Posted by on Nov 21, 2012 in Featured | Comments Off

If you are reading this because you are thinking about becoming pregnant, you have the incredible opportunity to make decisions that will greatly affect your future child’s health and development. Taking a year to concentrate on improving your diet, habits, environment, and nutritional status before you conceive can be one of the greatest gifts you could ever give your child. If you are reading this because you are already pregnant, the same advice applies and will also be of enormous benefit. There is no better time than now to take an objective assessment of your health and improve any areas that need attention. This brief outline will highlight areas of importance and inspire you to learn more about subjects you may not have considered. Moms who are breastfeeding and parents of young children will find these topics relevant as well. These recommendations can benefit anyone at any age. They will have the greatest impact, however, during pregnancy and early childhood.

TOP 12 TOXINS TO AVOID

Alcohol

Tobacco

Recreational drugs

Prescription medications not approved by your obstetrician

Heavy metal toxins (arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, etc.)

Pesticides

PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)

Excitotoxins (artificial sweeteners, food dyes, MSG, etc)

Plasticizers (phthalates, BPA, etc)

Flame retardants (PDBEs)

Triclosan and other antibiotics in personal care products

Nonstick Teflon and pro-sticking surfactants (PFOA and PFOS)

 

TOP 10 HEALTHY HABITS TO ADOPT

Eat a well balanced, organic, non-GMO diet

Drink plenty of clean, non-fluoridated water

Avoid toxins, starting with the top 12 toxins listed above

Take a multivitamin with 5MTHF, the most bioavailable form of folate, and eat plenty of organic green vegetables, nature’s best source of this nutrient

Green your home:  Reduce your exposure to toxic cleaning chemicals, personal hygiene products, plastics, etc.

Get at least 8 hours of sleep per night

Reduce and manage stress

Exercise regularly

Achieve and maintain a healthy weight

Limit your exposure to EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies)

 

ONE YEAR PRIOR TO CONCEPTION

  • Avoid the Top 12 Toxins (Limit alcohol intake to 1 drink per day or less)

  • Adopt the Top 10 Habits

  • Reduce your intake of sugar and other simple carbohydrates

  • Eat 5-7 servings of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables daily

  • Juice fruits and vegetables regularly

  • Eat a wide variety of nutrient dense, organic foods

  • Avoid all high mercury fish (tuna, swordfish, shellfish, mackerel,shark,and many kinds of sushi)

  • Choose wild caught over farm raised fish and note country of origin. Avoid fish from polluted waters.

  • Limit coffee to 1-2 cups per day or less

  • Decrease your exposure to phthalates, PVC, Styrofoam, fluoride, and other toxins

  • Do not use hand sanitizers, air “fresheners”, or other unnecessary chemicals

  • Schedule appointments with your OB/GYN and functional medical practitioner

  • Discuss all current prescription medications, over the counter medications, and supplements to insure they are safe during pregnancy

  • Wean off of any unnecessary or unsafe medications prior to conception and under medical supervision

  • Assess any potential household, occupational, or recreational exposure to toxins

  • Check your blood pressure

  • Discuss contraception options

Obtain these important nutritional and metabolic tests:

  • Vitamin D level

  • Erythrocyte (intracellular) mineral and heavy metal testing

  • Plasma amino acid levels (obtain while fasting)

  • Fatty acid profile

  • Thyroid profile

  • C reactive protein

  • Urinary methylmalonic acid

  • ABO and Rh (blood typing)

  • CBC

  • Chemistry panel

  • Iron studies

  • MTHFR genetic testing

 

The following tests are sometimes indicated:

  • Food allergy testing

  • Testing for celiac disease

  • Assessment of total body burden of toxins

  • Stool analysis

 

Initiate a personalized detoxification protocol under medical supervision  (may include the following):

  • Juice cleanses

  • Far infrared sauna

  • Colonics

  • Nutrients, antioxidants, and medications to improve detoxification

 

Discuss the following supplements with your healthcare provider:

  • A high quality multivitamin with 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5MTHF) and methylcobalamin

  • Additional 5MTHF may be needed if you have:

• An MTHFR genetic mutation

• A history of previous pregnancy loss

• A seizure disorder requiring medication

• Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, etc.)

