Exciting news… we’re hoping to get pregnant again this summer!
After praying about it and feeling God’s excitement and peace, Michael and I are planning to start trying for baby #3 in a couple months! We are so excited about the new little one that we believe God wants to send into our family.
And even though it’s a couple months out, I’m beginning the preparation process now for an awesome pregnancy. Because the truth is that there is so much we can do during the three months before conception (which some birth professionals consider the real 1st trimester) to really prepare for a healthy baby and enjoyable pregnancy.
If you’re hoping to conceive in the next few months, I pray these preparation tips empower you for a great pregnancy as well. And if you’re already pregnant or already had your baby, these are still great things to implement in your life that will bless you and your baby!
Today I’ll share the first three steps I’m taking to prepare and next week I’ll share the last four.
*Note- This post contains some affiliate links 🙂
Ok, so here we go:
1. Exercise and Sleep Schedule
Before having kids, I was so disciplined about getting great sleep and exercise on a daily basis. And I felt great! But somehow after having two kids 21 months apart, all that went out the window.
Somehow my exercise has become a stroll with the kids that includes stopping every few feet to inspect a roly-poly, to collect a leaf, or to jump over the crack in the sidewalk. Not quite the vigorous workout I used to get. Not sure it actually counts as exercise :).
And sleep? Well between sleep training two kids and dealing with sicknesses, bad dreams, falling out of bed, etc, I think I can count on my hand the number of times I’ve actually slept through the whole night in the past 3.5 years. Plus, it’s just so hard to go to bed early when it feels like the only time I can really get something done is after they are asleep.
But I know this is NOT going to work for another pregnancy. Growing a baby that first trimester is extremely taxing on your body (it requires the same amount of work as running a marathon each day), so it’s time to rest up, get disciplined and form some new habits.
Because I want to enter another pregnancy feeling rested, energized, and strong. And the good news is, I have a couple months to get there!
So here’s the plan:
Lights out by 10:00pm no matter what! I’m deciding that my health and my baby are more important than anything on my to-do-list. I’m going to trust Jesus with the things I don’t have time to get done and I’m going to honor Him by taking care of my body and going to bed on time.
8-9 hours of sleep each night!
6:20am – sneak out of the house before the kids wake up for a morning walk/jog with Jesus. So needed for the strength and health of my body and spirit!
7:10am – 15 minutes of stretching. I’m excited to get flexible and strong again for pregnancy! Right now I’m so stiff and out of shape that my prenatal yoga video would whip my butt! But not for long!
Daily core exercises to close my diastasis recti. My stomach muscles separated pretty bad in my last pregnancy and I never stayed disciplined enough with my exercises to close them back up. But I know it’s important to work on closing them before another pregnancy to be able to carry the baby well and prevent uterine or bladder prolapsed during birth. https://mutusystem.com has some great info and exercises to close your diastasis recti if you struggle with that too!
2. Get My Gut Healthy
In order to have a healthy pregnancy and to feel great throughout it, it’s really important to have a healthy gut and digestive track. Many current studies are linking morning sickness to a surplus of bad bacteria in the stomach like H.pylori.
So one of the best things you can do before conceiving is to fight off any bad bacteria in your gut, stock up on lots of probiotics, and get your whole digestive track thriving. Here are a few of the steps I’m currently taking to do this:
1. Incorporating lots of fermented foods and drinks into my diet. Fermented foods have tons of great probiotics for a healthy gut.
- Kefir water is one of my favorites – a super yummy homemade probiotic drink that tastes like sparkling strawberry lemonade. You can learn how to make it and buy the starter grains here.
- I also love Bubbies Sauerkraut – we put it on nachos, grilled cheese sandwiches, burritos, and more.
- Milk kefir is another favorite of mine. I put it in smoothies and eat it as a snack with fruit or trail mix in it.
- And I LOVE Kombucha, but it’s a bit expensive and harder to make than water kefir, so I just get it as a special treat every so often.
2. Taking a probiotic supplement.
- I’m starting to take Ultimate Vaginal Flora for my daily probiotic because it not only helps your gut, but also your vaginal flora to help prevent urinary tract infections and Group B Strep (a bacteria they test you for at the end of pregnancy). I’m planning to take this throughout the pregnancy and am praying I won’t test positive this time for Group B Strep! The other high quality probiotic I love because of the large variety of strains it has is Ther-Biotic Complete.
- I’m also getting the Pink Stork Solutions Starter Bundle that includes a great pregnancy probiotic and cocolaurin to kill off pathogenic bacteria in the gut like H.pylori. I really love their products and I’m impressed with the way they focus on healing the gut and aim at the root of morning sickness instead of just treating symptoms. I love their approach and research!
3. Consuming bone broth on a regular basis.
Bone broth can be very healing for the gut if you are having digestive issues and it has a lot of nutritional and health benefits. You can either make it yourself at home, or you can buy it online from bonebroth.com. And my new favorite way to consume it is through Bone Broth Protein Powder! I throw it in everything: smoothies, pancakes, oatmeal, etc. If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits of bone broth, here is a great podcast from Wellness Mama about it.
3. Nutrition and Supplements
For an optimal pregnancy for you and the baby, it’s important to stock up on great nutrition, vitamins, and minerals in the months leading up to conception. That way, your baby will have a rich store of vitamins and nutrients to pull from as soon as you conceive.
Their development begins immediately and they will start pulling from the store of minerals and nutrients in your body. If you start out already low in vitamins, the baby will deplete your body quickly leaving you feeling sick and tired.
So here are some of the ways I’m stocking up now:
1. Taking a daily whole food prenatal vitamin. I’m currently taking Baby & Me 2 and love it. I also love Thorne Research Basic Prenatal (but it has a lot of iron, which is great, but if you struggle with morning sickness it may be a little tougher to handle).
2. Taking Omega-3 Fish Oil daily. DHA found in omega-3’s is so important for baby’s brain development and is important to start before conception. I take Nordic Naturals Prenatal DHA.
3. I’m also just getting into the habit of eating healthier. I really want my body to feel as rockin’ and strong as possible when we conceive and I know that if I work on creating good eating habits now, it will be easier to maintain them during the pregnancy.
Here are some of the things I’m starting:
- Cutting out processed foods and sugar from my diet and trying to eat mostly real food 🙂
- Morning protein shake with Garden of Life protein powder, spinach, kale, greek yogurt, a banana, avocado, and pineapple. So delicious! And such a great way to start my morning with lots of protein and veggies when I don’t have time to make a whole breakfast and sit down to eat it because my kids are needing something every second.
- Juicing weekly (we love putting kale, chard, carrots, cucumber, celery, apple, lemon, and ginger in ours)
If you’re looking for great nutrition guidance for conception, pregnancy, and the postpartum time, this is an awesome podcast to listen to: Fertility Preparation and Optimizing Pregnancy. So much great info in here!
And this is a great book she talks about in the podcast: How to Conceive Naturally and Have a Healthy Pregnancy After 30.
So there you have it! The first three areas I’m working on to prepare for an awesome third pregnancy. You can read the next 4 areas in this post!
Until then, I pray you’re inspired to think about your own conception, pregnancy or postpartum journey and one or two steps you can take this week to take care of yourself and your baby well.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to make too many changes at once, so I encourage you to pick one thing and implement it this week. Then if you’re successful, pick a new one to add next week. And so on!
I’d love to hear what step you’re going to take to this week in the comment section below! Or other ways that you’re planning for a great pregnancy!
You got this mama! Your health matters so much and it’s worth the effort to take care of yourself and your growing baby well. This is an act of worship to God as we care for these temples and provide a healthy strong home for the babies God entrusts to us.