SIMPLIFYING LIFE, HOME, 

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BASED IN DETROIT, MI

est. 2016

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8 Ways To Prepare Your Body For Pregnancy

Preparing your body for pregnancy can be a daunting task especially if you’ve been at it for a while. I hear ya, sister. We tried and tried to get pregnant for almost 10 years. Then, out of nowhere we got our big fat positive this past July. Although that pregnancy didn’t end how we’d planned, there were several steps I’d taken in my fertility journey to get us there.

Today I’d love to share with you 8 simple steps that will increase your fertility and ultimately help you prepare your body for pregnancy. Many of these I’ve tried and implemented into my own life, and several I’m still working on! But, infertility is a journey, and I’m still learning to be patient too!

So, let’s jump right into it, shall we? I can’t wait to hear which of these steps you’ll begin implementing today!

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Cycle Tracking with Mira

Learning and tracking your cycle is key to trying to conceive, especially if you have irregular periods or conditions such as PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) like me. That’s why I love the Mira Fertility Monitor and believe it is a must when preparing for pregnancy.

The Mira Fertility Monitor is a cute, egg-shaped, super-smart machine that can literally fit in the palm of your hand. It measures the LH (Lutenizing Hormone) in your urine which peaks at ovulation time. With the smart technology of this little machine along with the downloadable app for your smartphone, you will receive convenient notifications and discover your 8-Day fertile window when it’s the best time for you to “try” to conceive.

The Mira comes with urine sticks that insert into the machine for easy testing at home. It’s like having an in-home laboratory right on your bathroom counter. How awesome is that? The Mira machine then communicates your results with the Mira App on your smartphone via bluetooth to communicate your fertility status. It takes about 15-20 minutes for your results to appear.

The Mira App also allows space for tracking other fertile signs and symptoms like temperature, cervical mucus, and cervical tracking. You can even document each and every time you’ve had sex. Mira learns your cycle to make tracking and conceiving that much simpler. It will even remind you what days you need to test, so you can go about enjoying life.

The Mira Fertility Monitor is the perfect companion for any couple that would like to maximize their chances of conceiving by giving you up-to-date fertility status’ right in the comfort of your own home. Plus, it’s perfect for women struggling with irregular cycles and PCOS, since typical ovulation tests just simple don’t work for us and can be an absolute hassle. With Mira, you can learn your cycles, your fertility trends, and know exactly when you ovulate so you can get preggers!

A Clean, Low-Carb, Anti-Inflammatory Diet

Another way that I’m preparing for pregnancy this time is by implementing a clean, low-carb, anti-inflammatory diet. I say it in that order for a reason, which I’ll get to in a minute, because it’s just simply how my brain can process such a huge change.

But, first some background story….

Earlier this year, I was doing the Keto Diet where I consumed less than 20 grams of carbs a day in order to get into ketosis, a state at which the body has burned through all of its glucose stores and is relying on ketones for energy. The Keto Diet was a bit extreme and difficult at times for me, but ultimately I did see some results.

Although I wasn’t technically “eating keto” when I got pregnant this past June, I do think eating a lower carb diet helped me conceive after almost 10 years of trying. If you are interested in learning more about Keto, check out Ashley Salvatori & Dr. Ken Berry on YouTube. I literally binge-watched their videos to learn about the Keto Diet before trying it out for myself. It may be a good idea also to speak with your doctor regarding the Keto Diet and whether or not it’s right for you.

After speaking with my Naturopathic Doctor and my OB/GYN, I came to the conclusion that it’s not necessarily the best way of eating for someone with PCOS. So, I’m listening to their advice about sticking to a low-carb diet (less than 150 grams/day), and am adopting an anti-inflammatory way of eating as well. (More about this below.)

I also have sought out Kym Campbell and joined her 30-Day PCOS Diet Challenge and learned a lot about nutrition and how PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) affects my body. I also gleaned so much encouragement and advice from other ladies struggling with infertility, weight loss, and more on her PCOS Facebook Support Page.

So, in short, here’s what I’ve learned and how I’m approaching dietary changes this time around since, yes, diet is a HUGE factor in infertility and treating the conditions that cause me to struggle to get pregnant…

Preparing your body for pregnancy can be a daunting task especially if you've been at it for a while.  Today I'd love to share with you 8 simple steps that will increase your fertility and ultimately help you prepare your mind and body for pregnancy.

My Current (& Always Evolving) Fertility Diet Plan

1. Clean Eating

First things first, let’s talk about clean eating. I feel like not only am I sharing this because I want to help you on your journey, but also as a proclamation to myself to hold me accountable since diet changes are the hardest for me to maintain.

