“We must take the same care in preparing the human womb for the seed of life to be planted therein that we take to prepare the womb of the earth for the seeds of the plant life from which we and our animals will take nourishment.”
The latest report from the National Center for Health Statistics shows that U.S. fertility in 2016 was at an all-time low. The January 2018 issue of the New York Times echoed this trend, reporting that American women are having fewer children than they would like. Fertility clinics and modern medicine are offering many hopeful parents a solution, but are we looking deeply enough? Are the underlying issues being addressed? How can we provide the children that will build our future with the best possible foundations for lifelong health?
Can you imagine trying to start a garden on a sidewalk? Would you expect seeds to grow and flourish without healthy soil? Fertile soil contains abundant minerals and nutrients needed for plant growth, and it is often composed of large amounts of topsoil: topsoil retains nutrients that may have been “brewing” for hundreds of years. Microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, earthworms, protozoa, and nematodes convert and supply nutrients that would otherwise be unavailable to the plants that rely on them.
Our bodies are no different. The best time to begin a healthy pregnancy regimen is before you conceive. The right nutrition and lifestyle practices will also help your body handle the transitions of early pregnancy without all of the discomforts we have come to accept as “normal”.
A generous intake of all nutrients, including the fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids, protein, biotin, folate, will supply the soil of the womb with everything the life developing within it needs for vigorous growth and a long, healthy life to come.
The quality of nutrition before and during these nine months produces lifelong effects on every system in the body. A deliberate and intentional approach to prenatal health and nutrition will reduce the risk of congenital and degenerative diseases and improve health from infancy through adulthood.
Does that mean that taking a prenatal vitamin will solve every nutritional need of a healthy pregnancy? Not necessarily. Would you drink Miracle-Gro as a morning tonic? Probably not. Unfortunately, most of the supplements on the market are full of synthetic and fractionated nutrients that act much like chemical fertilizers- the long-range outcome is compromised health. Nutrients that come from whole foods and whole food supplements are incomparable. Preparing for and maintaining a healthy pregnancy is much like preparing for a fertile and productive garden. Ideally, it begins long before any seeds are planted. Hormone balance, stress management, gut health, fitness, and a well-balanced diet will insure the best possible outcome.