4 Important Reasons Why Your Preconception Health Does Matter
One of my absolute favorite things to do as a holistic health practitioner is to support families in fertility, pregnancy, and to raise healthy and resilient children.
Did you know that we can have a major impact on pregnancy, birth outcomes, and the life-long health of our children by focusing on our overall health for a minimal of 3 to 4 months prior to conception?
There’s a huge gap in information and education around how important preconception planning is for the life-long health of our children, and for decreasing the risk of miscarriage, pregnancy complications (gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, premature delivery etc) and easier recovery postpartum!
How hard our children have to work to stay healthy throughout their life starts during the preconception period, before their bodies are even formed.
It all starts with us!
Truly, nothing replaces getting started early. Preconception health and health care is the greatest gift you can give yourself, your future child, and your family.
Here is why.
1. Preconception planning enhances your fertility and improves the likelihood of a healthy pregnancy.
Preconception health care (done the right way) invariably enhances your fertility. We can decrease our chances of having miscarriages, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, premature delivery and negative birth outcomes with intentional preconception care and planning.
Maybe pregnancy is the farthest thing from your mind today, but things change over time and the truth is that if you are of childbearing age, sexually active, and in a heterosexual relationship, there is always the chance that you may become pregnant (even with the best birth control methods).
Because majority of pregnancies are actually unplanned.
Even if you are not sexually active or in same sex relationships, you may change your mind about having a child of your own. Being mindful and prepared is good for your health, and future children the same as everyone else.
2. Preconception health supports the life-long health of your baby and children.
When we envision starting or growing our family, the last thing we imagine is raising children with chronic disease. Unfortunately, the reality is that by the young age of five, 40% of American children will be found to suffer from a chronic health condition such as depression, ADD, autism, bi-polar disorder, cancer, depression, asthma, or serious food allergies.
These conditions are not simply genetic in origin. Research suggests that genetics plays only a small role in many of today’s chronic diseases. Other causes include improper nutrition, environmental toxins, and stresses on families.
3. Preconception health IS your familiy's wealth.
Preconception health care is an investment where you get to develop habits that support the health of your entire family. We plan ahead by saving up for a rainy day or retirement, but how are we planning to minimize financial obstacles like the huge emotional and financial cost of chronic disease?
When we take early action to change our health, we invest in a brighter financial future for our family and ourselves.
We don’t have a crystal ball, but we can protect ourselves from making costly choices. Having children is a HUGE financial decision and planning ahead means improving our health well before conception.
4. Planned preconception health helps you to improve your lifestyle and your relationship with food.
Let’s face it, there are things about our lifestyle and diet that we all can do to optimize our health. What better excuse than to prepare for the possibility of a future child?
We can't transfer nutrients to the fetus (our developing baby) that we don't have ourselves.
Lifestyle and dietary changes take TIME to implement and correct for any physiologic dysfunction. The more time you give yourself to plan and prepare, the more lasting impact these healthy patterns can have on your health and that of your family.
What could be more preventative than beginning optimal health care with the onset of life itself!
If you are trying to get pregnant or facing fertility challenges, BOTH are great times to focus on your preconception care!
Did you know taking time to get to the root of your fertility struggles and using targeted supplementing, nutrition and lifestyle during the preconception period greatly increases your chances of conceiving no matter how you conceive?