Top Ten Tips to Get Pregnant Faster
Fertility is an extension of our health. It is not just what is going on below the belt that is imperative to your fertility. It is the whole body.
Health is physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and nutritional health. All of these combined make up your total state of health. Health is just not your fertility labs and numbers. It is just not low AMH, high FSH, or your thyroid panel. This is just a snapshot of your health and not the true picture of your overall health. We too often get consumed by the numbers so much that we identify ourselves by these numbers. This is disempowering. The #’s change all the time and I’ve seen FSH and AMH improve frequently and change cycle to cycle. Poor ovarian reserve is still thousands of eggs not just 1 or 2. The work I do works to optimize the quality of the eggs and sperm, not necessarily the quantity. But, there is some research out there showing we might actually be able to develop more.
If you are experiencing symptoms like digestive issues, skin issues, regular headaches, and fatigue to name a few, these are things that we need to fix 1st before you can get pregnant. Your body is saying, “whoa, whoa, whoa I have bigger fish to fry. I can’t host a life right now”. We need a very healthy body to get pregnant and create a healthy child.
You have the power to improve every single cell in your body, improve the quality of your eggs your body develops, and the power over the quality of the sperm created.
How you choose to live your life impacts those cells and impacts their functioning. You can improve the quality of your health and life right down to your uterus and ovaries.
Research shows the cells in our body renew every 3 or so months. On a cellular level, you can be a lot healthier in 3 months. This to me is SO exciting and SO empowering!!! You are worthy of living your healthiest life!
TOP 10 TIPS TO GET PREGNANT FASTER
Sleep is the #1 way to optimize health. 7-9 hours/night is needed. Moments of sleep deprivation is ok, but ultimately our sleep needs to be adequate 80% of the time. We cannot just make up for lost sleep on weekends and be healthy. Sleep is where our cells restore and replenish. We need sleep for balanced hormones.
To optimize sleep:
– Complete darkness for ovulation. Use black out shades or an eye mask.
– Magnesium oil plays a role in hormone balance. The brand Ancient Minerals is good. Oil is more easily absorbed by the body. See this link for more info: http://www.ancient-minerals.com/products/magnesium-application-use/
– Melatonin. Research shows women who take melatonin have better embryo quality from1 IVF cycle to the next. Pure Encapsulation has a liquid melatonin, .3-1mg/day is perfect. You can take too much melatonin so don’t overdo it.
When trying to conceive naturally sex is needed. Even if you are doing IUI or IVF regular sex is still very important, even if you are in a same-sex relationship. The “honey I’m ovulating” sex does not work for those having fertility challenges. You need to have sex 2-3x/week every week because regular sex primes your immune system to be more hospitable to a pregnancy. Research shows women having regular sex are more hospitable to sperm and to the embryo when they get pregnant. Pregnancy is the only parasitic infection our body does not kill off. We are hosting another life and our body does not reject it. However, our body is taught to reject anything else that is foreign. A lot of women have anti-sperm antibodies so the sperm doesn’t even have a chance to fertilize the egg to create an embryo. Regular sex primes the immune system to be more hospitable to sperm and the embryo. Of course, it is important to have sex during your fertile window. Using ovulation predictor kits (OPK’s) can be helpful. I recommend Clear Blue Easy Advanced. But if OPK’s seem like too much for you, then monitoring your cervical mucus is key. Cervical mucus means you are fertile so this is important to watch for. Having an orgasm is helpful too. Orgasms help regulate hormones, improve blood flow to the cervix, ovaries, and uterus. Orgasms trigger a hormonal cascade for optimal fertility. So have fun having sex! Sex 8-9x/month makes for a fertile body.
3. 80% cooked, 20% raw
This is based on Chinese medicine theory. Our internal temperature should be 98.6 degrees. Cold/raw food slows digestion and makes our body have to work harder to heat up the food. We need a warm uterus to conceive and have a successful pregnancy. A cold uterus in Chinese medicine is inhospitable. If you run cold most of the time, you need more cooked foods. If making a smoothie, be sure to blanch your greens before adding to the smoothie. Your body wants warm cooked foods. If you eat 100% raw, start with 50% raw/50% cooked and see how you feel.
4. Don’t take anything with folic acid
We need folate. MTHFR genetic mutation is very prevalent and 50% of the population has it. That means we have an inability to take folic acid and make it into a useable substance we need, which is folate. So, in turn, you do not absorb folic acid and actually block your body’s ability to absorb folate from any foods, like spinach and kale. So look at your vitamins and don’t take anything with folic acid. Switch to a prenatal with folate. Mega Foods and Garden of Life are good brands. If you have had a miscarriage, get tested for MTHFR deficiency. Also, don’t take a prenatal with iron. Iron is hard to digest and can be constipating. You can get plenty of iron from natural food based sources like red meat, pork, poultry, seafood, beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, spirulina, dark green leafy vegetables, and dark chocolate.
Optimal weight is really important for fertility. You should have a healthy BMI range (basal metabolic index). See the link below to calculate your BMI.
Ideally, you want to be in the middle of the range. +/- 3 lbs can make all the difference. If you have been pregnant in the past, what was your weight when you got pregnant? This is your fertile weight. If struggling to conceive and you are overweight, you need to lose weight. Eat well while losing weight. Cut out processed foods and exercise more. If you are underweight and exercise a lot then gain a few pounds. When you have a healthy BMI your periods and ovulation will shift and you will get pregnant faster.
