Being healthy before conception

Being healthy before conception

We often think that creating a new human begins at conception, but in truth baby building begins long before that. Take animal breeders for example. A good breeder will take the very best care of their animals before breeding begins. They ensure the animals get adequate exercise and have a pristine diet that is appropriate for their biological needs; they may even administer chiropractic care or physiotherapy. Humans, on the other hand, will often barely give preconception preparation a second thought – beyond having the candles lit for a romantic dinner.

We often think that creating a new human begins at conception, but in truth baby building begins long before that. Take animal breeders for example. A good breeder will take […]

If we look at evolution and nature, it all comes down to the survival of the fittest – so the better physical condition we are in prior to conception, the better our chances of a successful conception and healthy full-term pregnancy. It’s basic biology.

The energy and resources required to build a healthy new human are immense! It’s not as simple as baking a bun. Generating healthy new life requires quality genetic materials from both mum and dad – after all, it’s a 50:50 split, and studies show that paternal health plays a significant role in the health outcomes of offspring. Still, there is no denying the extraordinary role of the mother in this process.

Much more than an incubator, a mother provides all the resources required on a daily basis to fuel the most rapid period of growth in our entire lifespan. At the same time, there must be adequate resources for mum to carry out the daily cellular processes required for life, to produce energy, hormones and enzymes, to digest food, maintain cognitive function (even if a little baby-brain sets in), to manage immune function and so much more.

It’s far from ideal to wait until you’re pregnant to top up on all your nutrients (although better late than never). That’s like trying to fill a bucket with a hole in it. Instead, we want to fill the bucket to the point of overflow before conception, so your cells are vibrant, healthy, buzzing with energy and life, and prepared for the journey of creating a new life.

We (and many others) recommend consciously planning when you would like to conceive, and ensuring that the six months leading up to that time is used to get your own health in the best condition possible.

Six months beforehand (or better yet, even earlier) is a good time to cleanse and detox. Do some inner spring-cleaning so your cells can function more effectively without getting clogged up. We get our car engines flushed out for that reason, so why not honour and love our own bodies with the same approach? Once the gunk is cleared out there’s more opportunity to get the good stuff in. In our current environment we are exposed to tens of thousands of chemicals that our bodies have,
until recent years, never encountered before. (Studies show that an average of 200 synthetic chemicals can be found in the umbilical-cord blood of newborn babies!) For this reason, supporting detoxification pathways in the body is an important part of regaining and maintaining wellness.

Eating well is a lifestyle to be enjoyed. Regardless of where you start, or where you are now, there’s always room to evolve, to nourish and flourish.

Tips for parents-to-be

  • As early as possible, start optimising your own health – even if you don’t have a partner yet! The perfect time for everyone to start preconception care is now.
  • Plan when you’d like to conceive and give yourself a minimum of six months to prepare.
  • Find a well-qualified health practitioner who can help guide you through preconception care. We love the University of Google as much as anyone else, but it’s very easy to become confused and overwhelmed. Having someone qualified to guide you through the process can really simplify and optimise the journey.
  • If you’re not already including them, introduce fermented veggies (and other fermented foods) into your diet. Make sure they’re homemade or locally made and unpasteurised. We need lots of healthy microbes to build healthy babies.
  • Have blood tests done to assess your nutritional status and general health (see next section).
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