Is negative three an option?
Actually, it is. It’s harder to plan for a baby these days — even before the pandemic.
Those in baby-having age groups are often starting later, or not starting at all. Economic constraints, healthcare costs, wage stagnation, climate change anxiety…
All forces have converged to lead to what social scientists are calling a “baby bust.”
There’s another side to that coin, however. The people who are having children are spending a lot more time meticulously planning the world they want a new child to join. That doesn’t only mean a bigger savings account or living in a home you own…
It also extends to curating the conditions of the bodies that will be making this baby.
And that kind of preparation should start long before two people (or however many!) actually decide to create life.
Being a conscious parent begins the moment you decide you want to be a parent. The external environment in which a baby will be born is important, of course!
But its initial environment — the internal one — is just as vital, if not more.
Preparing for a baby isn’t restricted to women. Everyone involved who will be throwing their biology in the petri dish miracle that is growing human life needs to up their game.
Let’s break it down by role…
How can those who will be physically carrying a child elevate their health so that a fetus can benefit the most?
We should look at this as a multi-tiered approach:
- Gut microbiome health
- Oral microbiome health
- Lifestyle and habits
Remember, this isn’t just about increasing the chances of conception (although issues like chronic inflammation, low immunity, and endocrine-disrupting toxins can also delay fertility). It’s about cleaning the house the baby will live in for nine months.
The mother’s gut microbiome is the blueprint on which the baby’s gut microbiome is built. However, making serious and long-lasting changes to the microbial make-up of your gut is more like changing a yacht’s direction than a car’s…
You’ve got to start long before you actually want the turn to happen.
The first thing you should do is assess the current state of your microbiome — do you need to continue supporting your gut’s health or initiate gut healing? (Think about how often you feel sick or tired, are in discomfort, or have skin problems. The more often those occurrences, the likelier it is you’re in for gut healing.)
Then, you should spend some time assessing the likelihood that you’re carrying more toxins in your body than it can function with. (I recommend checking out this free resource I created.) Essentially, you want your liver to be running optimally so it can do its job.
And although it’s known you’re not meant to consume alcohol while you’re pregnant…
You should also try to abstain in the months leading up to conception. The liver’s protection mechanism converts toxic chemicals into less harmful chemicals. It needs to be running at its highest expression.
Additionally, while the oral microbiome’s health can affect anything from your vascular health to your brain health…
It’s also been shown that periodontal disease, even in its early stages, often correlates with underweight or premature babies.
But the best security you can give your future fetus is adjusting your lifestyle. You know the points…
- Quality sleep
- Quit smoking (for conception purposes too — smokers’ ovarian follicles are slower!)
- Limit caffeine
- Absolutely cut processed/high-glycemic/soy products out of your diet
The longer you follow this protocol, the likelier it is that you’ll birth a baby without asthma, ADHD, or eczema. (All common disorders affected by womb-health.)
Contrary to popular belief, the whole-body health of the sperm-provider can have a huge impact on the health of the future fetus.
Men can continue to produce sperm well into their seventies, but that doesn’t mean that sperm is always a healthy vessel for their genetic code.
Being over- or under-weight can lower the efficacy and overall health of your sperm as well.
Smoking and drinking alcohol can also limit the potency and motility of your sperm — they can even change the shape of your individual sperm, which can make penetrating the ovum more difficult.
Lowering medication usage and exposure to toxins is an absolute must. Exercising regularly also raises the quality and count of your semen.
And increasing your intake of antioxidants like Vitamins C, E, Selenium, Zinc and Lycopene has been shown to result in healthier fetuses, healthier pregnancies, and better chances of conception.
Biology often acts like a mirror — preparing to have a healthy baby can help raise the likelihood that you will have a baby.
But with the knowledge we have today that our grandparents may not have, we can start the journey to conscious parenthood long before a pregnancy test tells us to.
My friend Nick Polizzi and I constructed our new docuseries — “Conscious Parenting” — with that in mind: It isn’t just current parents who need this perspective, wisdom, and advice.
If you’ve dreamed about being a parent or plan on being a parent, now is the time to start your journey to give yourself and your future children the best possible chance.
We’re premiering the very first episode — “What is Conscious Parenting?” — on Tuesday, September 7th at 9pm Eastern.