Episode 80 – Preconception Care for Entrepreneurs
If you’re not actively planning… or even thinking… of getting pregnant any time soon, you might think this episode isn’t for you. BUT if you’re a female entrepreneur, who is crushing it in her business, and hoping to start a family someday, tune in, because this episode is all about preconception care – planning and preparing your body BEFORE pregnancy – nourish the soil, before you plant the seed, girl!
In today’s episode, I’ll share the most common causes of fertility challenges and share my personal preconception care plan.
Tune in to learn how you can optimize your health — and your baby palace — for pregnancy.
Links + Resources from this Episode:
- Get your FREE Reishi-infused samples!
- Your Metabolic RESET
- Share your screenshot on Instagram @wellthywoman.co
- Feel drawn to work together? Let’s chat!
- Learn more about functional genomic testing: wellthywoman.co/youtrients
- Check out my favorite core courses from The Tummy Team: https://online.thetummyteam.com/?ref=133
Meet Your Host:
Michelle Rogers, ND, MSAOM, FDN-P
Over the past several years, I’ve created the most accessible, streamlined and effective virtual practice working with high-achieving women entrepreneurs, go-getters, and other badass women all over the world.
I intentionally blend my background of Functional, Naturopathic, and East Asian Medicine with my extensive experience in the online business world to help provide my clients with the personalized blueprint and strategy they need to get the mental focus, energy and business strategy required to share their gifts, better serve their clients and show up even more for the people they love.
Hey there, Michelle here with another episode for you. Today I’m chatting all about preconception care. Now, to clear the air, I’m NOT pregnant! Preconception care has to do with the steps you take prior to getting pregnant — it’s a super important yet commonly overlooked step in the whole fertility journey.
Now, I’m a self-proclaimed planner, so maybe I’m a bit biased, but I’ve essentially been prepping my baby palace — passively — for years. I mean… I’m a naturopathic doctor trained in functional medicine, so I KNOW how to take care of my body, BUT there are some specific things that should be addressed, if you’re a female entrepreneur hoping to start a family in the future.
SO many women I work with have been so focused on their business – either struggling, sustaining or crushing it for years, and as they enter their mid-30s, they start to panic, because their biological clock is ticking, and the keeping up with the hustle has taken its toll.
And… unfortunately, some of these women are having trouble getting pregnant.
The thing is, running a business — let alone participating in a partnership and maintaining friendships — takes a LOT of resources. Our body blasts through nutrients and hormones and chemical messengers to keep us going… and it does a REALLY good job, most of the time.
BUT, if we’re not allowing ourselves to slow down, replenish those resources and create a sustainable way of operating on the day to day, our body is literally stuck in survival mode — not reproductive mode.
So, we have to retrain our body, replete nutrients and create habits that create an environment of safety in our body, so it’s primed and ready for an easy pregnancy and a healthy kiddo.
Now, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’m going to be sharing my preconception care journey over the next several months to give you an example of what you can do to prime your body for pregnancy. This episode is going to be helpful for you if you’re in your 20s, your 30s or even your early 40s and either wanting to get pregnant now or anytime in the future. You literally can’t start the preconception care process too early.
So, I just turned 36 in December, and my mom was actually 36 when she had me. Personally, I’ve always been on the fence about having kids, because I never really thought of myself as a mother, but as I get older, I definitely want to keep the door open for as long as possible, and the absolute best way to do that is to take awesome care of my body.
As women, we’re born with ALL the eggs that we will ever have. In saying that, that means that the environment of our mother’s body, especially during our fetal development has a huge impact on the quality and quantity of our eggs.
This is also why you can’t start preconception care too early — however, our body’s are amazingly resilient and by creating an optimized environment for our eggs and our uterus, we can create the most optimal outcomes when it comes to pregnancy.
Men, on the other hand — their sperm is kind of on a 90 day rotation, so if you want your partner to participate in preconception care — which I HIGHLY recommend, they should focus on cleaning things up at least three months in advance of trying to conceive. I won’t get into any male details here, but a lot of the things I’m going to talk about can be things that dudes can do too.
Alright, real quick, let’s talk fertility.
You probably already know this, but infertility is a HUGE issue – rates are actually at extinction levels, which is pretty mind-blowing. And this isn’t just for women who are waiting longer to have kids.
You can find infertility clinics pretty much EVERYWHERE, and they’re primed and ready to take your money and basically poison your body with synthetic hormones and other chemicals without addressing simple underlying causes like gut health, toxicity, inflammation, and stealth infections.
When we talk about preconception care, we’re addressing and taking care of these really basic imbalances that are WAY too commonly overlooked.
