Fertility Prep: 6 things to avoid or quit

Prime your body for fertility & a healthy pregnancy

As a hormone health coach, I have found 2 common issues plaguing so many women: infertility and/or miscarriage. I feel these two things are becoming more common over time, and as a friend to many of these women, my heart breaks. In fact, statistically speaking, 1 in 7 couples suffer from infertility and miscarriage rates are alarmingly high between 10-25%. So, I want to teach you how to prime your body not only for fertility, but to be primed for a healthier pregnancy, which may feel like quite the sacrifice, at first.

I know, I know….but hear me out. Our bodies are on overload from so much, with processed food, harmful chemicals, and stress. While I am a firm believer in bioindividuality, which means everyone’s biology is different, I also know the general biology of the human anatomy…and want to help you prepare your body for the blessing you have been praying for.

Step 1: Cut back caffeine – 2 cups max

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2 cups maximum gives us the great benefits, without the nasty side effects. There are also some great alternatives if you are wanting to simply cut it altogether:

alternatives: decaf coffee, matcha or green tea, chai tea (my personal fave), or hot tea with milk and some vanilla

These options have significantly lower or no caffeine and the same warming and soothing effects of coffee. If you are a coffee connoisseur, be careful as you cut back your consumption. Treat this like scuba diving to avoid withdrawals, Come up and stay there for a little bit before you finally reach the surface. In other words, cut your caffeine intake by one cup per day each week.

Step 2: Sugar, sugar

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Ah! This one is the culprit that charms me back continually. I have a major sweet tooth, but sugar is so harmful because it effects our blood sugar, which effects our insulin levels. Our body is created to more likely use fat for energy more than sugar. With the sugar (sucrose) we consume, we are consuming it in masses, which our body must break down to glucose. We often have an overload of the broken down glucose sugar that our body now must store as glycogen.

So, what do we do? Well, we cut back the same way as we did with coffee. Sugar addiction is one of the worst addictions we suffer from as a nation. In fact, in an MRI test, the brain activates more neurons for those who have the sugar addiction compared to those with a drug addiction. Control your sugar; don’t let it control you.

Did you know that dehydration often looks like low blood sugar. Often times, our body is trying to tell us we need something and it’s water instead of the chocolate chip cookies. Drink 8 oz of water before you reach for the sweets.

Alternatives: coconut sugar, coconut oil, fresh fruit, fresh squeezed juices, smoothies, sugar free candy. I’m not telling you to never eat it; just simply cut back.

Step 3: Alcohol

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This one shouldn’t be a surprise, but I feel this is the easiest to step away from, as you wouldn’t be drinking while pregnant. For multiple reasons, this effects our hormones and we should remain under 5 drinks per week, but 2-3 is preferable, if you must. Just remember, every drink is effecting your liver and also leeching minerals from you.

Alternatives: kombucha, waterloo, welchs sparkling, and there are tons of yummy mocktails

Step 4: Soy

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As controversial as it may be, this one is a biggie for me. It can lower your thyroid function by 7% in a single serving. So, not joking around. Most of the whole soy we see is still good for you. Unfortunately, some of the processed soy that disguises as healthy packaged vegan meat, dairy substitutes, or simply found as ingredient in packaged foods is often grabbed as trying to be “healthier” without realizing the harmful effects.

Alternatives: grass-fed beef, amino’s for soy sauce, rice/almond/oat milk. Tempe, Tamare, and Miso are all okay, consumed in moderation.

Step 5: Gluten

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This one should come as no surprise, as it’s often the root for inflammation and autoimmune diseases. I’m a sandwich and breadstick fan for life, and while I don’t have gluten allergies or sensitivities, I do know that my inflammation goes up, my bloating is out of control, my autoimmune disease flares, and I feel like crap.

Alternatives: Lettuce wraps, gluten free bread, cauliflower pizza dough, pita bread (yum), corn tortillas

Step 6: Beauty-products

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This one hurts, I know. I’ve been gradually replacing my skincare, deodorant, toothpaste, hair products, and makeup for the last year and this can not only be budget-busting, but frustrating as it can take up a lot of your time. I say use what you have and then replace when its time to replace. I have an entire post about beauty products. HERE.

Advice: Plenty of women get pregnant without ever thinking twice about beauty products. However, your rates for miscarriage, cancer, and endometriosis go up tremendously while using products with xenoestrogens.

*look for products without parabens, sodium laurel sulfates, DEA, propylene glycol, BPA, phthalates, PCBs, red dye.

First off, I want to say that part of my job is to help women reduce the suffering of waiting or loss. As a young girl, I watched with caution as my mother would experience miscarriage after miscarriage. This is the reason I want to help as many women as possible to not only achieve the role of motherhood, but to maintain their own health and wellbeing by recognizing the things we truly need. Thanks for being here!

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