WEEK 1-2 – THE FOLLICULAR PHASE IN SOUTH AMERICA
Weekly Baby News
Even though it is counted as week 1 & 2 you haven’t actually conceived at this time. This is called the follicular phase of your cycle and where your body is preparing for conception. Due to the unconfirmed exact date of conception we use your Last Menstrual Cycle (LMC) to date your pregnancy. So always keep track of the first day you have your menstruation so you can advise your naturopath, midwife, doula or GP.
Day 1 of FOLLICULAR PHASE is the day one of menstruation and ends at ovulation. The hormone follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is released to stimulate the ovary to produce follicles, these are immature eggs and usually only one will develop into a mature egg. Your lining of your uterus also thickens at this time, now you are ready for OVULATION.
With bub not conceived at this point there are no certain foods you need to avoid, as such. However ensuring nutrient dense eating habits is always optimal for conception. I suggest speaking to a naturopath prior to conceiving to ensure your nutrients are ideal and your body is in a healthy state to conceive. By spending a few months on preconception care for you and your partner can reduce the incidence of miscarriage, birth defects, and illness through pregnancy. Take the time to prepare correctly for your bub-to-be and both yourself and bub will be thankful for a bright healthy future. Stay tuned for a preconception blog with my next bub 😉 or contact me directly, as I’d be happy to help you on this lead up journey.
Here are a few vital nutrients for these 2 weeks:
IRON – Due to menstruating it is important to support your iron levels due to blood loss. Adequate iron levels are essential to ensure the building of your uterus lining for the fertilised egg to implant into.
Iron Foods: dark green leafy vegetables, sunflower and pumpkin seeds and red meats
OMEGA 3 – omegas are used for many functions around the body and also are important for healthy brain development of the baby. At this time omegas are useful for healthy egg development and to reduce inflammation. This can assist with reducing period pain and also maintain healthy reproductive tissues.
Omega Foods: chia seeds, salmon, flaxseeds, nuts.
FOLATE – a well-known pregnancy nutrient. Preventing neural tube defects, enhancing egg quality and assisting neurotransmitter functioning, folate levels should be correct prior to this stage, however by including in your diet is always beneficial.
Folate foods: green leafy vegetables, lentils, eggs, and sprouts
VITAMIN B12 – B12 comes in a few different forms, the type we are optimally chasing is methylcobalamin. This form is the most active form and is essential for folate metabolism. B12 also helps DNA synthesis, which is important for when bub is conceived. As well B12 helps the embryo travel along the journey to the uterus. Helping prevent ectopic pregnancies, we will speak about in later weeks. B12 levels will be considered as part of your preconception plan with your naturopath.
B12 sources: your bacterial synthesis occurs in the gut as well as found in foods such as egg yolk, meat, organic milk, oysters, salmon and sardines.
An easy and great way to get your daily needed nutrients is with a Smoothie…. A GREEN Smoothie is even better (Check out the below recipe). Stay active at this time, not to over do it but rather a great time to focus on your yoga practice and look at both the physical and emotional, as well letting go of stresses in life. Stress highly affects the ability to conceive due to its influence on hormone regulation. So Yoga + Green Smoothie daily 🙂
Morning Nutrient Green Smoothie
½ cup frozen pineapple
1 cup spinach or mixed green vegetables
½ cup blueberries (optional)
1 tsp Chia Seeds
1 tsp maca powder
¼ cup of almonds
400ml of Coconut Water
OR 200ml Coconut milk & 200ml Coconut Water
I had arrived in South America for the trip of a lifetime with my Husband, little was I to know that we would get more than we expected from the holiday. We had ‘planned’ to put off kids for another year so we could work on our careers, finish renovating a house and do another 2 trips overseas. Together we would travel to Cambodia and Vietnam, but also my husband wanted to do a surf trip and I wanted to head to India to further my yoga training and do one last solo trip before we started a family. So that was our plan that didn’t go to plan…
But anyway back to my week 1 – 2, so we arrived in South America and spent time in Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, then onto Peru for a trek and explore of Machu Picchu. It was fabulous, however being a naturopath/nutritionist you would think I travel well right?? Wrong! Due to knowing my body well from years of trial and error with my profession, I’ve been able to identify exactly how my body works and what is best for it. So I’m use to eating a nutrient-dense, high protein, high fat, low carb, minimal processed and refined foods diet, which this was actually a problem. As in South America the three main foods are potato, corn and rice, now 2 of these I don’t even acknowledge as foods (haha) and there is ample packaged foods and although there are fresh foods in some places their salads consist of lettuce, tomato and cheese.
I quickly figured out how to ask for a bowl of vegetables in Spanish ‘plato de verduras’ however this came out as frozen beans, carrots and corn that had been boiled, tossed with A LOT of unknown type of oil and served. Now I’m not complaining however just recognising how fortunate we are in Australia to have the health food options that we do. And from traveling does highlight that having a healthy diet doesn’t always serve and has it downfalls as well 😉
So things became interesting, I became fatigued, constipated and just overall gross-feeling. Now for this ‘planning naturopath’ this is not an optimal preconception care. However after a week my body adjusted slightly and just in time for the trek to Machu Picchu. While away I did want to do some work on myself so took and read Celestial Prophecy which was a great spiritual read, plus is based in Peru, what a great coincidence! It was a great book to help open my mind and view things from a different perspective on my travels. So my lead up to me conceiving was not-so-great in the physical sense, however very rewarding with insight on the emotional/spiritual level, which is also highly important and a lot of the time overlooked when trying to conceive.
Yours in Health,
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