If you are looking to conceive, optimizing your health can help optimize your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy. I typically recommend beginning to optimize your health 3-6 months before you are planning on trying.
If you are on birth control and coming off it, supporting hormone modulation will be important as many birth control methods may lower or diminish your own body’s estrogen/progesterone production. Liver support can be important too to support detoxification pathways depending on the type of birth control you were on.
Addressing inflammation and stress can be important as well because they both can throw off hormones and effect egg quality.
Functional testing to assess for heavy metal burden, comprehensive hormonal assessment, and digestive testing can be relevant based on your initial health assessment to help further enhance preconception health. Digestive disruption can trigger inflammation which can affect all your other hormones. Heavy metals like mercury accumulation can impact thyroid health and other areas of the body.
Read my blog post on the basic foundations of preconception health and which hormones should be in balance.
Have you been trying for at least a year to conceive with no luck? Thinking of trying the naturopathic or natural way before jumping right into IVF/IUI treatments? Or are you looking for support with your IVF/IUI treatment?
Initial assessments for males and females help to determine which area of the body may be out of balance such as inflammation, hormone imbalances, digestive issues, or simply emotional stress/anxiety. These imbalances can make it harder to conceive because the entire body is connected and may impact sperm or egg health.
Treatments to support fertility can involve one or more of the following:
- Nutritional/Dietary counselling
- Herbal and other nutritional supplements
- IV treatments with glutathione to support improving antioxidant status and reducing oxidative stress
For more information on infertility and how naturopathic medicine can help males and/or females, see my blog post on infertility.
- Review your supplement list to see what is safe to take in pregnancy and what you should stop if you haven’t already.
- A nutrition and dietary strategy to help with your energy levels, constipation, insomnia, and/or whatever else you are feeling
- Helping you minimize the nausea and/or vomiting as much as possible
- Helping you increase your energy
- Acupuncture can be done for morning sickness, anxiety, supporting implantation and more.
- Review your first trimester bloodwork that is usually completed on week 12 to ensure all your levels are within optimal ranges, specifically iron, vitamin B12, and thyroid hormones.
- Work on optimizing nutrition as nutrient requirements such as protein increase to meet the demands of the growing baby within you.
- Strategies to address constipation which may become more prominent
- IV treatments and/or B12 injections can support energy levels
- Help address any health conditions that arise in pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, and pre-eclampsia
- Strategies to help minimize a positive Group B Strep test (done in your third trimester)
- Continuing optimizing nutrition to ensure you are meeting the demands for both you and the growing baby
- Addressing constipation which can become a real issue in the last trimester as progesterone levels rise
- Pregnancy insomnia in the third trimester is a real thing! Helping you find strategies to try and get a good night’s sleep
- Optimizing energy levels. Nutritional IV treatments are great until early 3rd trimester (week 33-34 max).
- Offering labour prep support including acupuncture to prepare the body and uterus for labour
- Induction acupuncture for those who are post-due date and want to try and avoid medical induction.
The first 12-weeks postpartum is known as the fourth trimester. These three (3) months are designed for you to spend time with your baby, develop that mother-infant bond that creates security and trust in your child. It’s also a period that can full of stressors and adjusting to a new life, even if you’ve gone through postpartum before because now there is another member in the household. Postpartum depletion and fatigue is real. Breastfeeding is demanding and requires optimal nutrition from momma. All these new stressors and fatigue can affect mood not to mention that hormones are fluctuating and re-balancing themselves at this stage as well after the sudden drop in estrogen and progesterone at birth.
Naturopathic medicine can help with:
- Supporting your energy levels
- Helping alleviate symptoms of low mood, anxiety, and/or postpartum depression
- Breastfeeding and lactation support and strategies
- Relaxation acupuncture – an hour of self-care for yourself
- IV nutritional treatments can be done after the first 5-6 weeks postpartum to support energy levels
- Discussing nutritional support and tips for mom if baby is presenting with gassiness, skin rashes, or is colicky.