Pregnancy Prep Program
This proactive program is suitable for everyone planning to soon get pregnant. We are setting up for a healthy baby and comfortable pregnancy. There are 4 visits completed within a 3 month timeline which help set you up for pregnancy success!
- Egg quality optimization
- Hormone balancing
Complete naturopathic intake which covers your medical history, diet, stress, sleep, allergies, supplements/medications, immune function, hormonal cycles, etc. We gather ALL of the information to be sure that nothing is missed and so that we can feel confident in your health going into pregnancy.
We also order lab testing to make sure all systems are a go (iron, thyroid, estrogen, progesterone, vitamin D, etc). If needed we go on to do phase 2 lab testing in a few month’s time (see fertility below). I also make sure that you’re taking the right supplements in the correct format and dose for the best egg quality.
Visit #2 is 1-2 weeks later:
This is when we do an extensive dietary assessment to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients and avoiding common allergens/toxins. We also work on improving sleep quality, and possibly initiating a gentle detox before you conceive. We want to eliminate toxins gently enough to not interfere with conception, but thoroughly enough so that they are not mobilized later during breastfeeding (as that is often when we finally dig into our long-term fat stores to feed our babies).
Visit #3 is 2 weeks after that:
In this visit we get you off the detox plan and put you on a hormone balancing plan which will take you up to pregnancy. We may also go over general guidelines for male partner’s pregnancy prep, as they are half the equation.
Visit #4 is 4 weeks after that:
This last visit is to give you a plan to switch on to when you conceive. It is a first trimester plan outlining the proper diet, supplements, sleep, exercise. If you don’t conceive after 3-9 months of trying (it really depends on your eagerness to get pregnant as it is very healthy and normal to take 12 months to make a baby :), then you will roll into the fertility support program.
Fertility Support Program
Both inability to conceive and recurrent miscarriage can be helped with natural medicine. Hormonal balance is often at the centre of the issue, but stress, diet (food allergies or nutrient deficiencies) and environmental exposures can also play a role.
We always start by implementing the pregnancy prep program to ensure that all basic foundational work is done. If you’re not pregnant by 3-9 months (depending on your patience level really, as it’s completely normal and healthy to take up to 12 months to achieve pregnancy), then we can start to investigate further. At this point we begin phase 2 testing which involves FSH and estradiol, testosterone, prolactin, anti-mullerin hormone, BBT charting, OPK, etc. I don’t start these earlier than 3 months as there is something powerfully therapeutic about being relaxed in conception and not over investigating when not necessary. But if you’re keen to get the pregnancy show on the road, then we can ramp things up after 3 months of trying.
In clinic I offer complementary prenatal care, working along side obstetricians and registered midwives.
Prenatal visit structure
- The initial visit is lengthy as we review all relevant medical information including diet, exercise, sleep, family history, menstrual history, etc.
- Come in as soon as you know you’re pregnant so that we can set you up on proper plan as early into the pregnancy as possible.
- You will leave with a requisition for blood work and a diet diary, as well as a basic treatment plan.
Second visit – 1 hour
- In visit number 1 is you giving me all of your information, and in visit number 2 the information flows in reverse. I will help you understand mechanisms involved in your health, you ask me any questions you need the answer to, we discuss health care provider options (obstetricians, midwives) and location of birth (home, hospital or birth centre). We discuss doulas, diet (including foods to avoid), sleep, supplements, exercise,etc.
- 12 weeks: setting up for the second trimester
- 20 weeks: entering the second half of the pregnancy
- 24 weeks: working towards birth, discuss prenatal class options, GTT
- 28 weeks: colonizing the birth canal, intervention discussion (probiotics, antibiotics, vitamin K, eye drops, GBS testing)
- 32 weeks: movement for birth positioning, discuss baby sleep options (co-sleeping, bassinet, separate room), supplements for baby, soothing, swaddling, baby wearing
- 36 weeks: ready for birth, herbal and nutritional support for labour, perineum, breastfeeding, skin to skin
- At 37 weeks we will commence birth prep acupuncture (if appropriate), and will continue weekly until 40 weeks
- At 40 weeks if baby has not yet arrived we can increase labour stimulating acupuncture to twice weekly. If appropriate and if encouraged by the primary care provider, we can include labour stimulating herbs to help baby along the transition.
How I can help prenatal health
- Allergy elimination
- Increasing nutrient density
- Education of safe herbs/foods/supplements for each trimester
- Including safe co-sleeping and healthy crib mattresses
- Pelvic floor health
- Group B Strep testing
- Glucose tolerance testing
- Fetal positioning
- The microbiome and importance of good bacteria
Naturopathic medicine is also well equipped to resolve common pregnancy ailments such as constipation, UTIs, and nausea if they arise, as well as threatened and recurrent miscarriage.
Ultimately I am an unbiased information resource for you. I will help you navigate what research says and marry that with what your gut is telling you, because as a parent that’s always the balance.
I prefer to get an update about the birth as soon as mama is ready to share (email or phone updates usually) and for a post-partum follow-up 3 and 6 months after the birth, but also at 1 year postpartum as this can be a very challenging time hormonally as well, as mom is often returning to work and generally going about her life in a million directions. This is a vulnerable time for the adrenals as she is almost always doing more than her body can truly handle, so we need to support her with tip top nutrition as well as sometimes herbs and supplements until the baby-life balance is easier.
- Birth day plan to repair/restore/revitalize, including specific suggestions for the perineum, nipples, nutrients and digestive tract
- First 3 days after birth (colostrum phase)
- Next 2 weeks (newborn phase)
- Weeks 2-6: phone consult: birth story, breastfeeding update, mood, overwhelm, sleep
Online prenatal support
My colleague Dr. Corinne Brown ND has developed a thorough and invaluable online birth preparation program that every pregnancy woman should watch prior at the beginning of her third trimester: