Big news: We are expecting our first baby in February!
When Colin and I first started talking about TTC, I got some serious PCOS anxiety. No matter how well-informed you are, the emotional reality of TTC with PCOS can be a bit heavy.
I wanted to stay positive and manage my stress so I took my own advice: started focusing on taking action.
You see, the best way to move out of the painful cycles of wondering and worrying is to start taking some simple actions. The five steps below helped me transform from a worried PCOS patient to an empowered mother-to-be.
My hope is that by sharing my experiences you will feel empowered create a preconception action plan of your own!
The first steps to take when TTC with PCOS
Step one: Refocus your fitness goals.
- It’s best to learn your way around the gym before you become pregnant. Consider starting a workout program. Women who are more fit have healthier babies and shorter labor (Shorter labor?! Yes, Please!!)
- Have you been pretty relaxed with your diet lately? Now is the time to fine tune your nutrition! As fertility specialist Dr. Marc Kalan told us, “maintaining a BMI below 30, ideally, a BMI of 25, will make becoming pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy much easier.”
Step Two: Track your cycles
- I used the fertility app Glow, to track my cycles and it was so easy!
- It’s helpful to have few months of your cycle tracked when you have your preconception appointment with a Gynecologist.
Step Three: Schedule a Preconception Check-up (for you & your partner)
- Even if you are just thinking about TTC, schedule a preconception check up with your health care provider now. When PCOS is part of the picture, it is best to be proactive about your fertility. One appointment with your physician could spare you months of TTC without success. Plus your physician can screen you for any additional complications.
- Be your own advocate, by reminding your physician that you have PCOS and are at risk for diabetes, cardiovascular and thyroid issues.
- A few blood test that you will want to inquire about are HgbA1c, Free Testosterone, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), ALT, C-reactive protein (CRP), full thyroid panel, B-12 and Vitamin D levels.
- Schedule a check-up for your partner too, healthy parents make healthy babies!
Step Four: Audit your supplements
- Switch to a prenatal vitamin.
- The March of Dimes recommends that expectant moms get 200 milligrams of DHA each day. DHA is an acid found in fish oil and other Omega-3 rich foods. If you decided to take fish oil select a small bottle of high-quality Fish oil that had been independently tested for quality.
- Do not buy more fish oil than what you can use in a month or two because fish oil can go bad. You can keep it in the fridge or freezer to extend freshness.
- Check to make sure that every supplement you’re taking is approved for use in pregnant women.
- Regardless of your family plans, I recommend only using supplements that have been in dependently tested for quality. Look for NSF or GMP seal on the bottle or check your products at ConsumerLab.com.
Step Five: Get support
- TTC, when you have PCOS, can feel pretty overwhelming. There is no reason you should go through this alone! Reach out to a friend you can relate to, or find a support group so that you have somewhere to share your concerns and feel heard.
- Go onlline to find support. The advocacey group PCOS Challenge hosts several fetility related forums.