Have you thought about having a child and want to do everything in your power to give that child a healthy start? Do you also want to plan for optimal recovery and long-term health for yourself post birth? The planning involves much more than taking your prenatal vitamin. Read on to find out more details.
Time is of the essence.
Preconception planning begins with a little bit of patience and time. I know this is a tough thing when you feel “ready” to take that next step, but I assure you that the time you put in now will have a long lasting impact. Becoming the healthiest “you” possible doesn’t happen overnight. 6 months – 1 year or more of planning can make a world of difference.
Choose a physician that you trust
Find a health care provider who can help you realize important health goals. There is a lot of new research on the importance of diet and lifestyle before pregnancy. Ask if they are familiar with specifics in order to create an individualized plan specific to you.
A comprehensive medical intake with your physician is key to identifying and targeting specific areas of concern. This process includes gathering information about your personal past and family medical history, questionnaires, and laboratory testing. Try not to rush this process and give as many details as you can.
There are many elements that influence miscarriage, pre-term infancy rates, pregnancy complications, and childhood-onset chronic disease. Risk factors include genetics, depression, significant stressors, coagulation, toxic exposures, safety, nutrition, lifestyle and environmental risks. Your physician can help identify the main areas of concern for your growing family and provide specific risk reduction strategies.
Topics in a preconception treatment plan include:
Minimizing toxic exposure
Undergoing detox protocols
Appling healthy nutrition
Cultivating healthy relationships
Developing moderate/safe exercise programs
Becoming informed about genetics
Taking supplemental nutrients and vitamins
Optimizing current health conditions
Hard work pays off
Your physician can help guide your process, but ultimately it is up to you to implement the steps. For some, having a baby is the best excuse to get into optimal shape. For others, it takes a little more convincing that efforts will be worth it. Without experiencing it first hand, it is hard to know exactly how much your hard work could potentially pay off. While we can’t control the outcome, we can provide you with the most up-to-date information available to give you and your baby the very best chance at optimal health.
As naturopathic physicians, we are poised to offer a wide range of educational resources and integrative medical support to improve health outcomes of parents & infants. We can identify health concerns and risk factors to help you create healthy habits with long lasting impacts for your growing family.