Pre-Pregnancy

Pre-Pregancy Health

13th August 2017

Now that I am looking to our future of having a family, I have been concentrating more and more on my health and looking at eliminating and improving issues that may hinder or delay our chance of conceiving.

I have struggled with my weight since around 2006, when I left uni, suddenly I had a bit more money and had all the freedom and independence that I wanted, meaning I could eat what I wanted when I wanted! I also met my now husband and we had a great time going out for lots of lovely meals, so I put on weight pretty quickly. It just sort of crept up on me. It feels like I just woke up one day and was like, wow I have gained a lot of weight! I was really slim when I was younger and in my teenage years, so much so some of my friends used to tease that I was anorexic. The only issue with that is I ate like a horse, but I I never put on weight. Then I reached my late teens and went on the pill and then the contraceptive injection and my weight went up, but at Uni, doing performing arts, helped me keep it at a respectable weight.

In 2008 I also started to notice various symptoms which indicated PCOS, then in 2014 I had further tests and was diagnosed with Hyper-prolactinemia caused by a benign tumour on my pituitary gland, which pushes up the levels of prolactin. The condition creates many of the same symptoms as PCOS and like PCOS it makes it harder to lose weight, but weight loss will improve the condition, it also causes fertility issues. Currently my condition is being controlled by medication, which should mean when we try for a baby our chances are much better, but I will have to come off of the medication as soon as I am pregnant as the meds could effect the baby. During pregnancy the prolactin levels go up naturally, so I am guessing I will have to be monitored quite closely, as it could mean the the tumour grows. Larger tumours from this condition can begin to push on the optic nerve effecting sight if they are left on checked, so in some cases sufferers of this condition have to have surgery to have the tumour removed. Luckily mine is the size of pin head, so my outlook is very good.

The more I think about all of the fertility issues that people have now a days, the more I think that the contraceptive pills, injections, coils etc. may be to blame. I am sure that that is what started to mess with my body. Contraceptives change the hormones in the body and I am convinced that this is why so many young women have issues with fertility and their reproductive systems. So many of my friends have also had issues from PCOS through to extreme skin problems, I would love to look more into research on the subject, as I am sure their must be some correlation.

Because of my condition and my weight I have been looking to try and get my body ready for conceiving and pregnancy to ensure a healthy pregnancy and baby. I invested in a book by a fertility doctor, Emma Cannon, called The Baby-Making Bible; Simple Steps to Enhance Your Fertility and Improve your Chances of Getting Pregnant. It looks at diet, stress management, exercise and alternative medicines such as acupuncture amongst other things to help ensure the best possible health to boost fertility whether your are trying to conceive naturally or are having IVF. I have just started reading, so I will do a proper review once I have finished, but in the very first pages this one quote really stuck with me.

"I have always been bemused by the fact that as women, we spend spend longer planning the nursery for the baby, than our bodies"

- Gowri Motha

This quote really hit home, and Gowri is right, as women gearing up to conceive or even when we are pregnant, all too often we get carried away with the material planning and spend less time preparing our bodies for pregnancy. Often we also neglect to create healthy habits during pregnancy. Most women feel elated that they can finally eat what they want and not worry about putting on weight! As we know this just means that there will be a lot more hard work once baby arrives to lose the weight. This is why before pregnancy I want to lose weight and get healthy, so that during pregnancy I am at a lower risk of complications and I will have less of a mountain to climb when baby is born to get down to a healthy weight.

"I have always been bemused by the fact that as women, we spend spend longer planning the nursery for the baby, than our bodies"

- Gowri Motha

This quote really hit home, and Gowri is right, as women gearing up to conceive or even when we are pregnant, all too often we get carried away with the material planning and spend less time preparing our bodies for pregnancy. I know that I am looking forward to making the nursery nice and buying cute things, but the health of me and the baby are really more important. Often we also neglect to create healthy habits during pregnancy. Most women feel elated that they can finally eat what they want and not worry about putting on weight! As we know this just means that there will be a lot more hard work once a baby arrives to lose the weight. This is why before pregnancy I want to lose weight and get healthy so that during pregnancy I am at a lower risk of complications and I will have less of a mountain to climb when the baby is born to get down to a healthy weight. 

Taking 'Baby' Steps to Improve My Health

I have been taking more time to think about what I am putting in. my body, consciously trying to drink more water and less Pepsi.  To choose a meat free dinner 2 - 3 times per week.  Upping my fruit intake and adding more vegetables to bulk out my dinner and make sure that I get more nutrients in my diet.  I am also taking a multi-vitamin and Folic Acid.  On the exercise front, I walk the dogs every day, but I have been making more of an effort to walk further on weekends and on nice evenings by the sea or in the country taking in our amazing views.  Good weather helps me be more motivated, so the showers we have been having are a little annoying, but there are plenty of things I can do inside like yoga and a mini aerobic workout. I am just trying to make 'baby' steps to improve my health.

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