It’s important to give yourself a good 6-12 months to prepare for pregnancy. This is a special time to nurture and love your body more before it begins one of the hardest yet most joyful job it will ever do – to grow and sustain a baby.
Pre-pregnancy planning is an important time for you and your partner to reassess your own health and make small consistent steps toward living a healthier lifestyle together. Ultimately the habits and lifestyle you form now, will shape your baby’s future health habits too.
If you don’t have a regular health-care routine just yet, here are top 7 pre-pregnancy health goals for you and your partner to focus on.
Kick ‘diets’ out the front door and focus on balance. If you’ve taken extreme approaches with your diet in the past, it ends here. Fad diets are more likely to create binge eating cycles, deplete your body’s nutrient stores, slow down metabolism, reduce muscle mass, weaken bones, and cause you to gain a few extra kilo’s in the long-term. Balance is powerful when you’re looking for long-term health results before, during, and after pregnancy. If you’ve forgotten what balance looks like, give me a shout! Pregnancy Nutrition School can help with this!
2. Focus on creating a lifestyle
Create a lifestyle, a way of living that is going to keep you and your family thriving for the rest of your life. Set goals that are real and achievable for you. Create small, consistent habits and make them stick. Focus on progress and not perfection. And make your health a journey, not a destination.
3. Look at whole body health
Health is more than just what you eat, it’s what you drink, how you move, how you connect, and how you approach life as a whole. Remember to keep your physical, mental, social, and spiritual needs in mind when setting and working towards your health goals. All these different components of health are very intertwined and connected, so strive to nurture, grow, and empower all these different parts of you. And don’t forget to ask for help if you need it.
4. Eat more plants and increase your plant diversity
Plant foods (like vegetables, legumes, wholegrains, fruits, nuts and seeds) are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fibre that will help keep your fertility organs in tip top shape. Eating more plants will also buffer and protect you from free radical damage (harmful molecules in your body that can damage your body’s cells and DNA – including egg and sperm). So pack in the good stuff!
5. Be a locavore
Buy fresh foods sourced from your local farmers and community. Not only will you be putting money back into your neighbourhood, but local produce tends to be fresher and in season which helps your food retain all its natural goodness (more nutrients for you and your future baby). Buying local also reduces the amount of energy used to transport the produce, reducing its environmental footprint. Why not, right?
6. Be an incidental mover
Getting into a regular exercise routine is fantastic, but moving more outside the gym is just as important.
Some ways to move your body more, include:
- Dancing when cleaning the house,
- Taking the steps where possible,
- Going the long way round to the office toilet, and
- Taking your partner to the local park after work or on the weekend to kick a soccer ball or throw a frisbee.
7. Laugh more
It’s easy to take life too seriously. Keep finding ways to make the journey fun :)! Write down your gratitudes daily, find creative inspiration (through dance classes, cooking, playing an instrument, learning a language, or painting), and remember to share a smile or laugh with someone each day!
Pregnancy Nutrition School is starting in April 2021. Through my 12-week step-by-step roadmap, I will provide you with detailed nutrition steps for the months leading up to your pregnancy and the nutrition changes you need to make once pregnant. Sign up to my waitlist here. I look forward to meeting you soon!