Taking Care Before You Conceive: Preconception Health

poppy bloomingThere is a lot of information out there about what to do with our diet and what vitamins to take once we are pregnant. However, what about the months before pregnancy? Does that time matter? Some say yes indeed it does. Let’s take a minute to think about that.

During pregnancy a woman’s body provides not only nutrition to the growing fetus, it also is the environment in which the fetus lives.  Before conception, a woman’s diet,  her environment, and what she is exposed to can affect the health and quality of the ovum, or the egg.  The quality of the ovum, will determine the health of her baby.  This is called epigenetics.  Epi what?  Basically, epigenetics refers to the way the genes form and are expressed.  The development of the egg/ovum can be effected by many external environmental or dietary factors.  To read more about epigenetics, check out the blog entry Epigenetics: Beyond Heredity.

What does all this mean? It is important to take care of your body before pregnancy.

We are what we eat.  I mean that quite literally, as every cell in our body is made up of the building blocks we give it (food).  Other things can affect the health of a cell as well — toxins, pollutants, and xenoestrogens (hormone disruptors), to name a few. So, we aren’t just what we eat, we are also where we live, what we choose to put on our skin, the air we breathe, and more!

Of interest is that such factors as food and environment are not just important today but for many days to follow.  The life cycles of cells in our bodies are varied — blood cells live for about 100 days, a skin cell lives about 20 days, and an ovum (egg) takes about three months to go from hibernation to ovulation. Our cells are comprised of what we have eaten and been exposed to in at least the last three months.  Therefore, we are not just what we eat today but also what we have eaten the last three months!

Why not take a few months before trying to conceive to prep the body for this very important time in your baby’s life? Optimize your egg quality, baby’s environment, and building blocks by improving your health. See your naturopathic doctor at least three months prior to trying to conceive for a treatment plan that can help you do this. Or, if you are already trying to conceive, see your naturopath now for tips on how to maximize your body’s fertility signals and the pregnancy environment. It’s the ultimate in preventative care!

The side effects of such treatments and caring for your body — increased energy, healthier looking skin and nails, improved moods, fewer aches and pains, and feeling great in general — hmmmdoesn’t sound that bad, does it?

Tune in next time for Part Two of this blog on preconception: Optimizing Hormone Balance to Improve Fertility.


To make an appointment with Dr. Schroeder, please call Blossom Clinic at 503.287.0886.

Top 10 Reasons to Do a Fall Cleanse

Woot Woot!   Finally, Dr. Elise is on Facebook!

I now have a Facebook page where I am posting daily health tidbits like news items related to health and wellbeing, health tips, recipes and also some personal experiences that might relate to your health as well.  Check it out here: Dr. Elise on Facebook.

In other news: it’s time for the Annual Fall Cleanse!

September is one of my favorite months here in Portland. The skies are mostly sunny with some big puffy clouds, the rain is at a minimum, and the mood is happy and motivated.  It’s the perfect time to get some new habits under your belt before the holidays roll around.  However, if that’s not enough motivation, here are 10 other reasons you might consider joining me this year.

Top 10 Reasons to Join Our Fall Cleanse

  1. Lose 5 to 10 pounds
  2. Increase energy
  3. Kickstart the new school year/fall season with healthy habits
  4. Preconception detox  (see preconception blog)
  5. Motivation to make dietary changes
  6. For a clear mind and better mood
  7. Better digestion
  8. Get more out of workouts
  9. Boost immunity for the upcoming cold and allergy season
  10. Improve sleep

Really, any reason you can come up with is a good reason to join this cleanse. To read more about why I choose to cleanse, see my blog from last fall here Fall cleanse . The benefits go far beyond just how you feel at the time of the diet change. You will experience better energy, improved digestion, and so much more.  Ultimately, it’s a fantastic way to create new habits that can last throughout the year.
This fall’s cleanse will include an introductory class wherein I will explain the details of the plan.  This class will be held Saturday, September 29th, at Blossom Clinic.  It is important to attend this meeting to find out what to eat and what activities to do while you are cleansing.

Included in the cleanse package are the following.

  1. Introductory class
  2. Individual appointment with me to personalize your cleanse to meet your personal health needs
  3. Two acupuncture treatments with one of Blossom’s fabulous acupuncturists
  4. One final end-of-cleanse appointment to review your experience and symptoms and set a plan for maintaining the benefits you have gained from the cleanse
  5. One container of a detoxifying medical smoothie mix that will be used as a food supplement during the cleanse
  6. One bag of herbal detox tea

To sign up for the cleanse class, call Blossom directly at 503.287.0886 or schedule online.

*If you can’t make it to the intro class, give Blossom a call or email and we can discuss your options.