Holistic Health on the Journey to Parenthood

Written by: Christina Steixner, Holistic Health Coach

The path to parenthood isn’t always an easy one. You may encounter some speed bumps before you get to feel the exciting second-trimester baby bump! When people have a hard time conceiving, they tend to autopilot to fertility treatments and medical intervention. Sure, medical fertility treatments may feel like a fast track to days of pampers, pacifiers, and play-dates, but they aren’t; It isn’t always a guarantee. Maintaining holistic health, both physical and emotional, can also play a pivotal role on the road to parenthood! Luckily, Popstar has the tips (and so much more than just the tip) to explore holistic health while conceiving.

The Fertile Feast

When we hear the word holistic health, some may think of rose quartz, rose water, and Bikram. But it doesn’t have to be that level of “woo-woo.” Holistic health can start with hors d'oeuvres or your diet. Diet can play a pivotal role in fertility for both men and women. Think of having a holistic diet, like putting a farm-to-table bun in the oven. This doesn’t mean you need to throw elbows for organic quinoa at your local farmer’s market; we just want to make sure our body is getting the nutrients necessary to shoot our best shot at starting a family.

Nourishing your body with a balanced and nutrient-rich diet is crucial for reproductive health. Incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Consider consulting with a holistic health nutritionist to tailor your diet to your body's needs. Supplements like folic acid, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids are often recommended for women trying to conceive. 

Baby Boot Camp

It’s still early in the year, so resolutions are still in full swing. The gyms are flooded with resolutioners looking to look and feel their best! Well, if family planning is on your agenda for 2024, make sure your gym goals don’t fall off in March. That’s right, some burpees could lead to burping your baby!

Regular physical activity contributes to overall well-being and can enhance fertility. The best method for activity with discipline is to engage in activities you enjoy. You'll be more likely to stick with something you're genuinely into. whether it's walking with a friend or solo, swimming, or a group class like yoga, try new things to see what works without forcing it. And as if all this advice wasn't evoking Gloria in Barbie vibes, don't forget to strike a balance—excessive exercise can impact ovulation, so aim for moderate, consistent workouts that leave you feeling energized, not exhausted. 

Mindfulness and Maternity

Say it with me: mental health is health. So many people forget this. We tend to primarily focus on our physical health, but the two are very intertwined. When we think of what negatively impacts our mental health, stress is top of mind. Managing and reducing stress is paramount when it comes to pregnancy. We've all heard the term "mindfulness" at this point in time. And for good reason. Exploring mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga have been studied to improve your stress response. Stress management is one of the most crucial components for regulating our emotional well-being and may positively influence hormonal balance and reproductive health.

Rest and Restore

If you are planning on having a baby, you’re going to need to sleep like one. R&R is a requirement for conceiving. Prioritizing quality sleep is another non-negotiable for family planning. Think of it as an investment for the less-than-stellar sleep schedule you’ll have with a newborn. You've likely heard each of these pillars of good sleep before. During the fertility journey, it is important to establish a consistent sleep routine, create a comfortable sleep environment, and limit screen time before bedtime. Stop scrolling on TikTok and start counting sheep instead. Adequate rest is proven to aid in hormone regulation and your general physical health.

What’s Up, Doc?

All Bugs Bunny jokes aside, regular doctor’s visits are another important step in family planning. Though an overlooked checkpoint to pregnancy, these consistent visits with your doctor will be an important time to discuss any pre-existing conditions and address concerns about fertility. As hard as it may seem, open communication with your healthcare team is key to proactive and informed reproductive health. Equally so, try to maintain an open line of communication with your partner. It can be helpful to talk out how you're both feeling as you navigate the path that can be anything but linear for a lot of couples.

From BMI to Baby Monitors!

One of the things women look forward to most, other than the anticipation of a baby, is eating whatever they want during their pregnancy. But what about the before? We want to make sure were are maintaining a healthy BMI (body mass index), as both underweight and overweight conditions can impact fertility. To get the baby bump we are looking for we are to want to be the Goldilocks of body mass, we want it to be juuuuuust right!

Trade in the Bottle for a Baby Bottle

Time for a bottle exchange. If you are looking to conceive, you should try and limit excessive consumption of alcohol. You will also want to minimize exposure to environmental toxins and tabacco is as well. As if we needed another reason to quit, smoking and excess alcohol consumption are associated with fertility complications in both men and women. If Carrie Bradshaw can quit for Aidan, we can’t definitely quit for our future family! Opt for a clean living environment and discuss potential occupational exposures with your healthcare provider.

It Takes a Village

There is the saying as old as time: it takes a village to raise a child. It’s true. You will need an incredible support system, pre and post natal. The journey to parenthood can be emotionally challenging. This is the time to lean on your support network. As much as you are comfortable, seek support from your partner, friends, family or a 3rd party group of people navigating a similar experience. Consider joining a support group or beginning a counseling routine to navigate the emotional components of the process.

Holistic Health

Prioritizing your health while trying to get pregnant involves a holistic health approach that addresses both physical and emotional well-being. By nurturing your body, mind, stress management and sleep habits, you optimize your chances of conception. It is a perfect time to lay the groundwork for a healthy and fulfilling pregnancy. Remember, the journey may be a winding road, but a commitment to holistic health will empower you on this road to parenthood.