firstly, i want to start by saying i’m not a doctor. i’m not even an expert. what i am though, is a woman who was deeply invested in my fertility and preconception health prior to getting pregnant, which lead me down a path of study, science, evidence based learning and deep self introspection with the outcome of the conscious conception of our son. i learned a lot along the way, and i'm driven by a deep desire to share, serve and show up FULLY for my people. so here we go!
we are all unique bodies with individualized biology, so what works for one might not necessarily work for another, but i hope to inspire you to be passionate about your reproductive health and bodies natural cycles. our bodies are made of many rhythms: the circadian rhythm, the cranial rhythm of cerebral spinal fluid, the reproductive rhythm of hormones, and the rhythm of the digestive system. when we become disconnected from our biological rhythms we become unharmonized in the body. this can lead to poor sleep, lack of energy, stress, headaches, digestive issues, reproductive issues, mental blocks, lack of creativity, menstrual cycle issues, skin issues, etc. when you start to work with your own biology, magic truly starts to happen, even if babies aren’t your thing.
i also want to note how triggering these kinds of conversations can be for some people. if this isn’t for you right now, i understand, i’ve been there. i also want to acknowledge how hard it is for those who yearn to have children. the pain, frustration, and shame that comes with not being able to conceive is so real and hard. it's becoming more and more common that couples are having difficulty so please know that you are not alone.
first up, conscious conception. it sounds crazy (or maybe not coming from me...) but i know the exact day and moment i got pregnant. but let me back up and tell you how i got there. for about a year before we were “ready” to have a baby i started talking to my baby. i would meet them in meditations, and talk to them on the subway, and really just started to intertwine my life with this baby’s life. i’m not sure how it started, it just did, and then one day i was in Chapters and i stumbled across the book “Spirt Babies” by Walter Makichen and i was like “holy shit, this is what we’ve been doing!” then when we were ready to call them in, i felt like they trusted me when i said “we’re ready babe, come any time.” at that point, we were ready and so was he, as he chose to come the very first cycle thereafter.
conception technically starts before you get pregnant. you can start by helping your body build the best and strongest eggs/sperm it can. it takes around 3 months to mature the egg and sperm. you can do this by making healthy, informed choices at least 120 days prior to wanting to fall pregnant. start as early as possible! here’s some of the ways i optimized my health and body to ensure the best possible container for a babe to grow and thrive:
prenatal vitamins: i started talking prenatal vitamins early into my preconception journey. i knew that the baby's vital organs develop rather quickly in pregnancy, some as early as 6 weeks, and i wanted to ensure the little bub would be getting everything they needed. i personally took Garden of Life, MyKind Organics: Prenatal Once Daily Vegan Tablets. i did a lot of research on prenatal vitamins (there’s so many out there!!!) and here’s one thing i learned for sure...not all supplements are created equal. the supplement industry is largely unregulated and it’s possible that common vitamins, including prenatal vitamins on the market, can contain cheap, toxic fillers and are manufactured with chemical solvents. here’s a quick overview of what you’ll want to find in a prenatal.
1) you’ll want to find one that has the right supply/dosage for you and your babe, including folic acid, iron, iodine, vitamin D etc, ask your doc or midwife about how much you should be taking of each.
2) find the most absorbable. many supplements on the shelves contain synthetic forms which are harder for your body to absorb. ensuring your prenatal has the activated forms of nutrient will optimize use and absorption in your body.
3) find one that sits well in your tum. sooo many made me nauseous, so it was a bit of trial and error to find one that didn’t upset my stomach and met the above criteria. this one sat well in my stomach and didn’t taste bad even in the first tri of pregnancy when everything i ate was a literal gamble if i would see it again- haha!
4) iron: carries oxygen around your body and also to the little bub. demands naturally increase when you become pregnant so this is one of the quickest minerals to become deficient in. we only absorb about 18 % of the iron we consume, so having plenty of iron stores leading up to conception is crucial. i took a liquid iron supplement called floradix which tasted like fruits and veggies and just shot it back each day with breaky.
