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My Preconception Journey

PREPARING FOR CONCEPTION


Disclaimer: This is all based on my own journey, please always consult with your healthcare practitioner prior to implementing any new diets, lifestyle changes & supplementation!


I am sharing my personal journey because, from experience, once you get the thought of wanting to be a mother in your head, it's really difficult to get it out, and you're going to do anything & everything you can to make those dreams a reality. The stress becomes real, no matter how long you've been on your journey. ALSO, yes this stuff is personal, BUT, it just isn't talked about enough, and so many women/couples are on these journeys for months/years without many answers or guidance. My hope is to empower & educate.


Since I started working with clients & working on my own health, I have realized that in the western medicine, we look to medications & surgery to always "fix" us, and we don't give our bodies enough credit. They are working ENDLESSLY for us, trying to always heal & keep us safe. Many times, our bodies just need some support along the way to allow them to do what they already innately know how to do: PROCREATE. Our body has so much wisdom that we still can't even grasp or sometimes fathom. What we don't usually realize is that there are often obstacles standing in our way due to our current habits, lifestyles, stress, toxic burdens, & nutrition.


As you will see, this was a long learning experience for me, with many years of tweaking & modifying my lifestyle & nutrition to support my current goals. One of the biggest take-aways I would recommend to anyone having health struggles or challenges is to begin LISTENING to your body. You can see a ton of practitioners and spend a butt-load of money on testing, supplements, & services, but if you don’t CONNECT with your own body, it will be very difficult for anyone to truly help you. All of the testing is so great when utilized in conjunction with you as your very own detective. The dots cannot be connected without YOU. Look to your practitioners as guides & resources, but don’t completely rely on them to “FIX” you. In my whole hearted opinion, true healing comes from within. You need to become your own inner healer <3


The start of my hormone healing journey:

Preparing for conception started as soon as I came off of hormonal birth control (HBC) in 2018. We must remember, HBC is a medication, and you have to have a conversation about it with your doctor. I had been on it since 2009, close to a decade. After having adverse experiences being on HBC that took me years to understand and uncover, I had a ton of healing to do after coming off of HBC. I had been with my now husband for 5 years, and knew that we would one day get married and start a family, so I was eager to begin healing my body. My goal was to optimize my fertility and cycle years prior to wanting to conceive.


  • 2018: My eyes OPENED to what HBC was doing to my body and I came off cold turkey (not recommended) due to a low libido, wild mood swings, low key depression, gut issues (chronic constipation), not “feeling myself", low motivation, just to name a few.


  • 2019: I lost my period due to over-exercising, under-eating, & starting Intermittent fasting (16 hours fasting daily for 30 days). When you lose your period, and your cycle becomes funky due to STRESSORS, this is known as hypothalamic ammenorhea. I had hormone testing with my OB which showed my estrogen & progesterone were menopausal levels. It took about 3-4 months to get my normal period back.

    • CUE the start of my fertility/hormone healing journey

    • I started cycle syncing (syncing my lifestyle, workouts, & food around my hormonal cycle)

      • Check out @flo.haus to learn more about this

      • Recommended Book: In the Flo by Alisa Vitti: Learn about cycle syncing

    • I started taking specific supplements to improve my overall estrogen & progesterone

    • I started acupuncture in 2019 and have gone on/off since. I began going every 2 weeks starting in November 2022, leading up to conception, and continue to go throughout pregnancy. It’s my time to meditate and I find it extremely relaxing & supportive.

    • Recommended Book: Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden ND: Learn about symptoms you're struggling with, why they are happening, & how you can support your body, etc.


  • Spring 2021: I continued to struggle with constipation, bloating, brain fog, food sensitivities, & acne, so I decided to take a stool test, the GIMAP, and I developed a personalized gut healing protocol curated to my test results. I also took a food sensitivity test (MRT) and took out certain foods for 6 months, reintroducing them slowly back into my diet.

  • Gut health is paramount for healthy hormones. Hormones are created from cholesterol, vitamins, minerals & macronutrients. In order to absorb & assimilate these nutrients, we need proper gut health. Anytime I work with a client, we always work on gut health first! We also need to have daily bowel movements to excrete estrogen & other hormones. Many constipated women will have issues with estrogen dominance due to inefficient ways of excreting excess waste.


