Trying to Conceive

I Want to Start Having Kids in 2-3 Years—Here’s What I’m Doing to Prepare Now


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Source: Elevae Visuals
Source: Elevae Visuals

I’ve never considered myself a take-charge kind of person. More often than not, I’m the laid-back “chill” one who’s more than happy to go with the flow. All of that changes, however, when I really set my mind to a particular goal. Suddenly, I start to plan to the nth degree, nearly micromanaging things until I achieve the outcome I’m seeking.

As I approach my 28th birthday, my goals are looking a lot different than they used to. I have some big life pillars beginning to align, like my career and relationship, and one goal that’s always been tucked in the back of my mind is starting to inch its way to the forefront: having kids. I’ve always wanted several kids, but the goal has always been a “someday” kind of notion. Lately, though, that “someday” is getting nearer. Knowing I’d like to try getting pregnant in two to three years, I’ve started making some lifestyle changes now in hopes of setting my future self up for success.

Like most things in life, I understand there are some factors that may be out of my control—especially when it comes to fertility and getting pregnant. But, instead of fixating on what potential worries might come my way in the future, I’m using this time to gather knowledge and make positive lifestyle changes. If you’re finding yourself in a similar situation and wondering how to prepare for pregnancy, maybe some of the practices I’ve started implementing can be beneficial for you as well. Read on for how I’m preparing for pregnancy to have kids in two to three years.

How I’m Preparing for Pregnancy Now

Stopping Hormonal Birth Control

Learning more about my menstrual cycle was one empowering reason to forgo the daily birth control pill I had been taking since I was 15. Like many young women, it seemed like I had no other option but to utilize common birth control methods to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. But I was naive about what was happening in my body while on the hormonal pills—like ceasing ovulation and having pseudo hormones inhibit my body’s natural hormones. This is not to say there isn’t a time and a place for hormonal birth control. I just knew that for me personally, it was time to tap into my natural cycle.

Learning About My Cycle

I don’t know about you, but the three-week Sex Ed course in middle school did very little for me. Instead of leaving with knowledge of the intricacies of the menstrual cycle and the process of conceiving a baby, I left worrying about unplanned pregnancies and STDs from an accidental arm brush in the hallway.

Now, I’ve taken it upon myself to get reacquainted with and track my menstrual cycle. So far, I’m using apps on my iPhone and ovulation test strips. I’ve personally been loving the Flo and MyFlo apps, as each has been great for logging symptoms, tracking the different phases of my cycle, and predicting major events in the upcoming cycle (such as ovulation date and period inception).


MyFlo, in particular, is great for another practice I’ve implemented: cycle syncing. This term, coined by Alisa Vitti, Holistic Health Coach and Founder and CEO of Flo Living, is the practice of altering diet, exercise, and lifestyle to support our bodies during each phase of our menstrual cycle (more to come on that). This app is great for suggesting ways to optimize each phase with foods and types of exercise. The premium version even includes recipes for each phase of the cycle and workout routines to implement.

I’ve been using the Flo app for several months now and have enjoyed how quickly it learned to predict my cycle. Each day, I can go in and log symptoms, and it will give me a “forecast” for what to expect in the day and week ahead. It also offers an interactive chat that has insight into all topics of reproductive health. There’s even an option to link your account to a partner so they always have access to insights into your cycle.

Using Ovulation Test Strips

Another great tool I’ve been using for cycle tracking is ovulation test strips. Similar to a pregnancy test, the strips say whether or not it’s likely that ovulation is occurring on any given day through the presence of a luteinizing hormone surge in the body. They’re simple to use, and the information is great to add to the apps for tracking.

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Altering My Diet and Exercise Routine

Cycle syncing also inspired me to revisit my diet and exercise routine. Many women find themselves having hormonal imbalances due to their lifestyle not being in sync with their infradian rhythm. I learned that in contrast to the circadian rhythm that humans have, those of us who menstruate also have a rhythm that lasts longer than one day: AKA, the approximate 28-day menstrual cycle.

