Before TTC

pregnant, me pregnant, cassie huneke, ttc,

Me 7.5 months pregnant

I struggled with obesity for most of my life so when I told my OB I wanted to get pregnant, the first thing I heard was “lose weight.” My doctor didn’t conduct any hormonal testing to see if my weight would cause fertility issues and obviously did not go about the conversation in a positive, effective way. I know WAY too many women who have similar experiences. What I took from this interaction was not to go out and lose weight, but to work on my overall health before trying to conceive. I made lifestyle changes, learned more about my reproductive health, nourished my body with better quality foods, and got myself a personal trainer for 7 months to increase my physical strength. You want to know how much weight I lost? 2 pounds. My scale went from 208 to 206, but I FELT STRONGER, HAD MORE ENERGY, AND WAS MENTALLY & PHYSICALLY HEALTHIER.

It took us two months to get pregnant. I know so many are not as fortunate and work just as hard or harder to get pregnant. I really do believe optimizing my health before we tried to conceive made a huge difference in our fertility journey. It also helped my body and mind prepare for pregnancy, which honestly was not kind to me. Most importantly, it made me feel good.

So now I’m sharing the top 3 evidence-based things I think you need to know before you begin TTC that can make getting pregnant easier, faster, and improve your and your future baby’s health.


Know Your Menstrual Cycle


TTC is an opportunity to get to know your body better and connect with it in a new way. Tracking your menstrual cycle is the first step in achieving this.

Many period tracking apps will automatically mark your ovulation as occurring on day 14 of your cycle. This is based on a “typical” 28 day cycle. But many people have cycles between 24-35 days, which is also completely normal. However, this means that your tracking app and lots of other fertility sources out there are telling you that you are ovulating on day 14, when in fact, you may not be.

So, knowing the actual length of your cycle and when you’re ovulating is key. Track your menstrual cycle from the first day of your period to the first day of your next period. Use a basal body thermometer to take your temperature at-rest, and see when your temperature increases slightly (indicating ovulation). Pay attention to your cervical mucous. Clear, egg-white, stretchy mucous is the best sign of peak fertility and ovulation.

I also always tell my clients to note physical symptoms throughout their menstrual, follicular, ovulation and luteal phases. Certain symptoms can point to hormonal imbalances or other root causes that could cause issues getting pregnant. And it’s important to address those to avoid experiencing infertility.


Nourish Your Mind & Body For Healthy, Fertile Eggs


I’m not a fan of super restrictive diets. I believe this causes more stress, and that’s the last thing you need. But, what we put in our bodies fertility diet, fertility, infertility, salmon, healthy fats, omega-3s, ttcdoes matter and it’s important because…

  1. Eating crap will make you feel crappy. Eating good, quality foods will make you feel good!
  2. Giving your body the nutrients it needs will increase your reproductive health and therefore create better quality, fertile eggs for conception


Key nutrients like folate, zinc, selenium, healthy fats, and so much more help balance estrogen and progesterone for healthy egg production. Did you know it takes 3-4 months for an egg to mature? This means it can take as long to produce healthier eggs using nutrition and lifestyle changes. And also why I work with my clients to optimize fertility for 3 months before TTC.

Stress management is another layer of nourishing yourself. You are a whole person. Not just a physical one. Not just a mental and emotional one. Our minds and bodies are connected and should be treated as such. When we experience chronic stress (overwhelming stress over longer periods of time), our bodies produce more cortisol and adrenaline and prioritize hormones going to vital organs. This means our reproductive hormones take a back seat and ovulation can even stop. Mental well-being is imperative to your overall and fertility health.

My goal with clients is of course to help them get pregnant, but I also want them to feel good where they are in their journey now. Doesn’t that sound wonderful? Getting pregnant can be challenging, but so can being pregnant. Motherhood itself brings different challenges. Your wellness can’t wait. You can get the tools you need to manage stress, restore your body, and feel good right now.


Ditch Harmful Chemicals Hurting Your Fertility


Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) like phthalates, parabens, dyes, and more can build up in the bloodstream, throwing your reproductive hormones completely out of wack and hurting the health of your eggs. These chemicals are found in TONS of our every day products. I ditched all my beauty care and cleaning products that had fragrance in them (an ingredient where companies often like to hide these harmful chemicals). Instead, I opted for better quality products to improve my reproductive health. I like to use makeup and bath items from The Detox Market, but there are other places like Thrive Cosmetics, as well, who only sell clean, safe, products.

That low-tox living life is where it’s at for your fertility health! Learn more about chemicals impacting your fertility in my episode with Dr. Leah Gordon, naturopathic fertility doctor recently featured on HBO Max’s “Not So Pretty” series.