5) at the end of the day, get one you WILL TAKE. some of them require taking a pill 3 times a day, and if you're anything like me, that's just not gonna happen lol. that said, some of the prenatal varieties can be quite expensive and challenging to find in store. so if you find one that you will take, that's accessible to you, something is better than nothing.
eating nutrient dense foods! i was vegan/vegetarian for years leading up to becoming pregnant. honestly, the decision to eat this way was largely due to veganism being in alignment with my environmental beliefs and the morality of living and sentient beings (and still is) unfortunately being vegan never felt great in my body. i started following the Nourishing Traditions book loosely which included lots of eggs, grass fed meat, veggies, fruit and wild fish. i try to eat as responsibly and sustainable as possible, and primarily what my ancestors would’ve eaten.
stress less, lovely. stress can suppress ovulation, reduce libido, cause hormonal imbalance. if it carries into pregnancy it can actually alter the brain and neurone development in the baby. i had to greatly reduce my stress, which meant pulling back on overextended work hours, prioritizing wellness, cutting out alcohol and all that came with the consumption of alcohol and the days that followed said consumption, and letting go of a few work contracts i just didn’t have the space for anymore. here’s a few additional ideas on ways to reduce stress for free. sit in the sunlight, or a window, and just bask in the sun. drink clean water. stretch, move or walk. walk barefoot. meditate. dance. deep breaths.
pay attention to what your taking in! what goes on your skin, goes in your body. the average woman or birthing person is exposed to 168 chemicals before she even leaves the house each day. some of which are endocrine disruptors, causing hormonal imbalance and impacting fertility. swap out all cleaning and cosmetic products for natural ones!
sleep!! 7-8 hours of sleep a night is said to increase the chance of conceiving by up to 25%. they didn’t have to tell me twice on this one...sleep is medicine. rest is revolutionary.
here are some other things that I found helpful along the way:
- i stopped HIIT workouts. high intensity workouts were fun, but created stress on my nervous system. i gained weight letting HIIT go, and loved the way i looked and felt. learning to slow down was crucial.
-EMDR really helped worked through some residual trauma that was still stored in my body and relaxed my nervous system.
-Joe Dispenza course: his nightly meditations were beautiful and really helpful for trusting and knowing a future with baby was near.
-reiki. i did self reiki on my uterus and reproductive organs often, and carried the practice through pregnancy and now into postpartum. i highly recommend reaching out to a trusted reiki practitioner if this is something that interests you.
some resources i loved:
-Spirit Babies by Walter Makichen: a cute book with really tangible ideas on calling in and communicating with the babe you’re meant to have. i loved this practice and for me it felt organic and simple. for you, maybe not, but i definitely recommend giving it a try.
-Nurture by Erica Chidi Cohen: a week by week guide with super sweet journaling prompts, movement guides, tools for your mind and body, natural remedies and nourishment.
-Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin: so expansive and truth telling around birth. i’ve gifted this book to many a pregnant pal of mine. truthfully, it inspired the shit out of me and what our bodies truly are capable of. up until I read this book I had a very small aperture of what birth looked like based on mainstream media. this book opened up a new pathway for what birth *could* look like.
-Spiritual Midwifery also by by Ina May Gaskin: so great. Ina May is queen. i really enjoyed the in-depth wisdom of anatomy and physicality of birth.
-Expecting Better: Why The Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong and What You Really Need To Know by Emily Oster: this book really blew my mind. it’s an evidence based book that goes into all the statistics and facts about what we can and cannot do while pregnant. basically what we’ve been told forever is mostly misconception, old wives-tales and outdated science. eye opening to the least!
-Conscious Conception: Elemental Journey through the Labyrinth of Sexuality by Jeannine Parvati Baker. this ones is basically a step-by-step manual of fertility awareness, in-depth psychology, and psychic birth control and interweaves the five elements—earth, water, fire, air, and ether-as tools for discovery in the face of reproductive challenges.
-Eckhart Tolle, Essential Teachings Podcast: this whole podcast is phenomenal, but there were some episodes like “transforming our consciousness through adversity” and “the everyday and the transcendent” that were so spot on during this period of time for me. i love that he consistently talks about the most astonishing power we have is being human and we have the absolute power to transcend any mental/physical/spiritual adversity, illness or circumstance. we didn’t come here to suffer through life, we came here to co-create and impact the universe in meaningful and unique ways and to dance with the ripple of evolution.
-hellomind.app is a hypnosis app that has really beautiful options for conceiving, being pregnant, birth etc. (there’s also lots of non-pregnancy related things too!)
-most of all, try and have fun.
hope this helps anyone! reach out to me if you have specific questions and i'm happy to answer or if I can, point you in the right direction!