Prepping your body for pregnancy is an very important time indeed. It’s an opportunity to detoxify and eliminate any toxins that may have collected in your cells, organs and wonderful reproductive system. Just remember, we’re all different – we all have different toxic loads, experiences, ages, fitness levels and environments.
The health of the papa-to-be is just as important and an equal part of the conception equation. After all, the men carry the sperm and the goal is to get those little, swimmers as healthy as possible. Antioxidant-rich foods will help kill any free radicals and get the sperm swimming freely.
“Above all, detoxification in preparation for pregnancy should be gentle! Long juice fasts and the Master Cleanse are for the most part, totally unnecessary. There’s no need to stress and strain the body with fasting or highly restrictive diets to get highly effective results.” — The Healthy Home Economist
1. Cut back on Pasteurized Dairy, Caffeine, Alcohol + Sugar
Everyone will likely have a thing or two they would like to minimize durning their pre-baby prep. Avoiding stimulating substances like caffeine, alcohol and sugar would be a great start.
Avoid the most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables such as: leafy greens, peaches, strawberries, apples, peppers and celery. Eat organic ones instead. Stick with a healthy, whole-foods diet. Choose organic fruits & vegetables, healthy fats, and proteins at every meal. Amino acids, which are found in proteins, are essential for tissue repair and heavy-metal detoxification. Do your very best to avoid sweets, soda, fast foods, additives, preservatives and artificial sweeteners.
Eat organically raised meat and eggs to limit exposure to hormones and antibiotics. The hormones given to the animals we consume, enter our beautiful bodies too and these can alter both fetal and child development. To put it simply, “You are what your meat eats.” — Micheal Pollan
Consider limiting your intake of fish. In January 2013, the Biodiversity Research Institute found that 84% of fish was found to have unsafe mercury levels. I’ve also grown increasingly concerned, as the levels of radiation rise in the pacific ocean. While the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are a cruical part of a balanced diet, other excellent sources include: chia seeds, walnuts, chlorella, spirulina, hemp seeds and flax seed meal.
Add toxin binding and removing chlorella powder to your smoothies and water. A little goes a long way. Start with 1/2 teaspoon, every other day and see how that goes. You can certainly increase your dose from there.
2. Build up Healthy Bacteria Levels
Enjoy fermented foods. Try adding raw sauerkraut, kerfir, kim chi and raw apple cider vinegar to your diet. Lacto-fermented foods are rich in enzymes, as well as beneficial bacteria. Think of lacto-fermented foods as “super-raw” foods that will help prepare your body for the “building” phase of pregnancy.
You may want to look into taking a full spectrum probiotic supplement to support your digestion; this helps with the release of built-up toxins and increases vitamin C absorbtion for energy and essential fatty acids for brain and cellular support.
3. Hit the Sauna
Use saunas to release toxins through your largest organ – the skin! Sweating in dry saunas is a great way to release deeply stored toxins. I love to dry brush before I sweat-it-out in the sauna – giving even more detox benefit. *Please note, pregnant women are not advised to use the sauna.
Drink lots of water before, durning and after a sauna with a dash of Himalayan or Celtic sea salt for mineral balance.
A cold shower in between sauna sessions is a great way to detox through a practice called hydro-therapy. The result is invigorating and extremely healthful. When the body is subjected to cold external temperatures, the flow of circulation is directed inward toward the interanl organs. As the outside temperature gets hot, the flow of circulation goes outward toward the skin. Alternating hot and cold makes the circulation move in and out – like and accordian! This has the effect of increasing the rate of detoxification and moving nutrients more readily to various parts of the body. How cool is that?
4. Keep Stress Low
The stress response triggers the release of stress-regulating hormones and neurotransmitters. However, if you’re living with ongoing, incessant stress, then the body can never return to a state of non-stress. It continuously releases high levels of these hormones. When the body is exposed to high levels of neurotranmitters on a continual basis, it eventually leads to malfunctioning in the brain, endocrine system, nervous system and metabolic system. Over time these hormones and nuerotransmitters become over worked – aka. depleted. Keeping stress levels to a minimum is one of the best things we can do to prepare our body for a baby:
- “Sleep is not a luxury.” Get lots of it!
- Get a massage. Or two. Or three.
- Take an epsom salts bath.
- Turn off the phone. Close the laptop.
- Take a BIG deep breath and EXHALE – honestly, this can do wonders.
- Enjoy gentle, nervine herbs;
* GENTLE NERVINE TEA *
- 1 part each of spearmint, and chamomile
- 1/4 part each of catnip, and lemon balm
Steep for 10 minutes + enjoy.
5. Use Plant Based + Natural Cleaning Products
When preparing for a baby, we want to be cleansing both the body and the home. Try natural alternatives to everyday, chemical cleaners;
- Baking soda
- Apple cider vinegar
- Essential oils – tea tree + clove are excellent disinfectants
- Lemon juice
- Castile soap
- All-natural, DIY Home Cleaner
6. Limit Cosmetics + Beauty Products
Try and reduce the use of the ingredients found in most make-up and everyday drug store products. We use virgin coconut oil for anything and everything: face wash, moisturizer, shaving oil, sun screen and as our primary cooking oil. Minimize and/or avoid all together, things like:
- Nail polish + polish remover
- Hair dye! Go o’ natural.
- Body lotions + moisturizers
- Lipstick, blush + eye shadow
- Dryer sheets
- Bubble bath
- Fragrant household air fresheners
- Scented candles – beeswax is a great alternative
These are simply suggestions and everyone is encouraged to follow their own intuition in the incredible process of preparing for a baby.