Living in a society like ours makes a lot of women who are trying to conceive forget the taste of food. I have always been a foodie; I like to eat good food and I enjoy savouring the taste of everything on my plate. I was even the kind of person to take pictures of my food and upload on Social Media. Take me to when I was trying for a baby, I forgot what food was. I could go for an entire day on just junk comfort food. The zeal to cook and eat was lost, because I just could not bring myself to do something so enjoyable and interesting, when there was a part of my life that needed serious attention. Whenever my husband talked to me about how my body needed food to thrive, I would excuse myself and say I was taking supplements anyways; so I was sure my body was getting enough nutrients. All the junk from my comfort eating, of course piled up in the wrong places and when I found out I was pregnant, I got wary about my weight. I already had some extra pounds to lose before getting my BFP, now pregnancy was going to give me even more pounds that would need shifting.
One of my good friends did not exactly lose interest in food. She stayed off food because she was fasting every day! Her faith was unshakable and nothing could make her eat before 6pm. Luckily, God did bless her with a positive pregnancy test result, but that was after she found out that she had stomach ulcer. Her first trimester was one of the worst that I have witnessed. She needed to eat to be able to take her drugs for the ulcer, but she was having severe nausea from the pregnancy and could not keep anything down. Her throwing up even made the ulcer worse, and at some point, she had to be in and out of the hospital until the morning sickness and nausea stopped. It was understandable that she went on a fasting spree for her baby, but peradventure if she knew God was going to answer her speedily, she probably would have reduced the length of time and days she fasted for.
It is all too easy to forget what your body needs when you are waiting for a baby; in fact, in your head, all your body probably needs is a baby bump. Period. So the temptation to eat unhealthy, or not eat at all, lose sleep, or take a drink to help you sleep, only end up maximizing stress! As much as these are natural responses to a complex situation; they do us more harm than good. Abusing our bodies would not make the process of conception faster, and it also doesn’t help the stage of pregnancy. The best way a couple can maximize their fertility, facilitates pregnancy. To have a healthy baby is to be mindful of what goes into their bodies, and to ensure we are at optimal health before and after conception.
A fertility doctor says that at eight weeks gestation, a baby already has their health blueprint set for life. It is thus pertinent to ensure the child’s health and development is optimal prior to conception. While still waiting for the baby, recognize that you can get pregnant at any time, so it is important to clean up your eating habits, detoxify your system and start eating lots and lots of healthy food. No need saying you would ditch the beer bottle when you get pregnant, or you would end your affair with coffee and soda after you get the BFP. These things get stored in our systems, and cause problems eventually to our organs, and to the unborn baby when he/she arrives. Optimizing your eating habits and staying healthy prior to conception would make your pregnancy healthy and ensure the health of your babies.
Another important reason why you should reduce starvation and fasting while trying to conceive is that, when you eventually get really hungry, the likelihood is for you to either binge on junk food, or overeat on the healthy stuff. It is not just PCOS girls that need to be mindful of their weight…we all do. Being overweight affects the balance of our reproductive hormones that controls menstruation and ovulation. This is why your BMI is checked the very first appointment you make to a fertility clinic. They have to be sure that you are within the healthy range. More importantly, establishing a healthy eating habit before conception would make it easy for you to eat well during pregnancy.
Baby dust to all!
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here.