beef or chicken bones, trace mineral drops, and ripe, juicy fruits and organic fruit juices.
My biggest tip aside from nutrition, is to always make sure you are not adding more stress to your plate and if you are, make sure you are eating plenty. The more stressed you are, the more your nutrient needs will increase. When in doubt, ensure you are eating plenty of food and enjoying it, so your body doesn’t feel restricted.
I hope these tips can be helpful to you, and congratulations on taking the first step in preparing for conception!
Gabby Borgerink is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner who works with women to educate about hormones and how they can support their body through nutrition and lifestyle. After her experience coming off hormonal contraception and trying both conventional and alternative health care, Gabby believes in the power of listening to your body and getting to the root cause of your health problems through a holistic approach. Her goal is for women to take back the power of their menstrual cycle and support them in balancing their hormones from a bio-individual approach. Visit her website or find her on Instagram to connect and learn more.