Maximize Your Fertility
A Basic Guide to Increasing Your Chances of Conception and a Healthy Pregnancy
The following information is intended as a basic navigation manual when trying for a baby. If you would like a more in depth and personalized guide for preconception, please make an appointment with one of our providers for a preconception visit.
1. Supplementation: Ideally, supplementation would be started 3-6 months prior to conception.
- A good prenatal vitamin is a must. We highly recommend Designs For Health Prenatal Pro. This prenatal vitamin contains highly absorbable forms of methylated B12 and Folate, calcium and other vitamins and minerals vital to pregnancy. Thorne also makes a great prenatal vitamin that can be purchased by emailing Lisa.
- DHA is an essential fatty acid needed for brain development and may be protective against postpartum depression. A good brand will be mercury and toxin free and will not cause nausea or fish burps. We recommend Designs For Health OmegAvail Ultra DHA.
- Vitamin D functions more like a hormone than a vitamin in the body. We recommend 2000 IU/day during pregnancy. Vitamin D absorbs best when taken with Vitamin K. Designs For Health Vitamin D synergy contains the right amount of D and K.
- Gut health is super important in the preconception period because your gut bugs digest your food, synthesize vitamins and metabolize hormones. We recommend a soil based combination pre and probiotic for the prenatal period. You can purchase Prescript Assist probiotic by emailing Lisa.
2. Diet: A nutrient rich diet is the foundation of a healthy pregnancy. Focus on good quality protein, lots of nutrient dense vegetables and plants and good fats. Avoid refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods as these can wreak havoc on your hormones and your body putting your body in survival or stress mode making conception more difficult. A complete plan can be personalized for you by one of our nutritionists. The following image created by Dr. Ginsberg also serves as a good guide for a nutrient dense preconception diet.
3. Exercise: This is a must for keeping the body functioning well and managing stress levels. The time to start is now! Even if you are already pregnant, you can start a safe exercise program during pregnancy. However, beginning an exercise routine before pregnancy will make maintaining a routine while pregnant so much easier. Start with daily walks for 30 min or more and then progress to exercise that increases your heart rate such as weight training or high intensity intervals. Yoga is also highly recommended for overall health and wellness. More information on exercise is available here.
4. Sleep: This is a very important factor that many people take for granted. Your body repairs and detoxes at night which is vital for allowing your body to function at its best and is very important for hormone balance. Most people do best on 7-8 hours per night.
5. Tips for Conception:
- Track your cycles monthly. The FIRST day of your period is day 1. There are lots of free apps available for your smart phone that help you track this. Cycle lengths can vary, but it is important to have regular menses that come at the same frequency each month - this means you are likely ovulating regularly. If your periods are irregular, than can be an issue and it's best to make an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss.
- A woman typically ovulates halfway through her cycle. For example if your cycle is 28 days long (remember day 1 is the first day you bleed), you will likely ovulate around day 14. However, every woman is different. It is helpful to know your fertility signs using something such as the Creighton Method or Fertility Awareness. You can also buy a fertility kit from the pharmacy to determine your exact date of ovulation. Begin using the tests daily 2-3 days before and after you are expected to ovulate until you get a positive sign. Try this for 2-3 months and if you are not seeing any signs of ovulation in this time period, it is best to make an appointment.
- Once you determine your ovulation day, have intercourse once per day beginning 2 days prior until 2 days after ovulation. Keep in mind that an average time for conception in a healthy couple is 6-8 months. Don't stress if nothing happens in the first few months!