Most all of you come to Mommybites looking for useful resources and a healthy support system because you are a super busy mom. So, I wanted to address in this blog a question I get a lot in my practice: when is a good time to get pregnant again?
Well, to be honest, the answer varies from woman to woman.
Being a practitioner of Traditional Oriental Medicine specializing in fertility and pregnancy, I do feel that your body needs a good amount of time—anywhere from 16-24 months—to heal from pregnancy. Particularly, healing from labor and delivery as it is the biggest physical trauma your body has endured is of major importance. Your body needs time to rebuild and replenish its resources. And as you know, birthing a child is just the beginning of a long and beautiful and exhausting and amazingly awesome part of your life… so when you are thinking about getting pregnant for the next one (if you are fortunate enough to be able to give it thought and “time” your next pregnancy) I strongly advise you to check in with yourself and see how you’re feeling physically and emotionally.
As I said, physically healing from pregnancy can take more than a year (some experts say two years) and it depends on several factors, including:
- How long you breastfed for
- How taxing and/or traumatic was your labor and delivery
- Has your period come back regularly
- How you feel emotionally and physically
- And, most importantly, are you ready to have another child
Of course, the answer to that last question is rarely ever a concrete one. As my father would always say, “If you wait for the “right time” to have a child, you’ll never have one.” I suppose there’s never the right time, but there is a time when you feel ready.
Often I guide my patients to tune into their “readiness” by surveying how their body feels physically and emotionally.
Some women want to have their children back to back and get it over with, others want to space it out, where others are just so grateful that they can get pregnant they don’t care when it happens. Any of those scenarios will work as long as they work for your body.
However, in my professional opinion, I think it is best to allow your body to restore itself to its’ pre-pregnancy self. By this I mean: your period is back to normal for you, you are ovulating regularly, your weight is close to where it was before you got pregnant (within a 10 pound range), your energy levels feel good (even though you are so sleep deprived), your sex drive is back and you feel physically healthy and emotionally strong.
The best ways to get your body ready for pregnancy again are to:
- Sleep (as much as you can—ideally 7-8 hours/night)
- Eat a healthy, protein-packed organic diet with lots of folate-rich leafy green vegetables. And, be sure you are eating some form of protein every 2-3 hours. FYI- according to TCM, eating animal protein is one of the best ways to restore one’s health and vitality
- Avoid packaged and processed foods and limit your sugar intake
- Take an omega 3 supplement daily (my favorite is Green Pasture’s Cod Liver Oil) to keep your hormone levels regulated
- Get a daily dose of vitamin D (from the sunlight is best)
- Exercise 3-5 days per week (even if it’s a long walk with your child/children)
- Track your ovulation to be sure you are ovulating each month
- And, as hard as it may be—find some time for YOU. Check in with yourself and be in tune with your mental and emotional health
I truly believe, when your body is ready you will know it. That just requires you to check in with your health and yourself and be sure you are treating your body good.
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