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Pregnant Athlete Series: Fertility

I am going to take the next 2 months to go over what I learned as a pregnant Athlete. This is near and dear to my heart because my baby boy Theo is turning 1 at the end of the year. I was pretty big last December and I am going to share my insights with everyone.

This series is going to go through the different stages of pregnancy and getting pregnant. I will go over what to look for, how to change your workout routine for each stage of pregnancy and some of the myths that surround pregnancy.

This week I am going to start with fertility in Female athletes. Fertility in female athletes can be a sensitive topic. Athletes are fit, we eat and exercise right. We are perfect speicimens….. Just not always for getting pregnant. Each athlete is different and will have different challenges in their health, I am going to address the main challenge that I see in female athletes who are trying to conceive.

BODY FAT PERCENTAGE!!!!!

Now depending on your body fat percentage you are going to find it easier than other athletes to conceive. The optimal body fat percentage for a woman is 22-25%[1]. Most athletes just shuttered there. The minimum body fat percentage that Toni Weschler, the author of Taking Charge of your Fertility, recommends is 18%1. Fat in the body helps to produce Estrogen. Women need the estrogen and progesterone in proper concentrations to maintain a pregnancy and even conceive.

If you are wondering if your body fat is too low go see your local Naturopath or Medical Doctor to find out. Generally if you are having regular periods you most likely don’t have to worry about your body fat percentage to conceive.

I need to address BMI and athletes.  BMI is not the same body fat percentage and BMI is not going to apply to athletes. They are going to tell you that you are obese with a BMI of around 30. If the doctor uses BMI they are going to try and get you to lose weight which is going to be counter intuitive to getting pregnant. BMI is also going to be important when your midwife or OBGYN try to tell you how much weight to gain. I will come back to this topic. You will not be following the BMI Standards of weight gain during pregnancy.

Supplementation:

In general take your pre-natal, fish oils, probiotics, eliminate alcohol and smoking any substances. If you are over 30 and have been trying to get pregnant for a year, get your medical doctor to give you a referral to a specialist. There is absolutely no harm in getting the specialized testing done to find out what is going on in your specific case. Once that is done try getting some acupuncture and focus on positives of life. Adding stress to this situation is not going to make a baby. It is just going to stress you out.

Next week I will be going through the first trimester for the Female athlete. Stay tuned.


[1] Body Fat Percentage. You need Body fat for conception. Fertility Authority. Retrieved Oct 9, 2019. Updated 2019. https://www.fertilityauthority.com/blogger/cindy-bailey/2010/12/21/you-need-body-fat-conception

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