Preparing for Pregnancy: Nutrition and Beyond
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After experiencing not one but TWO pregnancies with hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) I knew if my family was going to survive a third pregnancy I would need to put in some serious work.
H. Pylori Bootcamp
The very first thing that gave me hope was written by a woman who had gone through 8 pregnancies with HG and during her 9th pregnancy pretty much “cured” herself of the 20x a day vomiting cycle. I will link her post at the bottom of my post so you can read her in-depth blog but I’m going to do my best to summarize.
The link between HG and H. pylori are strong. One clinical investigator found that 83% of woman referred to a hospital for HG also tested positive for H. pylori.
So what is H. pylori? It’s a bacteria that lives deep in our intestines. Most people have heard of this pest associated with stomach ulcers but many people who are carriers have little to no symptoms. However, there are certain triggers that can send H. pylori into high gear– one of them being hormonal swings (aka pregnancy).
So what can we do if we have it? One way we can try to eliminate it through antibiotics. These antibiotics can help but they are insanely strong and would wipe out your entire microbiome making your gut health out of whack. The way I tried to eliminate it was through the natural antibiotic colloidal silver. I would take about a teaspoon 3x a day on an empty stomach for about 3 weeks and I did this for 2 cycles.
The colloidal silver was not where it ended. I also needed to stop eating things that would feed H. pylori and start feeding my good bacteria instead. As hard as it was- breads, pastas, sweets, and starches were a no-go. I was on a pretty low carb diet to starve the bad and taking in A LOT of fermented foods to feed the good. I would consume sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir as much as I could and stuck to meats and vegetables, especially cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower.
In addition to the shots of colloidal silver, I also added some supplements that would keep my inflammation and gut in check like turmeric. Turmeric creates a pretty hostile environment for H. pylori to live in. I also kept taking my multivitamin sold by Plexus , Carlson’s fish oils , and a number of detoxing supplements like wheat grass, broken cell chlorella, and spirulina.
Ok this one is going to be a long because I prepped in nutrition more then anywhere else.
My mornings would start with around a teaspoon of colloidal silver (to kill the h. pylori). Then I would make a cup of warm water a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and half a lemon’s juice (also to kill the h. pylori but also for gut health and detox purposes). After I finished my drink and drank another cup of water I would either drink coffee or I would dissolve a Green Superfood tablets (for a dose of greens and antioxidants) in some water and drink this. The purpose of consuming all of these things in the morning is simply because your body and your gut is the most available when it is empty and you want the first going in there to be nutrient dense, hydrating and beneficial.
After my coffee I would heat up some bone broth (some days) on the stove and have a cup of broth while the kids ate their breakfast. Head over to my Nutrient Dense First Baby Foods post to read about bone broths incredible nutritional values. Since I normally intermittent fast until noon, I would eat a bowl of sauerkraut first thing as I cooked my afternoon eggs. Once again, I want the probiotics from the sauerkraut to be the first thing in my gut before anything else.
My daily foods were high in fat, protein and very low in carbs. I ate fruit rarely and my veggies were ones that had a high fiber content and low sugar (I know…there can be sugar even in veggies…). There are so many great keto meals out there but I tried to stick to ones that had little processed products in them. One ingredient I tried to be intentional with was liver. The amount of nutrients in liver makes it one of the most nutritious foods on earth. Since the flavor can be a little off putting I would mix my pureed liver into my ground beef and make meatballs.
Through out the day I tried to not snack a lot. If I did snack it would normally be a glass of my homemade kombucha, kefir, or maybe a handful of nuts. I know it sound kind of boring, but the thought of having a better pregnancy really spurred me on in my discipline.
Since I’m already a trainer for Regymen Fitness I definitely kept up with my HIIT work outs and even started weightlifting with my husband. Some woman have a challenging time with fertility when really active but that’s never been a problem for me. I wanted to be as strong as possible before getting pregnant because when that first trimester hits…it hits hard.
It might seem silly to some of you that I prepped my soul- but this was the most important part. I know how challenging pregnancies can be not just on me but on my household. I asked people to pray for me, my marriage and my family when Cam and I decided to start trying. I also made a daily habit of waking up an hour before my kids and spend 30-45 minutes every morning in prayer, worship, meditation and scripture. The devotional I try to go through every day is by one of my favorite pastors, Pete Scazzero and it’s called Day by Day. It is the perfect balance of scripture, medication and prayer.
Well there you have it! If there were ways you prepared for your pregnancies that were helpful please leave a comment below!
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I love this. And I love you Meg <3.
Love this!!! The physical prep I totally neglected pregnancy/during and now at the 3rd trimester I’m feeling super weak!!
I feel you girl-Just wait! You’ll have a six pack by spring break!
Love you! xoxox Hope you start feeling better soon!