Back to your partner doing preconception care with you, you know, if you want to have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy kiddo, BOTH parents need to get healthy FIRST. That makes sense, right? Increasing evidence demonstrates that the environment in which a child is conceived, as well as the in-utero environment, strongly influences the health outcomes of both the pregnancy and the kiddos throughout their lifetime.
On top of that, by addressing your health, you’ll be better prepared to share your experience, knowledge and healthy habits with your little ones… which means healthier adults… which means more conscientious humans on this planet.
That doesn’t sound so bad to me.
Alright, so the most common fertility issues, and things to keep in mind for preconception care are:
- High stress
- Poor nutrient status – things like zinc, folate and other vitamins and minerals
- Methylation issues
- Toxicity – things like mold and heavy metals)
- Cell phone radiation
- Poor sleep
- Gluten intolerance and other food sensitivities
- Birth control use — and, of course, I don’t mean for it contraceptive qualities, but more so because it jacks up our hormones and depletes vital nutrients
- Low progesterone and other hormone imbalances like PCOS and insulin resistance
So… how do we prevent or reverse these specific issues?
This is where a holistic approach to your body and health shines, because several lifestyle factors are huge players when it comes to optimal fertility, including nutrition, stress management, and maintenance of a healthy weight. This is actually one of the reasons why I’m actually taking part in the maiden voyage of my holistic weight loss program called Your Metabolic RESET. If you missed this round, and you want to learn more – registration is now open for April – you can go to wellthywomen.co/ymr or I’ll link to it in the show notes.
In addition, adequate nutrient status has a huge influence not only the ability to get pregnant, but the health of the egg and your partner’s sperm, which obviously related to the health of the developing child.
Something I’ve also really implemented over the past 6 months is a meditation practice, which is a huge factor in my stress management. I can tell a serious difference in how I respond and handle stress, if my meditation starts to slack.
When it comes to preconception care nutrition, it’s really important to focus on eating foods that don’t aggravate your system. There’s a few ways to do this, but I really like to start with a gut rejuvenation program, which uses a comprehensive stool analysis, a reliable food sensitivity test and a metabolic typing assessment.
Using these three tools, helps me create a plan to repair the digestive tract by removing any unwanted bacteria, mold or parasites, replacing any digestive juices that might be compromised, introducing good healthy bacteria repairing the gut lining, so it can actually do its job.
As we’re healing the gut, we use the food sensitivity test and metabolic typing assessment to create a personalized food plan, which really expedites the gut healing process and sets you up with some really great eating habits, when you’re ready to reintroduce those foods you were once sensitive to.
If you’re just starting out on your healing journey, whether or not you’re planning a pregnancy in the future, this is the BEST place to start, hands down.
Now, what about prenatal vitamins?
So, these are GREAT, obviously depending on the brand — my two favorites are from nutritional fundamentals for health and designs for health — no affiliation.
BUT if you’re gut isn’t healed… are you actually absorbing all those incredible nutrients? That’s one of the reasons why the gut rejuvenation program is SO essential.
Along with a good quality prenatal, I also recommend a high potency fish oil. Again, I like nutritional fundamentals for health, designs for health or nordic naturals actually has a good prenatal DHA.
That’s pretty much it, as far as supplements go, unless you like taking things a bit further, which I tend to do, but having your functional genomics done through Youtrients and then having a customized formula that enhances your genetic pathways is a REALLY awesome thing, especially if you are entering the quote “high risk” years, which technically I’m in, although I’m not tripping about it just yet.
If you want to chat with me about Youtrients, I’m happy to do so, but you can also learn more by going to wellthywoman.co/youtrients — spelled youtrients, but I’ll also put that in the show notes.
Okay, so we’ve talked about nutrition, supplementation, and stress.
Next, let’s talk hormones, since that’s always a part of the fertility journey. My favorite way to get a grasp on hormonal health is to run a DUTCH complete profile, which includes all sex hormones and a 24 hour adrenal assessment.
This test gives us a really good clear picture of whether or not that hustle-life has depleted you and where we need to focus our efforts during the restoration process. I want to take a moment to emphasize the importance of the adrenal testing, because SO many of us hyper-focus on the sex hormones, thinking they are the most important part of the fertility journey.
BUT… I’m going to argue that the adrenals are actually WAY more important, because if we’re depleted, or we’re running on overdrive, our body is not going to be able to sustain or maintain a pregnancy or even get pregnant to begin with. When our body is in fight, flight or freeze mode all the time, it’s not in rest, digest, restore and reproduce mode… make sense?
