The two-week wait
The two-week wait (the time between ovulation and the time a pregnancy test can be taken) can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Many women ask me what they should or should not eat/do during this window of time. The general recommendation is to “eat as if you are already pregnant”. A quick internet search will suggest much more: pineapple cores, pomegranate juice, the list goes on and on. Here is my list of suggestions for what to do during the two-week wait, based on my own research and thought process. This is not an all-inclusive list and does not apply to every women ttc. These are my general recommendations based on my nutrition and reproductive knowledge:
1. Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) like Advil. Since taking this type of medication has been linked to increased risk of miscarriage, it makes sense to avoid taking these at this time. Acetaminophen medication like Tylenol should be taken instead if you must take something.
2. Pick your teas wisely. Steer clear of teas and herbs that may induce uterine contraction or are stimulating like red raspberry leaf, peppermint, chamomile, licorice root, black cohosh, and stinging nettle leaf. Sticking with teas like spearmint, rooibos, lemon balm, or teas made from fruit are a safer choice to prevent the risk of this round not being successful.
3. Excessive caffeine intake has been linked to increased risk of miscarriage in some women. Coffee, certain teas, matchas, and other sources of caffeine should be limited at this time to help increase your chances of success.
4. Restorative yoga is a great practice during this time. Focus on poses that encourage blood flow to the uterus like child’s pose and cat/cow are great choices. Added bonus? Practicing yoga may help calm your nerves during this stressful time.
5. Eat as if you are already pregnant. Make sure you are taking appropriate prenatal vitamins with adequate folate, choline, Vitamin B12, and DHA (all nutrients that are key in early pregnancy). Avoid foods like raw oysters, rare hamburger meat, and unpasteurized cheeses. It is also a good idea to cut back on alcohol intake at this time too.
6. Not many people are fans of black licorice (present company included). If you happen to be a fan, a little bit of this treat is likely ok. However, eating black licorice in large quantities is not recommended, as it can alter hormone levels in a non-ideal way. Red licorice? A-OK!
7. Ripe papaya is a great choice when ttc and pregnant. You need to be cautious when eating unripe papaya or green papaya (often served in Asian restaurants). The green/unripe papaya can stimulate uterine contraction. Stick with the orange/red papaya or other ripe melons instead (and make sure the rind is washed before you eat it!)
8. Make sure you get the green-light from your doctor for any herbs or supplements you have been taking when ttc to make sure they are still safe at this time. Even though many herbs and supplements are “natural”, it does not mean that they will support your pregnancy. Just double-check with your doc…better safe than sorry!
I am sure you noticed that pomegranate juice and pineapple core were not included on this list. Although it is a popular choice (and likely harmless), there is not enough evidence for me to recommend it to my clients. If you enjoy the pom juice and pineapple core, do you have to quit it? No way! But I don’t recommend going out of your way making sure you are getting them in. Use common sense, take care of yourself, and think positive thoughts. Fingers crossed in two weeks you will see those sweet two pink lines and you will be on your way to becoming a mama! Baby dust to you ~xo!