Candice’s Pregnancy Journey: Preconception
The aim of this series is to share my pregnancy journey with you. Having a healthy pregnancy is harder nowadays because we need to manage factors that our ancestors didn’t have to worry about – the biggest concern being toxins.
I spent around 6 months before my pregnancy detoxifying my body from heavy metals. Then when I started trying for a baby, I got pregnant the first time trying! While some of it is down to luck, I spent the time beforehand to prepare my body as best as I can for a healthy pregnancy. I know that optimizing my health will help support me during pregnancy, as well as ensuring the best environment for my baby to grow. Being the nutrition geek that I am, I started seeking out different diets and supplements that can best support every stage of my pregnancy and baby’s growth. As I’m writing this, I am now at week 29. I have only gained 10 pounds but my baby is a bit above average on his weight at 60% percentile.
I hope that this series will help you go through pregnancy with ease like I have!
Time: 3-6 months before trying to conceive
Theme: The focus on pre-conception care is detox
I spent around 6 months before my pregnancy detoxifying my body from heavy metals. Then when I started trying for a baby, I got pregnant the first time trying.
“What you eat now and what you do now will affect everything, even your grandchildren’s health”
Bear in mind preconception detox applies to both the male and female. Studies have shown that with better sperm and egg quality, you produce healthier offspring and even offspring of offspring.1-2 This is so important because nowadays with conventional diets and lifestyles, we are absorbing toxins every day from things we touch, breathe, eat, and drink. These toxins are causing a lot of reproductive health issues such as cysts, hormonal imbalances, poor egg quality etc.3-4 Also, a lot of children are suffering from issues like autism, allergies, and inflammation and these may very likely be due in part to the toxins they’re absorbing from their mother’s umbilical cord and breastmilk.5-10
In a USA Red Cross study of the umbilical cord blood of newborns found on average 287 toxins- all absorbed in the womb.10
So, what did I do to tackle these issues?
STEP 1: TESTING
I started with some baseline testing at LifeHub to get a better understanding of my health status.
a) Heavy Metal and Mineral Test– This allowed me to see what type of toxins I had in my body so I don’t pass them on to my baby; and also to evaluate my mineral status, which is crucial for understanding my calcium/magnesium stores for later in pregnancy. I have seen so many young clients myself that are suffering from eczema, ADD, autism and allergies, and I see a huge correlation with their heavy metal toxicity load.5-8,11 Through this test I found out I had high heavy metals, especially mercury and lead.
b) Food Intolerance Test– I did the food intolerance test to see what types of foods I need to stay away from during pregnancy so my baby is not growing under an inflamed environment. Inflammation doesn’t just impact my health during pregnancy, but it would also make her more susceptible to neurological issues and inflammations as well.12 I discovered my main intolerances were to gluten, dairy and eggs!
c) Micronutrients Test– I wanted to make sure my body has all the essential nutrients it needs when I’m growing my baby! I found out that my vitamin D and K levels were extremely low.
STEP 2: TREATMENTS & THERAPIES
a) To address my high heavy metal levels, I started going on an EDTA suppository protocol to push heavy metals out of my gut and liver. I also took key supplements to safely pull these toxins out of the body. I was inserting suppositories every other night for around 5-6 months to remove lead and mercury from my body.
b) I routinely get LifeHub’s nutrient IV Drips and during my preconception phase I would get the LifeDrip IV, which includes B complex and antioxidants to help me replenish any nutrients deficiencies I had. I would also get the NAD+ IV Drip so that I always felt my best mentally and physically. There are studies that show having enough NAD in the body helps you bounce back from pregnancy much faster; reduces the chance of postpartum depression; and positively impacts the development of the baby until adulthood.13
c) According to TCM theories, it’s very important to keep your body warm to ensure your circulation and hormones are optimized. So I used a hot foot bath 30-40 mins at night before I sleep – it’s such a relaxing down time. If I had time, I would book an infrared sauna at LifeHub to lower my stress hormones and help pull toxins from my body.
