Preconception Care… It’s All In The Planning
Many couples quite happily spend months planning and spending a significant amount of time and money on important life events. Thousands of dollars are spent preparing for the wedding that marks the beginning of their married life, travel and buying their first home.
Yet when you talk with your friends and acquaintances you will see that few prepare for the conception that marks the beginning of their child’s life with the same loving detail, even though conceiving a child is one of the most significant events in any of our lives.
Can Preconception Care Make A Difference? Oh Yeah Baby!
Science tells us that the events surrounding conception can affect a baby’s health for a lifetime – for better, or for worse. Can preconception care make a difference? Absolutely! You may well ask yourself this question. After all, many couples just seem to get pregnant without paying particular attention to their health although just ‘getting pregnant’ doesn’t guarantee a healthy pregnancy or a healthy baby.
The Foresight Study… It’s All In The Science
New research into epigenetics shows that the choices that parents make in the preconception period can affect the health of their offspring more profoundly than the lifestyle choices that child makes in their lifetime. Pretty powerful stuff!
One well-known study was the Foresight Study out of England. This study looked at 367 couples with a previous history of infertility (37%), miscarriage (38%), and therapeutic abortion (11%), still birth (3%), malformations (2%), low birth weight babies (15%) and SIDS (1%). Couples followed a preconception care program including nutritional recommendations and a comprehensive prenatal vitamin. Guess what happened next?
89% Of Infertile Couples Conceived!
- After 2 years, 89% of couples had conceived, including 81% of those who had been previously told they were infertile.
- Even more impressive is that the babies were born healthier, and there were no incidences of miscarriages or malformations… none.
- In a population of that size, statistics would have predicted 70 miscarriages and 6 malformations.
- This study didn’t focus on other factors such as reducing stress or improving lifestyle and environmental conditions; it simply improved the nutrition of both partners with outstanding results.
The Real Winners Of Preconception Care… Our Kids, Kids, Kids
The true beneficiaries of Preconception Care are ALL prospective parents who wish to maximise their chances of having a healthy full-term pregnancy. And you know who will benefit the most from both parents getting healthy before getting pregnant? Yes, your kids, your grandchildren and your great grandchildren! It has been shown that the genetic benefits will be carried down four generations. It is the gift that lasts for generations to come.
Who Will Benefit From Preconception Care?
We believe everyone! Though there are some groups that can particularly benefit and these include:
- Women with reproductive conditions such as Endometriosis, Fibroids, and Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS).
- Women who have irregular periods due to disrupted hormone levels or are not ovulating, or have experienced miscarriages
- Men wanting to achieve optimal sperm health or who have had poor results with sperm analysis
- Infertile couples who wish to improve their chances of a natural conception or conception through assisted reproduction (IVF)
- Older men and women who are 35 years plus
- Unhealthy couples who would like to improve their reproductive and overall health before becoming parents
- Stressed couples. Stress reduction is one of our key treatment strategies for preconception health care
How Long Is The Preconception Phase?
This is a question that we get all the time, mostly because once a couple decides that they want to have a baby, they are in a hurry to meet their creation! The answer is bases around the patterns of the male and female reproductive cycles and maturation of gametes (eggs and sperm). New sperm and eggs both take approximately four months to develop and mature.
The Egg And Sperm Dance
In this preconception care time women and men have a wonderful opportunity to:
- Improve their general health
- Cleanse of the body of environmental toxicity from heavy metal exposure chemicals or medications
- Prepare their bodies to create and carry a baby full-term
- Treat underlying hormonal imbalances
- Provide their developing eggs and sperm with super nutrition to increase viability and the chances of growing a healthy fetus
- A great opportunity to take the pressure (of trying to conceive) off and get your bodies fertile, relaxed and ready for successful conception
Reset And Press Go
The most fertile time for a couple to conceive is in the first three months of trying, so by resetting your overall and reproductive health as well as having a four month safe-sex phase, you are preparing and actively indicating to your bodies that are ready to create a baby.
Preconception care is the ultimate gift of a lifetime. Go forward towards proactive conception and actively create a beautiful healthy baby.
Be sure to watch Baby Matters - an extended interview series on FMTV featuring James & Laurentine's personal experience with the birth of their son Hugo. From preconception to birth, and 6 months postpartum.