If there is one change you can make to your eating and lifestyle, then eating clean would be #1 on my recommendation list. Have you ever heard of clean eating?

Basically, in clean eating, you cut out all processed, white, sugary foods. So, no pop/soda, no white bread, no regular pasta, no sugar, etc. If you can eat like this the majority of the time, you’ll will make huge strides in your health and wellness journey and it will get you closer to having little ones.

When Adam and I adopted this way of eating a while ago, we noticed a huge difference in the way we felt. We shopped the perimeter of the grocery store, stocked up on loads of fresh fruits and veggies, and (when possible) organic grass-fed meats. We stopped our daily McDonald’s drive-thru runs for large Cokes (yikes! that’s hard to admit, but it’s soooo good!), and I switched up my daily coffee routine to include monk fruit sweetener and a splash of heavy cream.

Some folks who “eat clean” follow an 80/20 routine. 80% of the time they eat clean, and then allow themselves 20% not so clean. We LOVED this way of living because it still allowed us bonafide foodies to go out to eat at specialty restaurants, or get pizza at a Red Wings game, or enjoy a slice of birthday cake on occasion. We felt like we were improving our health, but still living.

So, it’s should be no surprise then, that this will be my next step in our fertility journey this time around. Plus, cutting out all the crap (ha!) will only benefit me and our baby during a pregnancy also, right?

2. Low-Carb

If you are able to begin your journey with clean eating, then adopting a low-carb lifestyle probably won’t be too shocking to your system. If you are making fresh vegetables and organic meats for your meals and shopping the perimeter of the grocery store and not the aisles that are filled with boxes of processed things, then you’re probably already eating a lot less carbs than you used too. That’s why, to me, changing my eating in this order just plain makes sense…clean eating, low-carb, and then anti-inflammatory.

In Kym Campbell’s 30-Day PCOS Diet Challenge, she covers why eating a low-glycemic index diet is so helpful for PCOS. What I love about this way of eating is that I am still allowed to have wild rice (just not white rice), red-skinned potatoes (just not russets), and whole-grain pastas. It’s more about vitamins and minerals and how those carbs serve you and your body, then stuffing my face with Cheetos and Sprite.

When you cut out all of the processed, sugary garbage foods that we probably all know and love, not only will you feel ten times better but also make sticking to a low-carb diet so much easier. My naturopathic doctor recommended I stay below 150 grams of carbs to increase my fertility, but I found my sweet spot to be between 70-100 grams/day. At that level, I still feel as though I’m making great progress in my health goals, but not so much that I’m depriving myself.

Just in case you’re wondering, I track my macros on the MyFitnessPal App. I like a 70/30/10 ratio typically, meaning 70% fat, 30% protein, & 10% carbs. It’s the only way I can truly track how many carbs I’m eating, since there’s so many hidden carbs in just about everything. Plus, I love that the app allows me to simply scan in the foods I’m eating or search for them using their wide database of foods. It takes the guess-work out of eating a low-carb diet.

3. Anti-Inflammatory

And, last but certainly not least, let’s talk about how to eat an anti-inflammatory diet and how it can help you and me reach our goal of finally getting pregnant.

A couple of years ago, when I first started my health journey after our first miscarriage, I joined the 131 Program. 131 is a “diet” program hosted by Charlene Johnson. You may have seen her on a late-night informercial explaining her super poplar PiYo Beachbody excercise program.

At that time in my life, I was desperate to find answers to my health conundrum, and finally once and for all fix my PCOS. I’d been meeting with my naturopathic doctor, and learning about what she thought was best for me to do, but my mind was spinning when it came to all of the dietary changes she recommended.

The 131 Method

Somehow, someway, I stumbled upon Chalene’s 131 Diet Program and joined as a New Year’s Resolution. I had loved her PiYo program and thought she seemed like just the perfect cheerleader and online bestie to have in my back pocket as I started this journey to better health…and, boy, I couldn’t have been more right.

The 131 Program introduced me to various ways of eating including keto-ish low-carb, plant-based, and a clean eating regimen much like we already talked about above. I learned the benefits of intermittent fasting and how it could benefit my gut-health and immune system. It was like having a health coach right at my fingertips.

Her program included recipes and online coaching with dietitians, psychologists, and world-renown health gurus from across the globe. I learned so much from Chalene I can hardly share it all here in just a few words. Let me just say, the more I learned from her about what is put in our food here in the United States and why our health is failing, it was shocking and drove change in my super-resistant mind.

I particularly liked learning about leaky-gut and the inflammatory foods that could be wreaking havoc on my system and my fertility. In order for me to make such a drastic change in my eating habits, I needed to understand why. Do you agree?

