Act Like You’re Pregnant
Have you heard of the idea of “Act Like You’re Pregnant” in order to conceive?
The idea of acting like your pregnant to set the conditions for fertility is a popular concept. Essentially, acting like you’re pregnant already will help set the foundation for decreased stress, healthier eating habits, and weekly exercise. It is important to address these factors in preconception to set the stage for a healthy pregnancy. Several observational studies showed that couples’ healthy diet, normal body mass index (BMI), and moderate physical activity are associated with increased IVF-pregnancy rates. Specifically, One non-randomized controlled trial (RCT) reports improved diet, physical activity, and increased pregnancy rates in infertile women receiving lifestyle education on diet and physical activity in addition to IVF.”
Addressing these lifestyle factors with these tools can be a great way to set the stage for conception.
There are a couple of easy ways to address daily stress.
Start the day with meditation, specifically a gratitude meditation. Start in a comfortable position, start to take deep grounding breaths. An easy breath exercise is inhaling for 4 and exhaling for 4. Then begin to chant the mantra “I am grateful for ____.” 10 times. Then a quick journal entry for the day. Try this set of exercises every day or a couple of times a week.
A balanced diet is key during pregnancy as well as during preconception. Consider vital macronutrients: healthy fats, lean proteins, and nutrient-rich carbs in daily meals. Essential nutrients include:
Folic Acid – sources include leafy greens, citrus, beans
Iron – sources include lean meats, lentils, tofu
Calcium – sources include milk, cheese – any hard cheese is fine, nuts, broccoli, cabbage
Vitamin D – sources include mushrooms, fish, egg yolks
Omega 3s/DHA – sources include fish but also seaweed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds
Easy ways to incorporate these nutrients would be a daily salad, smoothie, or grain bowl packed with quinoa, leafy greens, broccoli, lentils, tofu, and seeds.
Introduce less intense workouts in your exercise routine. Avoid HIIT type workouts and instead incorporate more low impact exercises such as yoga, pilates, and long walks. Refrain from hot yoga but instead introduce restorative, Hatha or Iyengar styles into your yoga practice (and check out our guide to fertility yoga here).
Utilizing these lifestyle changes can be helpful in preconception, as well as throughout pregnancy. Take the time to complete an inventory of your stress, diet, and exercise and these tools may be helpful in tackling each contributing factor.
Written by Jennifer Jolorte Doro
Babineau, P.M.L, Lachance, R.J. & Ruchat, S.M. (2018) Lifestyle-Related Factors Associated with Reproductive Health in Couples Seeking Fertility Treatments: Results of A Pilot Study. International Journal of Fertility and Sterility. 12 (1): 19-26
Kizilkaya Beji, K.Y., Aydin, Y. & Hassah, H. (2016) The effect of health-promoting lifestyle education on the treatment of unexplained female infertility. EuropeanJournal of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Reproductive Biology. 207: 109-114