Preparing for Pregnancy

With excitement, joy, and perhaps a bit of trepidation, you’re considering having a baby. This primal urge is an intrinsic part of being human. What could be more natural or straightforward? Every day, women become pregnant, sometimes unintentionally. On the other hand, many women have difficulty conceiving, which can be emotionally traumatic, exhausting, or frustrating.

My opinion is that pregnancy is well worth preparing for. Whether it’s ensuring that you are immune to chicken pox, taking a multivitamin with folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, or approaching your ideal weight to avoid gestational diabetes, we know that there are things you can do to prepare your body for conception and to up the odds of bearing a healthy child.

Happily, most women are able to conceive. Yet we’ve all heard stories of frustration and heartbreak. This has many women asking whether there’s some kind of fertility crisis today. Is it now harder to get pregnant for some reason?

The answer is “maybe.” The U.S. birth rate is about the same as it was in the mid-1980s (down from a high point in 1990). But the current statistics may be bolstered by the success of assisted-reproduction technologies that didn’t exist in the past. Certainly there are challenges to fertility today that our mothers and grandmothers never faced: new birth control methods; unprecedented cultural pressure to be thin—and, on the flip side, epidemic obesity—both of which take a toll; high rates of hormone-disrupting stress; a fast-food diet that leads many to consume the exact opposite foods from those that bolster fertility; and environmental toxins permeating everything from our water bottles to our lip gloss to the food we eat and the air we breathe.

The goal of integrative medicine is to help you prepare your body, mind, and spirit for easy conception and a healthy pregnancy.

Integrative medicine addresses the challenges to our health and fertility by synthesizing advances in medical science and the wisdom of healing traditions. In today’s high-stress, chemical-laden, frequently unhealthy environment, integrative medicine is the most effective way to prepare for pregnancy, guiding you to create an oasis of health. Within this website, you will find answers to your questions on topics ranging from the physical (what to eat, what supplements to take) to the environmental (toxins to avoid), from the mind-body (breath work, meditation) to the spiritual (ceremony and prayer).

I advocate for thoughtful preparation to make your body as welcoming as possible for a baby. Fertility requires health and vitality; ideally, you would not seek to create another life when you are depleted. An integrative medicine approach can enhance your innate ability to conceive and bear a child.

It is easy to hurt the sensitive feelings of a friend struggling with infertility.  This wonderful article will help you avoid some of the pitfalls!

And, the insightful Brene Brown narrates this wonderful animation describing the difference between empathy and sympathy.  Here’s one phrase from it to remember when you just don’t know what to say in face of a loved one’s pain: “I don’t know what to say, I’m just so glad you told me.”