Suddenly, I understood why my naturopathic doctor had recommended trying an anti-inflammatory diet that included cutting out such foods like gluten, dairy, soy, and caffeine. I often wonder why so many of us are struggling to get pregnant and maintain those pregnancies these days, and I honestly thing the answer is in our food and how our body processes that food.

Kym Campbell’s 30 Day PCOS Diet Challenge

Trying an anti-inflammatory diet seems the hardest of changes to me, so that why it’s last on my diet list not because it’s the least effective. Kym Campbell also covers this in her 30-Day PCOS Diet Challenge as well. If you are wanting to learn more about leaky gut, inflammatory foods, and what they could be doing to your body and your fertility, check out her Diet Challenge that’s FREE or subscribe to a membership with the 131 Method where you’ll learn and experiment with other ways of eating that my benefit you. I can’t recommend these 2 programs enough.

Basically in this way of eating, you cut out inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, soy and caffeine in order to let your gut heal and then eventually allow yourself time to see if you are intolerant of these foods. Who knew that consuming wheat or having a splash of half & half in your coffee every morning could be creating such a stumbling block to your fertility.

Now with all of this diet talk you’d think I’d be at my goal weight by now, wearing a size 8 (my dream size), and living my best life, right? On the contrary, I’m still on this very long process to make real change and stick with it. I’m human too, and making changes to my diet are especially difficult. So much of my life revolves around food and often times I choose the quickest option when I have the choice which leads me right back to that McDonald’s drive thru.

If you too are struggling to change your eating habits in an effort to increase your fertility and have your dream baby, you are not alone! You’d think that if this was the only obstacle standing in our way of having a perfect little baby, that these changes would be easy, right? But, they aren’t, unfortunately. All I can do is offer you support on your journey and what little tidbits of knowledge I’ve picked up along the way. We can do this together, friend!

Quite a Few Supplements/Prophylactic Medications

Next, I’d love to share with you the list of various supplements and prophylactic medications I’m currently taking to increase my fertility and health. However, always check with you physician before started any new medications/supplements as some may interfere with other medications you may already be taking.

I visited with my Naturopathic doctor and underwent several values labs tests (including blood tests, saliva tests, and stool tests) to discover what supplementation I needed. So, I’d highly recommend seeking out a naturopathic physician or practitioner in your area who can also go over these things with you. I cover more about my visit with my naturopathic doctor, what to expect, and how to find on one in your area in this blog post.

Supplements/Medications To Improve Fertility

  • Prenatal Vitamin- with methylfolate instead of folic acid, better for women with MTHFR
  • OvaBoost– to improve egg quality
  • Metformin 650mg- helps with insulin-resistance and symptoms of PCOS
  • Aspirin 81mg- helps prevent miscarriage by decreasing underlying inflammation in the body, this is something that’s new to my regimen after my second miscarriage
  • Vitamin D-3 10,000 IU/day- supports ovulation and a healthy pregnancy, & my levels have been almost non-existent in the past
  • Pro-Biotic- to improve gut health
  • Fish Oil- for Omega 3’s
  • NAC- helps women with PCOS conceive
  • Vitamin B- because metformin can deplete vitamin B levels

Acupuncture & Massage

There is so much research stating that acupuncture helps with fertility. I’ve had the privilege of seeing the benefits first-hand and plan to continue with acupuncture on this next leg of my fertility journey.

One would think that being poked and prodded by a bunch of needles would be less than relaxing. But, I’ve found it to be the complete opposite. I’ve taken some of my best, most restorative naps on the acupuncture table whilst looking like a porcupine.

Massage, for me, kind of goes hand in hand. There is such a thing as fertility massage where the therapist manipulates your hips and “massages” your uterus making it a happier place for a baby to grow. My massage therapist had just begun doing these treatments when I got pregnant in June. Who knows? That may have just been the magic trick for me getting my positive!

All of these things lead me into my next recommendation for preparing your body for pregnancy, and it’s high on my list as well.

Preparing your body for pregnancy can be a daunting task especially if you've been at it for a while.  Today I'd love to share with you 8 simple steps that will increase your fertility and ultimately help you prepare your mind and body for pregnancy.

Plenty of Rest & Relaxation

One of the many things I discovered about my health while visiting a naturopathic doctor was that I was experiencing adrenal fatigue. My body was pretty much running on empty, the brain fog was awful, and I was relying on a plethora of cups of coffee a day to keep me going (and still do!).

Some of these issues are a result of a common gene mutation that I also have called MTHFR that not only causes issues with fertility but also with carrying a healthy pregnancy. So, as you can imagine, fixing these issues was right at the top of my priority list.

