The Fueled and Free Podcast
S1 E11:Pregnancy Prep & Steps To Take When TTC
Pregnancy Prep & Steps To Take When TTC
EPISODE 11 SHOW NOTES
Whether you’re thinking about getting pregnant or actively trying to conceive, you might want to think about pregnancy preparation. Taking the time and energy to prepare for pregnancy can result in better control of preexisting health conditions, lower risks of gestational diabetes and birth defects, and decreased likelihood of preterm birth experience and excessive weight gain during pregnancy.
In this episode I talk about things like getting off birth control & tracking your cycle, supporting your gut health, reducing toxic load, balancing blood sugar, addressing your dental health, supporting your body’s nutrient status and more.
In this episode, I’m answering your common questions:
What are the effects of birth control use on a woman’s body? Birth control can disrupt communication between the hypothalamus, pituitary, and ovaries, leading to a delay in ovulation. Additionally, birth control can deplete essential nutrients necessary for fertility, including magnesium, B vitamins, selenium, vitamin C, folate, zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin A. Birth control also has several negative effects on egg quality, ovarian reserve and egg quantity, and the endometrial lining.
What is the impact of poor gut health in pregnancy? A healthy microbiome is so important for reducing the likelihood of allergies and other digestive issues in babies. Gut inflammation, dysbiosis, and nutrient deficiencies can contribute to infertility and poor fetal development. Testing gut health through stool tests is a great tool to begin the process of healing your gut.
What is H. pylori? H. pylori is an infection or bacteria that shows up on almost every stool test that I do with my clients. It is a common bacteria found in almost 50% of the world’s population that can lead to ulcers, gastritis, and stomach cancer if left untreated. Symptoms include bloating, burning, stomach pain, reflux, burping, nausea, loss of appetite, and in severe cases, unexplained weight loss. It can also have an association with the presence of anti-sperm antibodies.
How does your gut microbiome affect estrogen detoxification? The gut microbiome produces an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase which regulates estrogen detoxification in the body. Overproduction of this enzyme due to an overgrowth of bacteria, parasites, or infection can lead to estrogen dominance, which negatively affects fertility outcomes and contributes to PCOS and endometriosis. High beta-glucuronidase levels are associated with symptoms such as elevated thyroid antibodies, joint pain, fatigue, and PMS symptoms like breast tenderness, anxiety, bloating, and skin disruptions.
What are the effects of candida overgrowth? Candida overgrowth can affect fertility, as an overgrowth of this yeast in the gut can make it harder for sperm to reach the uterus. Candida is a normal part of daily life and 70% of all women have candida as part of their normal gut flora, but an overgrowth can occur when certain conditions are present.
- How can you support your body while preparing to conceive? Reducing alcohol and refined sugar intake and incorporating aloe vera juice, potassium and sodium-rich foods, ginger, and apple cider vinegar can all have positive effects. Bone broth, gelatin, and collagen are also recommended as they contain essential amino acids that can benefit gut health and help with leaky gut.
Maintaining balanced blood sugar is important for fertility because insulin resistance can disrupt the hormones regulating the reproductive system. High blood sugar and insulin levels impair mitochondrial function, which is crucial for egg development. Any disruption in mitochondrial function can compromise the ability of eggs to mature and process chromosomes properly.
Getting nutrient levels checked to ensure proper fertility health, as nutrient deficiencies can negatively impact egg quality and pregnancy outcomes. It is important to prioritize certain nutrients, like B vitamins and selenium, and to obtain them through whole food sources rather than supplements. The hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA) test is great for determining nutrient status and creating a personalized plan to address any deficiencies.
How does dental health affect fertility? Periodontal disease significantly increases the risk of preterm birth and low birth weight. If you have a bacterial infection in the mouth it can travel all the way down into your stomach and into amniotic fluid, which can cause a local immune response. This can then increase your risk of miscarriage or premature birth. Women with periodontal disease can also take longer to conceive than the average woman.
What is the importance of decreasing your toxic load? Exposure to toxins such as BPA and phthalates can impact egg and sperm quality, cause chromosomal abnormalities, and interfere with hormones. To minimize exposure, it is recommended to avoid plastic food containers, paper receipts, and highly processed foods, and use stainless steel or glass water bottles and microwave-safe bowls. Flame retardants, pesticides, and toxic chemicals used in nail polish, fragrances, and cleaning products should also be minimized. Choosing organic fruits and vegetables can also help reduce exposure.
- What is the impact of stress during pregnancy? If you experience a lot of stress or high cortisol right before you get pregnant and also during pregnancy, your child is going to be more likely to have a dysregulated nervous system and a higher stress response.
This episode is packed full of actionable steps you can take right now to prepare your body for pregnancy. By taking the time to prepare your body and mind, you can reduce the risk of complications, improve your health, and increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
If you’re ready to take a deeper look into your mineral and nutrient levels, consider enrolling in my functional lab program, The Collective. This six-month program includes a hair and stool test and provides personalized one-on-one support to help you identify the underlying issues that could impact the health of your pregnancy.
**Disclaimer: The information shared in this podcast is NOT meant to be taken as individual or medical advice. Please seek the advice of your physician or healthcare provider regarding any medical condition or treatment.
Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
Listen to A Beginner’s Guide to Metabolic Health Part 1
Follow Glucose Goddess on Instagram
Read It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn
Sources and data related to birth control and its impact on fertility are all sourced from the book It Starts With The Egg by Rebecca Fett
Connect with me on Instagram @margaretannpowell
For questions or suggestions about the podcast, send us an email at email@example.com
Lots of Love,
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