STEP 3: DIET & ORAL SUPPLEMENTATION
I was pretty laid back with my diet at this point. I was just making sure my body was warm all the time so I stayed away from raw foods like salad. Also, I eat my fruits and leafy greens before 4pm and try to implement protein in every meal, especially breakfast. I tried my best to stay away from foods that causes intolerance, which for me was gluten, dairy and eggs. Even though I could not cut them out completely from my diet, I tried to reduce them as much as possible or take digestive enzymes to help me process them. (Though, I had a lot of cheat meals.) Lastly, I included lots of high-quality animal fats, avocado, and vitamin-E rich foods to ensure my hormones are working optimally.
Meanwhile, I was taking some mineral supplements to re-balance my body’s minerals levels on the days which I was not using the suppositories. I also started taking Pure Encapsulation’s prenatal vitamins 3-4 months before trying, which eases my worry for not having enough folic acid in the body. On the topic of supplements, I only use pharmaceutical grade supplements, especially during pregnancy, because there is so much crap like fillers, toxins, and additives in many consumer supplements brands which I DO NOT wish to load my body with.
STEP 4: LIFESTYLE
In addition to the above points, I kept up my active lifestyle, tried to keep stress minimal, and also incorporated EMF detoxification. I bought a couple of devices to be put around my bed that block high-frequency and low-frequency EMF. This gave me much better sleep and allowed my body to regenerate while I slept.
Stay tuned for my next article, which will talk about health during my first trimester! Contact us here to learn more about optimizing your body before trying for a baby.
- Serpeloni F, Radtke K, de Assis SG, Henning F, Nätt D, Elbert T. Grandmaternal stress during pregnancy and DNA methylation of the third generation: an epigenome-wide association study. Transl Psychiatry. 2017;7(8):e1202. Published 2017 Aug 15. doi:10.1038/tp.2017.153
- Heard E, Martienssen RA. Transgenerational epigenetic inheritance: myths and mechanisms. Cell. 2014;157(1):95-109. doi:10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.045
- Gerhard I, Monga B, Waldbrenner A, Runnebaum B. Heavy metals and fertility [published correction appears in J Toxicol Environ Health 1999 Mar 12;56(5):371]. J Toxicol Environ Health A. 1998;54(8):593-611. doi:10.1080/009841098158638
- Iavicoli I, Fontana L, Bergamaschi A. The effects of metals as endocrine disruptors. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev. 2009;12(3):206-223. doi:10.1080/10937400902902062
- Adams J, Howsmon DP, Kruger U, et al. Significant Association of Urinary Toxic Metals and Autism-Related Symptoms-A Nonlinear Statistical Analysis with Cross Validation. PLoS One. 2017;12(1):e0169526. Published 2017 Jan 9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0169526
- Arora, M., Reichenberg, A., Willfors, C. et al.Fetal and postnatal metal dysregulation in autism. Nat Commun 8, 15493 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms15493
- European Lung Foundation. (2020, September 2). Exposure to cadmium in the womb linked to childhood asthma and allergies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 12, 2021 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200902182433.htm
- Nguyen TT, Higashi T, Kambayashi Y, et al. A Longitudinal Study of Association between Heavy Metals and Itchy Eyes, Coughing in Chronic Cough Patients: Related with Non-Immunoglobulin E Mediated Mechanism. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016;13(1):110. Published 2016 Jan 7. doi:10.3390/ijerph13010110
- Mead MN. Contaminants in human milk: weighing the risks against the benefits of breastfeeding. Environ Health Perspect. 2008;116(10):A427-A434.
- Koh, H. Y., Kim, T. H., Sheen, Y. H., Lee, S. W., An, J., Kim, M. A., Han, M. Y., & Yon, D. K. (2019). Serum heavy metal levels are associated with asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, allergic multimorbidity, and airflow obstruction. The journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice, 7(8), 2912–2915.e2. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2019.05.015
Candice Chan, CEO of LifeHub
Candice Chan is a Canadian-certified Doctor of Natural Medicine and nutritionist who co-founded LifeHealth Group, a private healthcare group based in Hong Kong which owns and operates both clinics and consumer health care spaces devoted to creating a new way of health care; and previously founded Younibody, a chain of 7 functional medicine based wellness centers in Hong Kong. Candice holds a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from the University of California at Davis and an International Certificate for Doctor of Natural Medicine, from the Canadian Board of Healthcare Practitioners and International Naturopathic College, and is also a certified reiki practitioner, bioresonance therapist and yoga teacher.