• Diabetes

• Symptoms of folate deficiency

• Poor dietary intake of fresh, green vegetables

  • Probiotic with at least 30B beneficial organisms

  • Vitamin D3

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids (insure that they are free of mercury and dioxins)

  • Methylcobalamin (the methylated and more bioavailable form of vitamin B12)

 

Additional Recommendations

  • Attain your ideal weight

  • Record the first day of each menstrual cycle

  • Rule out any occupational exposure to toxins.

  • Optimize your gastrointestinal health

  • Talk to family members about medical history, pregnancy complications, birth defects, and inheritable diseases

  • Find a holistic dentist

  • Schedule checkups and cleanings every 6 months: Use lead apron and lead thyroid shield if x-rays are taken.

  • Remove any existing mercury fillings using proper precautions

  • Coordinate dental work with detoxification protocol through an integrative healthcare practitioner

  • Install a reverse osmosis or other high quality water filter and change filter regularly

  • Discontinue any pesticide service and inquire about pesticide use in workplace

  • Assess your home for lead, mold, and other toxins

  • Relocate if environmental concerns are found in home or neighborhood

  • Avoid acetaminophen due to negative effect on glutathione, your body’s primary antioxidant

 

SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO CONCEPTION

  • Repeat nutritional and metabolic labs

  • Schedule dental checkup and cleaning. Use lead apron and lead thyroid shield if x-rays are taken.

  • Limit alcohol intake to 1 drink per day or less

  • Repeat juice cleanse

  • Switch to non-hormonal contraception

 

THREE MONTHS PRIOR TO CONCEPTION

  • Repeat nutritional and metabolic labs

  • Review your nutritional intake with a qualified healthcare provider

  • Limit caffeine intake to one cup of coffee per day or less

  • Avoid acetaminophen

  • Avoid all alcoholic beverages

WHILE ATTEMPTING PREGNANCY

  • Nurture your body as if you are already pregnant. You may be long before your realize it!

  • Don’t forget your prenatal vitamin

  • Remember the Top 10 Healthy Habits and the Top 12 Toxins to Avoid

  • Avoid radiation exposure in airports, hospitals, dental offices, etc.

 

INVESTIGATING AND TREATING INFERTILITY

Take an honest assessment of your lifestyle:

  • Diet

  • Weight

  • Stress level

  • Sleep pattern

  • Underlying health conditions

  • Toxic exposures (past and present)

Before resorting to fertility medications and invasive, unnatural procedures, be sure to consult with an integrative medical physician regarding possible underlying reasons for infertility.

Consider the following tests

  • MTHFR genetic testing if not already obtained

  • Urinary FIGlu and methylmalonic acid to check for folate and B12 deficiencies

  • Anti-TPO and anti-thyroglobulin antibody titers

  • Erythrocyte (intracellular) mineral testing

  • Quantitative plasma amino acid levels (fasting)

  • LH, FSH, estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone levels

  • C reactive protein (CRP)

  • Anti-nuclear antibody titer (ANA)

  • Anticardolipin antibody titer

  • Hemoglobin A1c

  • Prolactin

  • Comprehensive digestive stool analysis

  • Pelvic ultrasound

 

Dads should consider the following tests:

  • MTHFR genetic testing

  • Urinary FIGlu and methylmalonic acid

  • Quantitative plasma amino acids

  • Erythrocyte (intracellular) mineral testing

  • CRP

  • Hemoglobin A1c

  • Sperm analysis

  • Thyroid profile

 

Easy steps to take immediately

  • Basal body temperature

  • Maintain a healthy weight

  • Alkalinize with organic vegetables

  • Decrease your stress level!

 

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! CONGRATULATIONS!

  • Continue the 10 Healthy Habits and avoid the Top 12 Toxins

  • Repeat nutritional and metabolic testing each trimester

  • Become an educated medical consumer. Do not blindly accept recommendations without understanding the risk/benefit ratio.

  • Do not plan a toxic home remodel during your pregnancy! Consult with professionals to learn the safest possible options for paint, flooring, mattresses, and furnishings.

  • Continue to expand your knowledge of the many toxins in our environment and how to avoid them.  Explore new ways to add nutrient-dense foods to your diet.  The efforts you make today will give your baby the healthiest possible start in life.