A couple of weeks back I shared an article on the Flo Living Facebook page about how Kim Kardashian said that pregnancy was “the worst experience” of her life. This really struck a chord with our Flo community and many of you shared your own feelings about pregnancy and the issues you’ve gone through while carrying a child.
Some women said they loved being pregnant, some women said they genuinely hated it – but all agreed the outcome made the struggle worthwhile!
But, does pregnancy have to be that hard? Is it supposed to be like that? You want to know and I hear that. So, I’m going to address this head on.
Short answer: No, pregnancy doesn’t have to be all that bad.
Long answer: I mean, let me be honest with you, if you’re a hormonally sensitive woman (say if, like me, you have PCOS) then the surge of hormones during pregnancy will likely cause you some issues. For me, I gained 50 pounds. If you’re the kind of women whose hormonal balance can be made hectic by excess estrogen or the change in SHGB (sex hormone binding globulin) then there are some symptoms of this that will be unavoidable like changes in hair and skin.
However, the same strategies that I encourage women to use to help themselves get pregnant naturally are, thankfully, also the same strategies you can use to ensure a healthy, happy pregnancy. Basically, if you prep for pregnancy in the right way then you are setting yourself up for a much easier 9 months! This is what I did to help myself and the result was a really happy healthy pregnancy.
There are 2 parts of your pregnancy experience that you can control completely before you get pregnant, and while you are pregnant. Taking charge in these areas will absolutely decrease the intensity and severity of any hormonal imbalance and hormone sensitivity issues you might face otherwise.
- Your body’s chemical load at the start of pregnancy.
- Your deficiency in key micronutrients prior and throughout the pregnancy.
If either of these areas of your health are not optimal then pregnancy could be a struggle. All the energy and effort (and the bulk of the nourishment from your food) goes towards growing your baby. Baby becomes first priority, so if you are under-nourished you will feel worse and if your chemical load is high you will feel worse. Your liver has less time for you and your body’s supply of nutrients is going direct to baby as much as possible.
With this in mind, how then to ensure a healthy, easy pregnancy?
- Love your liver. There’s no quick fix to detox your liver and make sure everything is running smoothly. The best way to do this is with good Flo foods and regular doses of my favorite cilantro smoothie!
- Clean out the chemicals. That means eating organic to avoid pesticides, sure, but also cleaning out your cosmetics bag and your home cleaning closet. Chemicals lurk all over our homes and we need to be vigilant in getting rid of endocrine disruptors. The less your liver has to detox from dealing with, the better for you and baby.
- Nourish your body. There is one nutrient that many, even most, women are very low on and which is absolutely essential for getting pregnant and for having an easier pregnancy – that’s vitamin D3. Upping your D3 intake is a great place to start when you’re preparing yourself for a pregnancy.
- Think ahead. An easy pregnancy is better achieved with at the very least 3 months, and at the very best a whole year, of prior preparation. This is often left out of a conversation that tends to focus on what you eat during pregnancy, but it’s just as important to start eating in your Flo way ahead of time. It gives your body the head start it needs to take care of you and your baby.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you suffer with SAD?
Second, are you hoping to conceive soon?
Third, how would you describe your pregnancy experience?
Are You Trying to Conceive?
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Whether you are just starting to think about having a baby, or have already tried naturally or have been trying with IVF, our Fertile FLO Program will help improve your chances of conception.
Click here to download my FREE guide, The 5 Health Foods to Avoid to Get and Stay Pregnant.
Alisa, what about morning sickness? Can you speak to that at all? I had severe morning sickness with both of my pregnancies and it actually was more severe and lasted even longer into the pregnancy with my second than my first (morning sickness was not the only issues but certainly one of the most debilitating). Can you give any insight to what causes morning sickness, why some people have it so bad and why others not at all (the idea that it happens to some and not others “just because” seems false to me). I’d like to have another child but with two already on the ground I don’t see how I could be out of commision for months on end again. I’d love to know if you have insight into this. Thanks!
Research points to high estrogen and progesterone levels and the action of hCG on digestion. Every pregnancy is so different! If you can, support your blood sugar and drink lots of water.
Tracie McGinniss says
Is there a Flo cookbook? I think that would really helpful!
There is! It is part of the online program that we offer, however.
LOVE the pregnancy info! Keep it coming!!
I value your opinion so very much:)
Question for Alisa-
Since you have had a history with PCOS, have you struggled with breastfeeding your baby? What tips can you give in lowering high testosterone while trying to keep up milk supply?
Do you have any strategies for nausea? I’m not pregnant, but I was feeling queasy a few weeks ago and the BRAT (bananas rice (brown rice) applesauce toast) diet worked. All I wanted was something dry and plain. But it wasn’t very FLO-inspired. 🙁 I didn’t want to sip ginger tea or keep my fingers on an acupuncture point. I didn’t want anything wet and had little energy to make my usual stirfries. What do you suggest?
Lucy Baker says
I’m glad that you mentioned how important it is to eat chemical-free organic foods. I’d also like to mention that it’s best to eat organic meat from grass-fed cows that haven’t been exposed to chemical. During my own research, I learned that animal fats can store chemicals inside that can be released into your body during digestion. Hopefully, eating natural foods will help everyone avoid bad chemicals and have a much healthier pregnancy.
Natasha Wilton says
I really like Your answer.Both short and Long,I agree 100% of your great Post.
I’ve learnt about you from Jess Lively’s podcast, found your book then and tried out some of your tips right away. My friend presented me a bag of nuts after I had told get about your advice for women trying to conceive ))). I ate according to my cycle and within two months found out I was pregnant with my second baby. My first son is 4yo, we tried for over 2 years!
So, thank you so much!
Hugs from Ukraine!
So happy for you!XO
Thank you! I just got a positive test result after 6 months of flo life! So happy and hoping everything will go smoothly.. are there more information on living in the flo during pregnancy on these pages? I couldn’t really find any in the blog except this. Or can you recommend some other portal? I’ve come to depend on your opinion so much! Would love a facebook live focusing on hormones during pregnancy too! Love from Finland xxx
Is there more information on living in the flo during pregnancy somewhere on this site? I haven’t been able to find much AFTER one becomes pregnant…
We do not consult for pregnancy! This is a time when closer monitory is needed. Things you can keep in mind that will always help: stay hydrated and keep your blood sugar balanced by eating balanced meals and snacks and eating more frequently as your baby grows!
Ronja Sebastian says
Hey Flo team, I’ve been cycle syncing my workouts for the past few years and loving it. Now I’m pregnant and I’m wondering how to cycle sync my workouts now. Am I in a 9 month “luteal phase” now, in terms of how I should structure my workouts, or how does it work during pregnancy? I feel excited to go to the gym and keep on working out and I wonder if I should only do slow weight lifting (luteal style), or if HIIT and kettle bell swings are fair game (follicular style).
Of course, I also listen to my body, but would love some more guidance based on my hormonal state and how to optimize my workouts for lean muscle building, vitality and wellbeing.
FLO Coach says
Congratulations! Because every pregnancy is different and women can experience this time very differently, it is important to consult with your doctor about this. We do not currently have a protocol for pregnancy because this is a time that really does require closer monitoring.
XO, Christina – FLO Coach
I saw that during pregnancy, we should eat like during a prolonged luteal phase, and in the first months of postpartum, like during menstrual phase. Is that right? I’d love to know since I’m approaching the end of my pregnancy and was so used eating according to the phases prior to that!
Thank you if you can help me,
This is interesting! Where did you hear about eating for the luteal phase while pregnant? Exercise as if you’re in luteal as well while pregnant?