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TTC in 2023? Three things to start doing now

Updated: Apr 26

When I got pregnant the first time, it happened without even trying. Now I know people hate hearing that, but it’s true. I was equally surprised and excited, but unfortunately that pregnancy ended for me in a miscarriage at the end of my first trimester. I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant again and started trying as soon as I was cleared to do so by my doctor. Two months later I was pregnant again with my son and was blessed that I was able to carry him to term.

So you can imagine my shock when it came to start trying for another baby and month after month after month I was staring at a negative test and being rudely greeted by Aunt Flo.

It took me a full year to conceive this baby. It was an experience that wore me down emotionally and opened my eyes to the struggles so many people have when they desperately want a baby.

I learned a lot about myself in that year, both emotionally AND physically. And while I’m not a fertility specialist or expert, I wanted to share with you today 3 steps I took to support my body physically to optimize my fertility and what helped me finally achieve pregnancy naturally.

If we are meeting for the first time - Hi! Welcome to Vibrant Mama Wellness! My name is Megan, and I am a pre and postnatal personal trainer. I am certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, with a specialization in pre+postnatal fitness through Pronatal fitness. I am a mom to a toddler, and pregnant with my second baby!

(Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or condition. This blog post is based on my own research and experience - please consult a medical professional before starting or making any changes to your exercise program).

Take a quality prenatal vitamin

This is something that is already common knowledge, but did you know that not all prenatal vitamins are created equally? Many prenatal vitamins you find on the shelves only cover the bare minimum when it comes to dosages and the bioavailability of the nutrients isn’t great. I spent a lot of time listening to nutritionists and registered dieticians in the prenatal field and researching the best quality vitamins and selected one that had therapeutic dosages of everything that was needed for pre-conception and pregnancy (most of these need to be ordered online). If you haven’t started your TTC journey yet, the sooner you start taking a high quality prenatal vitamin the better! It will help build up stores in your body which is great for when the first trimester eventually hits and you can’t stomach much. The brand I’m currently taking is called Needed (read about them more here). If it feels like a good fit for you and you want to try it, get 20% off your first order by using the code VIBRANTMAMAWELLNESS at checkout (this is an affiliate link and I earn a small commission).

Learn how your cycle works and stop relying on apps

Now this was a big one for me. Once I came off the pill in 2018 I started using an app on my phone to track my cycle, because to be honest, I had no idea how to track it! Before going on the pill I would just count the days between periods to get a ballpark estimate of when I could expect the next one to arrive (and I thought this was what it meant to track your cycle). I used an app up until about 4 months into trying to conceive this baby, which was when I realized I might not actually be timing ovulation correctly.

So I ditched the app and learned how to paper chart. While this felt really overwhelming at first, I quickly got the hang of it. By using a combination of basal body temperature (BBT), ovulation (LH) tests, and learning how to “decode” my cervical mucus, I was able to pinpoint my fertile window more accurately and make sure I was timing intercourse with ovulation.

Paper charting also clued me in to the fact that my thyroid function might be a little off (did you know the menstrual cycle is often called the fifth vital sign because it gives us a window into our health?!) I took this information to my doctor and with a blood test we confirmed that my thyroid function was not optimal, and where my numbers were at was not supportive of conceiving or carrying a pregnancy. Which leads me to the last tip….

Nutrition support

I have always eaten fairly “healthy” (although what does this mean really) so I was never someone who felt like I needed the support of a nutritionist. However, once my doctor confirmed my thyroid was part of the issue, one of the things she mentioned on top of medication was dialing in my nutrition. Our thyroids are incredibly important (we would die without them). They regulate ALL the hormones in our body, not just the sex hormones, as well as the overall growth and development of the body. And the function of the thyroid is also linked to gut health and digestion - i.e. what we are putting into our bodies on a daily basis.

With the help of my colleague Caitlin Cipriano (psst she does all the nutrition components in my pregnancy and postpartum programs!) we created a personalized nutrition and supplement protocol for me to help my thyroid, balance my hormones, and support my fertility. I’m also incredibly grateful that I took the time to properly nourish my body while TTC because weeks 6-20 of my pregnancy I could barely stomach anything, so I’m glad I had those nutrient stores!

So those are the 3 tips that helped me in my TTC journey. Now I know that everyone has different circumstances and different diagnoses, and keep in mind that these 3 things don’t work magically overnight. That being said, if you've been taking these action steps for 3+ months already and not seeing success, I have another way to help!

Caitlin and I are hosting a Fertility Foundations Masterclass. This isn’t just the basics that you find on Google, we’re going DEEP.

In this masterclass you will leave knowing:

  • How to track your cycle without relying on apps or LH strips so you know exactly when your fertile window is and you’re able to pinpoint your ovulation within a 48-hour window

  • Understanding the 4 phases of your cycle and how to sync up your nutrition and movement to lower inflammation, stress, and boost your natural energy

  • Learning the correlation of insulin resistance and blood sugar management on your hormones

  • What to look for in a prenatal vitamin

  • How to strengthen the pelvic floor in preparation of pregnancy

  • Nervous system regulation techniques to lower cortisol levels to help balance hormones

Sign up for the masterclass here!

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Disclaimer: This blog does not serve as medical advice. Please consult your medical provider before starting a new fitness routine. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

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