Is 2021 the year you plan to make your dreams of having a baby come true? These fertility health resolutions are a great way to prepare your body for pregnancy and create the optimal environment for a full-term pregnancy to blossom.
6 New Year Resolutions for a Healthy Pregnancy in 2021
Resolutions can be hard to maintain, especially if they require a major lifestyle shift or commitment. That said, the following five “new year’s resolutions” can go a long way towards helping women achieve successful conception and a healthy, full-term pregnancy.
1. Schedule a preconception appointment with your OB/GYN
If you are planning to get pregnant this year, your OB/GYN wants to know. S/he will take special care to address any signs or issues that may have been missed or overlooked before now. Your honesty regarding your sexual and pregnancy history is essential to ensure you have access to the right tests and diagnostic tools.
Now is the time to mention any red flags that might not have been mentioned by you in the past:
- Missed or irregular periods
- Painful or heavy periods
- Previous miscarriages or abortions
- Pelvic pain or discomfort
If you’ve already tried to get pregnant for 12-consecutive months, schedule an appointment with a fertility specialist to get a more specific idea of what is going on to block or prevent conception and pregnancy.
2. Reduce whole-body inflammation
The body’s inflammatory response, part of the immune system response, is getting its fair share of press these days. While inflammation has a purpose for healing temporary, acute health scenarios, chronic inflammation has a detrimental effect on your health – and that is especially true for reproductive health.
Chronic and out-of-control inflammation plays a role in some of the most common female infertility factors such as endometriosis, PCOS, fibroid tumors, and other underlying health conditions. Also, perpetual inflammation taxes the immune system, which compromises the immune system’s overall efficiency. The more you can curb whole-body inflammation, the healthier you will be.
All of the following health resolutions to make in 2021 support our #1 tip to reduce whole-body inflammation.
3. Focus on an anti-inflammatory diet
Inflammation is typically linked to multiple triggers or causes, but diet is certainly one of the most important supporters (or enemies) of an optimal, anti-inflammatory state. Adding anti-inflammatory foods to the diet – and eliminating foods known to cause inflammation – has a notable effect for almost every patient we’ve ever treated.
Women who focus on an anti-inflammatory diet experience:
- Reduced PMS symptoms
- Relief from PCOS and endometriosis
- Improved energy
- More consistent weight management
- Regulated blood sugar levels (essential for controlling PCOS and overall health)
FYI: A healthy diet is associated with healthier sperm as well, so this change is one that benefits both you and your partner.
Read, Foods that Fight Inflammation, to learn more about which foods to include and which ones to ditch as you prepare your body for pregnancy.
4. Establish healthy sleep habits for a healthy circadian rhythm
Getting too little – or too much – sleep can hurt your fertility chances. Part of this has to do with the correlation between sleep and healthy immune system function. However, sleep cycles are essential for healthy hormone production. If your body doesn’t get enough sleep (less than 7 hours of sleep), or if you tend to sleep too much (more than 10 hours per night on average), your reproductive hormones may slip out of whack, compromising your ability to conceive.
Do you feel like your sleep cycles are erratic or that you aren’t getting the sleep you need on a nightly basis? Read How to Sleep Better to support your goal.
5. Get your partner on board with lifestyle resolutions that support fertility
When a couple can’t get pregnant, the focus often shifts to the woman. This approach enforces the fertility myth that infertility is a female issue. Male infertility factors are just as common as female infertility factors. Similarly, the same things that support fertility health for women (healthy diet, exercise, sleep habits, weight management) also improve fertility health for men.
Get your partner on board with these same resolutions and you’ll increase your fertility health times two.
6. Make stress management a part of your daily routine
Stress, especially psychological stress, has a negative impact on fertility. For decades, we were told that stress didn’t really affect fertility – but recent studies have shown differently. Stress affects the immune system, hormone levels (elevated cortisol, for example), and inflammation – all of which can stymie conception and the development of a healthy baby. At the very least, it exacerbates underlying or already diagnosed health issues that can affect pregnancy.
We also recommend joining a fertility support group, which can offer invaluable support from others who are walking the same road that you are.
If you make your way through 2021 and the pregnancy test comes up negative time and time again, schedule an appointment with us here at Fertility Solutions and we will help you create a personalized and effective fertility treatment plan.