6. Eat lots of healthy fat
When trying to make a structure, think of what that structure is made out of. This principle applies to trying to make a baby. We are made of proteins, fat, and water. That’s all you should be eating to get pregnant. The general female population is eating low-fat, fat-free, and 2% fat milk. Instead, women should be having at least 2-4 teaspoons/day of good nutrient dense fat.
Good sources of fat are:
– Extra virgin cold pressed organic coconut oil
– Avocado, ½-1 whole/day
– Grass-fed butter
– Ghee butter (dairy free)
Use the above when cooking and put it on your veggies and enjoy it in your coffee and smoothies Fat is imperative to proper hormonal function in your body and for optimal egg quality. The outer shell of the egg is called the phospholipid bilayer, which basically means fat. When not enough fat is in your diet, egg quality is compromised. If you are worried about your age and egg reserve, you need good quality organic fat. Don’t worry about gaining weight. Healthy fat in appropriate portions will actually lean you down. It is the packaged foods, grains, white flour, and sugar that make us gain weight. So enjoy eating your healthy fat!
7. Be in touch with your cycle
Know every phase of your cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulation, and luteal. Be in touch with each phase. Taking your basal body temperature (BBT) is helpful, but can stir women up a little too much and cause stress. It is more about understanding what your body does at each phase of the cycle and the symptoms you are experiencing. Listen and focus on the cues from your body. For instance, do you become irritable before your period, what is your period like, do you have increased sex drive and cervical mucus with ovulation, do you have mid-cycle bleeding, do you have increased breast tenderness after ovulation, do you get a bad headache or acne just before your period? You get the idea. Simply pay attention to what your body is telling you in order to get in harmony with your cycle. When we ignore cues from our body, this can set the stage for poorer health, not just fertility challenges.
Another important point about our cycle is in regards to birth control pills, BCP. Ideally, go off BCP 6 months prior to trying to conceive (TTC). Many MD’s say you can get pregnant the following month after stopping the pill. For most women, it takes awhile for a cycle to reestablish after being on BCP. There is some data that shows it takes 6-9 months for women to restore a normal ovulatory cycle after stopping BCP. Most women are on BCP 16-18 years. Therefore your body is basically frozen in time taking placebo pills and having a withdrawal bleed in which the uterine lining sheds because you stopped taking estrogen. This is not a real period because you never ovulate when on the pill. Your system needs to get its ‘mojo’ back since it has been a little rusty since being on the pill. It is really important to take the time in the preconception phase to prepare your body in order to have a healthy pregnancy and baby. We take time with other big projects, like planning a wedding and saving for a house. Why not take the time to prepare your body for the next big step, a baby! By starting to listen to your body, you will begin to understand what is going on inside your beautiful body and optimize your health.
8. Manage stress
Let’s face it, trying to conceive can be SO stressful! It can take a toll physically, emotionally, financially, as well as added stress with your spouse or partner. Stress will age you and fast! Let’s repeat that, stress will age you and fast!
Things to help alleviate stress:
– Meditate every day! If this feels overwhelming, then just breathe. Take time every day to check in with your body and see how you are feeling. Where are you holding tension? Are you bottling up emotions? Are you clenching your jaw, does your stomach hurt, do you have a headache? Take time to chill out and check in daily. There are also many wonderful free guided meditations. I love Deepak Chopra and Gabrielle Bernstein. Rebekah Borucki also has a great book, “You Have 4 Minutes to Change Your Life”. If you are having challenges getting pregnant, you need to break the stress cycle.
– Try this: Take 10 deep breaths with the start of each day, be present, be alive, be aware. Set your intention for each day. Don’t live your life saying, “I’ll be happy when I get pregnant”. You are worthy and deserve to be happy in the now. Your joy will help lead you to your baby.
– Bonus tip: Visualize yourself pregnant. Then visualize the emotions you feel when you get that (+) pregnancy test. Own it and know it. Then set it free.
Believe you can get pregnant.
Believe your body works.
Believe your body can do this.
Believe your body knows how to do this.
You just may need to tweak some things so you can better support your body on its path to optimal health and fertility. But YOU have to BELIEVE!
1st question you need to ask yourself is: Do you believe you are going to have this baby?
Get back into your heart and out of your head.
We are too much in our head focused on FSH, AMH, age, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!
Quiet your head and get in touch with your heart.
There can be a lot of negative things that have happened throughout this process, but don’t give up! Get heart centered. Don’t give up on your body, your partner, and your dream to have a baby. BELIEVE.
Research shows (Dr. Alice Domar, Ph.D. from Harvard) that women in support groups get pregnant 2X’s faster as women who are not. But I don’t want you joining an online support group that talks about their poor AMH. I am talking about surrounding yourself with women who cheer you on, who have been where you are, and have made it to the other side. People who support you, love you unconditionally, and believe in your body to get pregnant.
The #1 person to find those people is YOU.
The #1 person to cheer you on is YOU.
Cheer yourself on on a daily basis and surround yourself with people who cheer you on. Anyone who is not on this team, you need to distance yourself from. Start to cleanse yourself of toxic relationships. Support is the glue that will hold you together.
A wonderful, local fertility support group in Chicago is Shine Fertility, http://www.shinefertility.org/.
I would love to help you on your fertility journey. Feel free to contact me and we can chat about how I can help you reach your goals of becoming a mama!
**The information above was presented by Aimee Raupp, MS LAc. She is a Women’s Health and Fertility expert. She is a Chinese acupuncturist and herbalist and lives on the east coast. I am a huge fan of her work, as well as her book, Yes, You Can Get Pregnant, natural ways to improve fertility now and into your 40’s. I refer to it every day in my fertility practice **
Check out her link below for her books, delicious recipes, healthy beauty products, and more!