If you and your partner have decided that you’d like to try to become pregnant, congratulations! That decision is an exciting and important first step in your journey to conceive. Whether you’re unsure where to begin or wish to simply dive right in, there are several ways that you can help prepare yourself for your TTC journey. For example, you may wish to prioritize your mental health through meditation or support your physical health with light exercise and weight lifting. Or, maybe you’re open to suggestions and willing to try anything and everything you can to prepare yourself. Whatever you decide, just do what feels right for you, and know that everyone’s journey is different.
Below, Professional Fertility Practitioner Priscilla Goddard of Heirloom Fertility shares five ways that you can prepare for babymaking, starting today.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
It’s normal that your TTC journey may come with mixed emotions, including stress or worry. That’s why it’s important to take care of your mental health before and during babydancing. To better prioritize your mental health during TTC, try the following:
- Visualization & Meditation – Try to create space in your mind and body for positivity. The mind and body work together, so speak to yourself kindly. Visualization and meditation are essential factors when TTC. Find a comfortable spot to relax daily and spend a few minutes truly believing in yourself. Visualize yourself in daily life with a big beautiful pregnant belly. Placing one hand on your heart and one hand on your womb, meditate, and hear these words echo in your mind: “I am fertile, I will get pregnant.”
- Feel Your Emotions – Know that throughout your journey, it's okay to scream, it's okay to curse, and it's okay to be mad. Let it out. This process is hard, and if you're struggling or have experienced loss, I urge you to let out your inner lioness. Allow her to ROAR! It may feel therapeutic.
- Seek Help if Needed – There are so many virtual and in-person support groups, therapists, and most importantly friends that are here to lend an ear or a shoulder. You are not alone. If you need support or help, don’t hesitate to seek it.
Be Mindful of Nutrition
In the game of creating life, we must first create a vessel that it will thrive in. Now I am by no means saying you can't enjoy certain foods or drinks. In all honesty, I think very strict dieting is more detrimental to your mental health, thus canceling out your healthy eating. So yes, have that glass of wine, eat the piece of cake – just don't overindulge. That being said, you may want to try making the following nutritional adjustments:
- Limit Gluten – Since gluten is very inflammatory, it can have a negative effect on your fertility, especially if you have PCOS. If you can find non-GMO European flour to use on occasion, I would suggest this, but I mostly recommend remaining gluten-free to reduce internal inflammation while TTC.
- Incorporate Leafy Greens – I am not suggesting eating kale for every meal, but mixing some spinach and kale into your daily scrambled eggs is a great idea and will help to support your fertility.
- Add Collagen – Ok, here's the golden goose! Mix collagen in your coffee, smoothie, or even a cup of bone broth. This stuff is fertility gold!
Make Time for (Light) Exercise
Exercise is an important part of maintaining physical and emotional health. However, when it comes to TTC, over-exercising can actually be detrimental to your fertility. I recommend implementing the following three activities into your daily routine to support fertility and keep your body in movement:
- Yoga – Any kind of yoga is excellent for fertility, whether it’s a virtual or in-person class. For quick practice at home, try running a Google search for fertility-enhancing yoga sequences.
- Light Weight Lifting – Strength training can be a great way to boost fertility. If you’re unsure where to begin, recruit a gym buddy and try to have some fun with it.
- Walking – This activity is my ultimate favorite, and it’s so easy to do anywhere!
When I say self-care, I don't mean just taking a shower or bath. To get started, try one (or all) of the following:
- Acupuncture – Acupuncturists can stimulate your reproductive organs and balance your hormones, giving you a better chance at conceiving.
- Massage Therapy – Arvigo is a gentle approach that massages the entire abdomen and addresses tension around the hips, sacrum, and coccyx. This is a powerful tool to break up stagnation, loosen adhesion, and move lymph, qi, and blood to create space for balance and realignment.
- Chiropractor – Seeing a chiropractor is a great idea even if you are not trying to conceive because the nerves in the spine lead to more than just your reproductive organs. However, if you are trying to conceive, the benefits for fertility are just too compelling to ignore because your spine is a central highway of nerves. Just as an electrical cord has to be plugged in for an appliance to run, your reproductive system will not function properly if the nerves that lead to them are not functioning or are blocked in some way.
Find Time for Fun!
I think one of the biggest things we forget when TTC is to have fun. We get caught up in the day-to-day – checking your charts, wondering when you are going to ovulate, the two-week wait, etc. So, I want you to incorporate some fun into your routine. It may seem silly, but find time to play like a child. If you’re unsure where to begin, give one of the following suggestions a try:
- Blow bubbles and pop them all
- Visit a park and go down a slide or swing on the swings as high as you can
- Roll down a grassy hill
Give yourself the gift of being a child again. As adults, we forget the magic of play. Oh, and take your partner along for the ride. After all, it's great foreplay.