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Tips for a Healthy and Fit Pregnancy

by Arielle J on March 23, 2017

 I gave birth 3 weeks ago and tonight I’m heading to my first event post-baby! Getting ready really got me thinking how grateful I am for the journey I’ve been on. It felt like a long road, so I’m very excited to share how I optimized my health and prepared my body for a healthy and fit pregnancy.

Below I share what foods I ate to improve my fertility, boost my thyroid levels, regulate my periods and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and ultimately, help me get pregnant.

First, here’s my fertility story:

A little over two years ago my husband, Lee and I started talking about bringing a baby into the world. It was on my mind and it was in my heart. It actually had been for most of my life. I’ve always had a maternal, mothering nature. And I was ready.

Well, not so so ready.

I wanted to get my body in the most fertile shape as possible before I started to try to conceive. I also had irregular periods, so I knew I had some “work” to do.

In February 2015, I was selling my “i love me” jewelry collection at my friend’s event.

This cute woman approached me and started to tell me about her organic skin care line. She then proceeded to tell me that she was the author of “Yes, You Can Get Pregnant” AND that she was in the midst of creating fertility recipes for her next book. My ears lit up, as anything with food lights me up, but also because it was fertility related.

She emailed me a few days later and asked for my address so she could send me a copy of her books.

I remember that I was so excited to start reading the book, that I didn’t even make it upstairs to my apartment. I started reading the book in my hallway!

As I was flipping through the pages that night, I became so immersed in the information that my husband (who was trying to go to sleep) rolled over and kindly asked if I could either be quieter when turning the pages or put the book down.

I’m not even much of a reader, but I refused to stop reading. The voice in the book spoke to me. It had such a gentle, joyful tone and the information was more helpful than any of the fertility books I had read thus far.

I reached over for my kindle and bought another copy. That night, I read until my eyes literally closed. I became obsessed with learning how to optimize my fertility and I fell in love with Aimee. I knew I would learn so much from her. 

How I started my fertility process and tracked my cycles:
I started tracking my ovulation through an app called Kindara. In order to get pregnant, you need to know when you’re ovulating. According to Aimee, it’s best to have sex at least 4 days before you ovulate so when you do ovulate, the egg released will already be there to meet the sperm.

I also tracked my temperature. Your temperature at waking time can tell you a lot about your thyroid, and your cycles. So as soon as my eyes opened in the morning, I would take my temp. I loved tracking it at first and shortly realized that it was making me anxious, so I wanted to find another morning ritual to bring me more calm.
– So, I started using OPK sticks. After I got up, I would run to the bathroom, pee in a little plastic cup and stick the stick into my urine to test my ovulation. I found these particular ones to be frustrating and hard to use, so I decided to get this digital OPK monitor. Every morning I would do this. I even brought it with me on vacation to Puerto Rico.

After a few months of tracking my ovulation, my morning ritual felt so calculated and un-zen. 

When I started to lose my excitement for the process and my frustration really kicked in, I turned to Aimee for support (In addition to writing a book, Aimee has three offices – in Manhattan, Nyack and the Hamptons. She also hosts an online class, including support groups)

Aimee went over my blood tests, asked me specific questions about my period (like the color of the blood, how many tampons/pads I soaked every month), etc. (This may be TMI, but at the time, my period was so light that I only needed a panty liner and it wasn’t cranberry red, like it’s supposed to be)

She also have me recommendations for supplements and foods to incorporate. These would help to upgrade my health and improve my fertility.

Tips from Aimee that helped me get pregnant:
Eat protein every two hours. This helps to regulate your blood sugar levels, and thus, your hormone levels, and thyroid. (It also becomes a habit when you get pregnant because your baby will need to eat every few hours)
Eat within 30 minutes after waking up. In the past, I would workout before breakfast and sometimes even go a few hours before I ate anything. When I started to eat right when I woke up, my energy levels sky rocketed. 
Buy plants for your house. It’s a great way to energetically bring LIFE into your space. And, not to mention, plants add oxygen to your home, too. 
Take fertility-friendly supplements specific to your body – before seeing Aimee, I took certain fertility-enhancing supplements and then Aimee put me on a very specific regimen for my body. This is what I took daily (with food): three prenatal pills, two liver pills, six spirulina tablets, six cod liver oil pills every morning with my breakfast.

What I ate to improve my fertility, boost my egg quality and increase my blood:
– 2 whole, pasture-raised eggs per day (the egg whites and yolk)
–  3oz grass-fed meat at least once per week
– 3oz bone broth per day (I either made it with this recipe, or bought it here and added some sea salt)
– more cooked vegetables (less raw salad and green juice)
– at least 2 liters filtered water (I bought this healthy water filter.
– eliminated gluten and dairy (except for organic ice cream once and a while because I loveee ice cream!)

With the help of Aimee, I also discovered that in order to bring a baby into the world, I wanted to bring more zen into my world.

So I made 2016 my year of ZEN!

Here is what ultimately helped me get pregnant:
I cleaned out my closets. I got rid of every piece of clutter or article of clothing that didn’t bring me joy (Thanks to the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up!)  I also gave away any clothes that were a tad too small on me. If I wanted my body to grow a human being, I needed to be ready and open for my body to grow, as well!
I cleaned out my kitchen and only kept foods that made me feel nourished and excited to eat and cook.
I put a sea shell next to my bed. My friend and (celebrity) doula, Latham Thomas said it is a symbol of fertility.
I got mayan abdominal massages (from Earth and Sky in Long Island City – ask for Katinka – she is AMAZING) and I even got a V-steam, too!! 


I went to a reproductive endocrinologist who ultimately put me on a low dosage of armor thyroid medication.
I bought black out shades so my husband and I could get the deepest sleep possible.
My husband and I started sleeping with eye masks.
I got a new mattress, new sheets, new pillows. All organic from Coco-mat.
– I painted my dresser from black to white (for brighter energy!)
I bought flowers weekly (usually from Trader Joes) to put on my bedside stand and in my living room. I loved how it brightened up my day!

Get support from practitioners that you trust and who make you feel good. I met with a few different OBGYNS until I found a Midwife practice that I loved. I also saw Aimee for acupuncture every other week and joined her online support group.

I fell in love with this new way of taking care of myself (and my future baby).

I made joy my job and it ultimately led to a late period…and then, a positive pregnancy test!

I am thrilled to share my fertility story with hopes that my experience will help ease the journey to motherhood for you. I am also excited to share what helped me feel great once I got pregnant so I could stay pregnant…. and feel fit during the rest of my pregnancy.

 

I believe that, yes, you can get pregnant…and have a healthy, fit pregnancy, too!

I would love to support you in your path to pregnancy. Schedule a call with me to help upgrade your health now here or by emailing me at arielle@bewellwitharielle.com and check out the online e-course from my friend and mentor who is a fertility author and expert.

Lots of love from my belly to yours.

be hopeful. be healthy. be happy.

xo
be well,
arielle

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