Alright, so the DUTCH test is really comprehensive and tells us a TON of information, but if you’re already trying to get pregnant and not having success… AND your adrenals are doing great, then DUTCH also offers a cycle mapping test that gives us a really nice visual of your hormonal fluctuations throughout the month. So the cycle mapping would almost be a level-up, if what we were trying wasn’t quite cutting it.
If you’ve recently come of birth control or you’re considering coming off birth control, just know that Post Birth Control syndrome is a thing, and you’re body might have some imbalances that need to be addressed in regards to nutrient status and hormone health.
Next, I want to chat about toxicity, because this is a HUGE issue and probably THE most overlooked issue I run across in my practice. We’re surrounded by toxins, so we obviously can’t avoid them completely, BUT we can do quite a bit to lessen our exposure and help aid our body and liver to process them more efficiently.
You know I like testing, so my favorite test for this is the Organix test by Genova Diagnostics, which is an organic acids test. This particular test not only checks for toxicity but all small intestinal bacterial overgrowth and nutrient status. It really helps us fine tune anything that has been missing and can be the missing link for a lot of women who are struggling with fertility.
So, with toxicity, this is really a lifestyle thing as far as what products you’re using on your skin, what cleaning products you’re using, avoiding plastics, using non-toxic cookware, eating organic produce and pastured (not pasteurized – pastured, like raised in the open field) animal products, changing air filters in your home and car… I mean, the list goes on and on, and this is really a process that you can start anytime. The key is to try and not get overwhelmed, but do what you can when you can.
For example, swapping out products as you go through them, like say you ran out of your favorite foundation, so instead of just grabbing another one, do some research and get a mineral based non-toxic one. My favorite site for this, by the way, is skin deep by the environmental working group.
Alright, so those are really the basics, but I am doing a few more things that I’d love to share with you.
First, I’m drinking reishi-infused coffee and/or tea every single day.
Reishi has been shown to decrease the possibility of neural tube defects and protect the fetal brain during development, but it also has an insane amount of health benefits, in general, so if you want to learn more about reishi, listen to episode 79.
Also, kind of an odd one, but I was having a tattoo removed, which I haven’t quite finished yet, but I decided to stop over a year ago, because tattoo removal releases a LOT of heavy metals into your system, so I wanted to make sure that that was not playing a role in my preconception care.
What else… MOVEMENT! I haven’t talked about movement, but this is obviously a hugely important topic, and the main reason being that if you don’t establish a movement routine prior to pregnancy, it can be much more difficult to start one and stick with it during pregnancy.
The thing is, when our body is adapted to a particular exercise or set of movements, it’s MUCH easier and safer to continue that movement, at least part of the way through pregnancy. So, that being said, I’ve been paying a lot of attention to movement and making movement a part of my daily life.
Sometimes that means dancing in my room, hiking in the woods, riding my bike, doing a HIIT workout or doing yoga. I kind of let my spirit guide me, but it is really important.
Okay, one final thing I want to bring up, while we’re talking body stuff, if you haven’t already been working on it, your core strength is going to be SUPER important for having a smoother labor and delivery AND a quicker recovery after birth.
One of the biggest reasons women have a hard time getting their belly back is because their core strength was weak, and they end up getting something called diastasis recti, which is a loosening and stretching of the central abdominal wall that can create issues down the line. YES, with the right exercises you can correct it… mostly, BUT as with most things, prevention is key!
My favorite resource for all things core related is The Tummy Team – they have online courses and do virtual consulting. I’ll link to my favorite courses in the show notes.
Okay! Wow… I think that’s it for now, so to sum up my recommendations:
- If you’re not already there, start by getting to a healthy weight — April registration for Your Metabolic RESET is now open!
- Heal your gut – a gut rejuvenation program should include a 5R protocol and an individualized food.
- Nourish your adrenals and get your hormones checked to make sure your body has the reserves it needs for a happy pregnancy and healthy baby.
- Don’t do any targeted detox programs, unless you’re starting your preconception care journey at least a year in advance.
- In general, focus on detoxing your environment and give your body the support it needs to remove toxins naturally.
- Consider adding reishi to your daily routine.
- Get into a movement routine that works for you, so you have something in place before pregnancy.
- Consider checking out The Tummy Team to strengthen your core, which will help you have a smoother labor and delivery AND help your body recover quicker after birth.
If you or someone you know is struggling with fertility or just wanting to start their preconception care journey, shoot me a message on Facebook or Instagram.
I’m more than happy to evaluate what’s been done, review your labs and see if I can help or point you in the right direction.
Otherwise, that’s a wrap for this week – if you found this episode helpful, please share it with someone you love and take a screenshot of you listening, so I can share it with others.
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So, tune in next week for more awesome and actionable info!
Chat with you then!