One of the various ways to fix my adrenal fatigue and general overall exhaustion was to get plenty of rest and relaxation. Yeah, right! Ha! Initially I was good about this. I strategically planned out “spa nights” at home where I’d read a book, drink some tea, and enjoy a bath bomb from LUSH. But, then “real” life kicked in, and those relaxing evenings were out the window.

This time around, I’m going back to this simple principle. I’m learning to say “no” to all the good things that are offered to me. I’m choosing to find joy where I’m at, and slowing down so I can savor the season I’m in.

I have plenty of ideas on my list of ways to relax like going for crisp fall walks, planning small weekends away with my hubby, and lighting my favorite candle every night while we cuddle on the couch for hockey games. Sometimes it’s about the simplest of changes that can make a world of difference in your infertility journey. And, learning to embrace this season and slowing down so you can really experience it is key.

To find out if you have adrenal fatigue and to learn how it could be affecting your fertility, click here. Also, for more information on the gene mutation MTHFR and how you can get tested for it, click here.

Yoga & Light Exercise

When you are activity trying to get pregnant, you should not start a new rigorous exercise regimen. Now’s not the time to try P90X or start cross-fit. In fact, if you have PCOS like I do, light cardio, strength training, and yoga are the best exercises for us to do.

That’s why I can’t wait to get started with Yoga Burn. I bought this program probably a year ago or longer and have never tried it. After some gently leading from my OB/GYN to begin exercising, I decided to dust off the DVD’s and continue downloading the program to my computer.

I’ve really enjoyed yoga in the past and can’t wait to get better at it. I also want to start going for walks around my neighborhood while the weather is still cooperating. What exercise do you enjoy, or you just a beginner like me?

Preparing your body for pregnancy can be a daunting task especially if you've been at it for a while.  Today I'd love to share with you 8 simple steps that will increase your fertility and ultimately help you prepare your mind and body for pregnancy.

A Pre-Conception Consult At A Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic

This is a simple step that I am super excited about. If you having experienced several losses like I have, ask your OB/GYN for a referral to a Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Clinic if you have one in your area. I’m so thankful that there is one in our area…in fact, this is the only one in Michigan.

My doctor referred me to this clinic after my second miscarriage and I have my first appointment at the beginning of November. This pregnancy loss clinic is one of a handful across the United States, but hopefully the first of many in the coming years. It treats women with recurrent pregnancy loss in a multi-disciplinary approach that includes nurses and Maternal-Fetal Medicine physicians, as well as dietitians, ultrasound technicians, perinatal social workers, and more.

They will run tests to see if there are any underlying conditions that could be causing recurrent miscarriages, as well as follow our next pregnancy very closely at the beginning to make sure everything is going well. I’m beyond thankful for a place like this that can specially treat couples like us who’s nerves are basically shot after 2 miscarriages but still desperately want to start a family.

If you are in the same boat, look into a clinic similar to this in your area. It would be a perfect next step in your fertility journey as well.

Fun, Travel, & Living My Best Life

Lastly, don’t forget to live life and have fun! Infertility can steal so much from us. But, don’t let it steal your joy! One of the best things you can do for yourself and for your partner during this season of “trying” is to make memories together, establish a good foundation, continue to date each other, and go after your goals.

There is so much more to you than whether or not you have babies. Don’t forget that! You have a big, huge purpose in this world, and while becoming a mother may be a big part of that, there are other purposes for you too.

Create a pre-baby bucket list, travel to far away places, be the best sister, auntie, daughter, friend, etc you can be. Then, when your future babies do join you here, they’ll jump into a great, big happy purpose-filled life, family, and home.

Preparing your body for pregnancy can be a daunting task especially if you've been at it for a while.  Today I'd love to share with you 8 simple steps that will increase your fertility and ultimately help you prepare your mind and body for pregnancy.

Infertility can be a long road, but dear friend you are not alone in this journey. I sincerely hope that these simple steps get you just a bit closer to holding your baby in your arms. Which tip are you going to start today?

Have questions? Please leave them for me in the comments.

2 Comments

  • Sounds like you are doing the right things. Most importantly, you’re staying positive and beautiful! I’ll pray for you and your husband to have success in the near future. Hopefully you’ll have a little one to share your loveliness with. In the meantime, thanks for sharing with us through your sweet blog.

    Reply
    • Brittany, what a sweet comment. Thank you! We appreciate your prayers and your support.

      Reply

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Hi, I’m Stephanie

Your newest BFF & Simplicity Guru, if that’s ok with you

Fueled by equal parts cold brew and dry shampoo, I spend my days inspiring and encouraging women to find joy and rest, even in a season full of chaos and overwhelm.  Your story, your family, your journey is a beautiful one and I can’t wait to help you create memories you will treasure for years to come.  

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