  • Fall 2021: My cycles were better, but I wanted to dive deeper into my hormone health. I took an eFHP which is a ~30 day long sex hormone saliva test (testing estrogen, progesterone, LH, FSH, testosterone, & DHEA) & did an adrenal saliva test (cortisol, DHEA)

    • Testing over the ~30 days really gives us an understanding of what's going on with our cycle & more information than a 1 day test

    • I had notable low progesterone & shortened luteal phase defect (short luteal phase <12 days), so I curated & started a personalized hormone healing protocol to improve my cycle

    • My cortisol (stress hormone) wasn’t too bad, but I still implemented practices to provide some support & optimize overall stress

    • MY GOAL: improve progesterone production & lengthen my luteal phase

      • In retrospect, personally, all of my hormone issues were primarily due to nutrient deficiencies/impaired gut health, STRESS, & an under-active thyroid





  • Fall 2022:

    • We got married and decided it was time to actively start trying

    • My cycles continued to have a shortened luteal phase (~9-10 days), which when you think about what the luteal phase is, it is the days after ovulation prior to your period. This time is vitally important because if you do have a fertilized egg, it will begin to implant into your uterine wall. This process can take some time and if you don't have enough progesterone or days of your luteal phase, even a perfectly fertilized egg can be swept away in the next period prior to a healthy implantation. MY goal was to lengthen my luteal phase and increase my progesterone output.

    • I added in Vitamin C, CoQ10/omega 3s to support ovarian function & progesterone

    • I began Red light therapy to my thyroid (due to a sluggish thyroid, progesterone production can be decreased)

    • Focusing on STRESS management was a MASSIVE lifestyle change for me

    • I started tracking ovulation with LH strips, but only did this for a month or two because I didn’t love this technique (for me it was one more thing to do)


  • January 2023:

    • I started Hypnotherapy & other practices to really learn how to let go of control & surrender to the process, realizing I was stressing my own body out with obsession over trying to perfect everything

    • I started taking 2 vitex daily to further improve my luteal phase & progesterone (Please consult with your healthcare practitioner)

    • Daily adrenal cocktails to increase mineral storage (we need minerals for EVERYTHING) Check out my FREE Pre-Conception Starter Kit to learn more.

    • Daily 80-100g of quality protein & quality fats (lots of organic grass fed beef, pasture-raised eggs, raw milk, grass fed/organic/whole fat greek yogurt, lamb, chicken, turkey, plant sources, bone broth/collagen, protein powders, etc)

March 2023 - Positive Pregnancy Test



Main take aways:

  • Check out my FREE Pre-Conception Starter Kit for more education & information!

  • Learning about my cycle early on was fantastic and empowering to understand that I did have control over many things, but I later learned it is also important to find balance between controlling what you can and not trying to obsess over every little detail. We are human, we are not perfect, but we do have choices.

  • Understanding when I ovulated, and learning it was a few days later than average (I would typically ovulate day 17-20), average is ~day 14

  • Understanding cervical mucus is the bright NEON sign, follow those signs, and have sex on days you’re cervical mucus is egg-white & slippery

  • Learning to LET GO of control after I had done all that I could do, and trust in the process

    • Practice gratitude, prayer, optimism, find ways that quiet your mind (for me: acupuncture, hypnotherapy, being out in nature, yoga, sound-baths, grounding, long walks, deep breathing/breath-work, guided meditation)

    • Learning to surrender, this took a lot of practice


Things that didn't work for me that may work for tons of couples:

  • LH strips: I got caught up in them and became frustrated


SUPPLEMENTS: these are supplements I have taken, and may or may not still take.


  • I have always taken magnesium daily (creams vs. powder vs. supplement) for years to help and regulate my bowels/nutrient storages and continue to take magnesium

  • Vitex (Gaia brand)

  • Whole food Vitamin C

  • We Natal Prenatal (love this for its methyl-folate form of folate), keep in mind, some people have issues with methylation and may need a different form of folate, but I highly recommend folate (whole food source) vs. folic acid

  • Electrolytes/Minerals: LMNT, Trace Minerals, ReLyte


WORK WITH ME!

Currently I am working with 1:1 clients to help them on their hormone healing journeys (Males & Females). This may include optimizing hormone health, gut health, detoxification/drainage protocols & basic nutrition/lifestyle changes. BOOK A CONSULTATION HERE



TESTING I OFFER TO CLIENTS: check out “Testing" section for samples

I always offer discounted practitioner rates to my clients!

  • GI MAP: stool test

  • MRT: food sensitivity test

  • eFHP sex hormone saliva test

  • Adrenal saliva test

  • DUTCH hormone tests (Male & female)

  • Comprehensive Blood Work


Trust in the journey, trust in the process, begin healing today. You can also reach me at WholeisticPT@gmail.com

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