When our diet, exercise, and lifestyle are out of sync with our infradian rhythm, hormonal imbalances can occur and lead to things like painful periods, hormonal acne, and even fertility issues. It became clear to me that part of my pre-conception planning needed to be balancing my hormones. Among resources, one source of information that was invaluable to me was The Everygirl Podcast’s episode with Alisa Vitti. In the episode, she talks about all things hormonal health and cycle syncing and gave me a great foundation of simple changes I can make in my day-to-day life:


When it came to altering my diet, the goal wasn’t to lose weight. Instead, I wanted to nourish my body with the nutrients it needed each and every day. Following the cycle-syncing method, I did some research on what types of food best support the female body during each phase of the menstrual cycle. All of this also includes a goal of balancing my hormones so they are at optimal levels each day.

According to FloLiving, these types of food support us during each phase of the menstrual cycle:

Menstrual/bleeding phase: Iron-rich foods, including seafood, green leafy vegetables, lean red meat, citrus fruits, berries, broccoli, blueberries, and flaxseeds. Plus, incorporating soups and stews that are easy to digest is great.

Follicular phase (just after period but before ovulation): Fresh, vibrant, and light foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, vegetables, lean proteins, beans and seeds, and energy-rich grains like quinoa and brown rice.

Ovulation: Suggested to fill up on vegetables and fruit and lighter grains like quinoa and corn.

Luteal phase (after ovulation but before bleeding): Food rich in vitamin B to curb sugar cravings, leafy greens, and roasted or baked vegetables.

Source: Brett Nicole Hayden


In addition to nutrition, the cycle syncing method helped me understand what types of workouts are best for each phase. The most surprising thing I learned is that during the menstrual phase, rest is more important than ever. And if we do the same workouts we did in a higher energy level phase like ovulation, we’ll actually be putting our bodies under unnecessary stress that can lead to inflammation.

Instead of doing the same workouts day after day throughout the month, I synced my exercise with my cycle, as suggested by FloLiving:

Menstrual/bleeding phase: Prioritize rest and light exercises such as walking, yin yoga, or light pilates.

Follicular phase: Dance, cardio, Zumba, HIIT workouts, and strength training.

Ovulation: High-impact workouts like intense yoga, HIIT, strength training, and CrossFit.

Luteal phase: Slow strength training or intense yoga. Lighter activities later on in the phase, like walking, pilates, and yin yoga.

Healing My Gut

In addition to cycle syncing, I started towards healing my gut. I learned that a healthy gut supports our immune system, heart, and brain health. As I researched, I was pleasantly surprised to find that just a few simple things can make a big impact on gut health, and started implementing them:

  • Starting each morning with warm lemon water and a quality probiotic
  • Eating primarily whole, organic foods to limit processed products
  • Highly limiting alcohol intake
  • Only drinking coffee after a meal, never on an empty stomach
  • Incorporating a greens powder for immune support and overall gut health

My Favorite Products for Gut Health

Daily Probiotic

I love this daily probiotic from Perelel because it was formulated by a team of OB-GYNs. It’s great for daily use, prenatal, and postnatal.

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Synbiotic Greens Powder

I recently started incorporating this greens powder into my daily routine to support gut, digestive, and immune health. The flavor is subtle enough to mix on its own with water or added into a smoothie.

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Growing Emotionally

Not only do I want to prepare my body to be able to conceive in a few years, but I also want my mind and mental health to be as ready as it can be to raise a child. For me, this has looked like journaling, reading self-improvement books, and learning to regulate my emotions.

Implementing a journaling practice over a year ago has been immensely helpful in processing daily stressors and even internal wounds from the past. It’s been a great means of self-reflection that’s allowed me to learn more about myself and why I do the things I do.

Part of growing emotionally also meant putting in work to heal emotional wounds. If there’s one thing I recommend for everyone, it’s picking up the book How to Do the Work by Dr. Nicole LePera. The Holistic Psychologist starts the book by explaining how we all have patterns that we learn in childhood that dictate our day-to-day actions. Many of these patterns aren’t beneficial and hinder us from leading the life we’d like and cause us to pass on generational trauma to our kids. Through step-by-step practices, her book has taught me how to recognize those patterns, break them, and cultivate a better future, as well as practice emotional regulation in any situation.

Dr. Nicole LePera
How to Do the Work

When you’re done, be sure to get your hands on Dr. LePera’s other books, How to Be the Love You Seek and How to Meet Yourself

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Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

Reading Wellness Books

I’ve been an avid reader for many years now. But in the last six months or so, the thriller novels that used to fill my shelves have been replaced with some incredibly informational reads on hormonal health, fertility, the menstrual cycle, and self-improvement. Here are the ones I’ve found the most value in and where I found the concepts for the lifestyle changes I’ve implemented. These touch on the same principles: holistic wellness, healing from food, hormone balancing, and increasing fertility naturally. I’ve loved being able to have several resources to look to, take what works for me, and implement the suggested practices into my daily life.

Alisa Vitti

With the power of food and clean products, Holistic Health Coach Alissa Vitti teaches how to embrace the menstrual cycle, amplify fertility, self-heal from a number of health problems, and more in this powerful guide.

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Alisa Vitti
In the FLO

For more information on cycle syncing, I figured I had to go straight to the source. In the FLO teaches a biohacking program for women to harness the power of each phase of their cycle through diet, exercise, work, and more.

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Aviva Romm M.D.
Hormone Intelligence

So many of us have experienced hormonal issues like painful periods, low sex drive, sleeping problems, and so much more. Dr. Aviva Romm saw these problems and knew there had to be a better way to manage and cure them than a metaphorical bandaid. In Hormone Intelligence, she shares the six-week program she developed for women to achieve lifelong hormonal and gynecologic health.

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Toni Weschler
Taking Charge of Your Fertility

With a Master of Public Health, author Toni Weschler created an attainable guide on natural means of birth control, overall reproductive health, and achieving pregnancy. I love that this book is incredibly thorough, taking an in-depth and scientific yet approachable look at fertility and reproductive wellness.

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Following Helpful Social Media Accounts

Even though I’ve been reading often, that doesn’t mean my scrolling has ceased. That’s why I’ve started following some social media accounts that I think will help me become more prepared to have kids in the future. Here are a few of my favorites:

For Wellness and Women’s Health Inspiration — Aurora from @rorayoga

Believe it or not, my introduction to cycle syncing was actually a happy accident. Scrolling TikTok one day, I was randomly fed a video of a woman discussing Finnish culture (which, by the way, launched me into a Finland obsession, but that’s for another time). The three-minute video led me to the page of a Finnish dietitian living in Los Angeles. I quickly realized I love her posts because they offer easy-to-understand (and attainable) information on women’s health. To say the least, following this account has been a great introduction to understanding nutrition, hormonal health, and holistic wellness practices.

For Birthing and Recovery Tips — Dr. Marcy Crouch from @thedowntheredoc

I didn’t want my knowledge to end at conception, so I looked for accounts that also can help me prepare for the process of giving birth. A Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist, Dr. Marcy Crouch, posts frequently about how moms can have the best birthing experience possible. Her expertise falls in reducing vaginal tearing, “push-prep,” faster recovery, and more.

For Motherhood Inspiration — Erin from @essentiallyerin

One of my favorite accounts in the “influencer” realm has quickly become @essentiallyerin. A wife, RN, and mother of six, she shares about the feminine intuition women have, especially as it pertains to labor and motherhood. She even shares powerful videos and insight on the topic of at-home birthing that has opened my eyes to options other than common birthing methods.

For Baby Feeding Prep — @solidstarts

All work is not complete once giving birth, and that’s why I wanted to follow accounts that will also help prepare me for having a baby when that time comes. