This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of our functional medicine practice: helping couples with their preparation for bringing a baby into the world. You may never have thought of this, but anti-aging starts in the womb. Conscientious couples are wise to prepare for pregnancy before conception. The more compliant potential parents are, the healthier and stronger their baby will be at birth and throughout life. And yes – the father’s health is important. A working gastrointestinal tract, good nutrition, avoidance of chemicals, support of detoxification, and management of auto-immune issues and inflammation – are essential to the production of healthy sperm and eggs prior to becoming pregnant.
A healthy gastrointestinal tract related to making healthy food choices, eating adequate fiber, drinking water, considering fermented foods and/or probiotics, and taking supplements when appropriate – prior to conception and during pregnancy and breastfeeding – is paramount to a normal pregnancy, birth, and healthy childhood for your new baby.
Taking a prenatal supplement during pregnancy and breastfeeding is recommended, as the need for some nutrients increases dramatically during pregnancy and lactation, and is not always met by diet alone. It is recommended to begin supplementation prior to child-bearing as it is known that healthy pregnancies begin with adequate nutrition prior to conception. First trimester nausea and morning sickness impact a woman’s ability to eat a healthy diet, and there is a big need for nutrients to support and protect fetal brain and spinal cord development early in the first trimester before a woman even realizes she is pregnant. The chosen prenatal supplement should meet the highest standard of purity – be free of preservatives and additives, and include nutrients that are in their most active or absorbable form. It is critical that the prenatal supplement include adequate folate for the development of the fetal brain and spinal column. In addition, folate provided in a bio-active form like 5-MTHF instead of as folic acid – helps to bypass steps in folate metabolism which may be especially helpful in those with genetic variations in folate metabolism. It is also advised that a good prenatal supplement include omega-3 fatty acids for fetal brain development and for the development of motor functions. Other needed nutrients not likely met by diet alone during pregnancy and lactation include: Choline, Vitamin B12, Iron, Iodine, and Vitamin D. We will be happy to recommend a quality prenatal supplement.
We are all exposed to toxic chemicals in the environment from air pollution, secondhand smoke, and harmful molecules in household products, including plastic ware. More than 4 billion pounds of toxic chemicals are released into the environment every year – toxic chemicals that accumulate in your body and impact your overall health. Your body has a very efficient system for removal and disposal of these dangerous molecules. However over time the sheer volume of chemicals and pollutants grows to a point that the body can’t keep up. This overwhelms the natural processes of your body and leads to an accumulation of toxins in your tissues. A poor diet, poor dental health, obesity, lack of physical activity, as well as habits such as smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, can make the situation even worse for your body and increase the risk of health complications.
All through life but particularly when planning pregnancy, and while pregnant and nursing, it is important to use personal care products and cosmetics that are natural and safe. Cosmetics and skin products are full of carcinogens and toxins including heavy metals. We will educate you on clean living including how to avoid household chemicals many of which are carcinogens and neurotoxins. Testing for toxins may be recommended as part of your prenatal care. Prior to pregnancy we recommend that both parents do a formal detox. Note that once a woman becomes pregnant – it is not advised to do a formal detox.
At Restorative Wellness of Cincinnati, we will thoroughly discuss with you the different aspects of your diet and lifestyle that will help activate the best possible health and growth during pregnancy and postpartum. We will even discuss the best way to set up your nursery for maximum health. We encourage and welcome questions about pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and post-partum wellness.
Remember, if you want to learn more, take advantage of a complimentary hour presentation followed by a 10-minute Question and Answer session with our doctors. If you like what you hear and wish to go further, you can then schedule a complete assessment and consultation
We look forward to helping you.
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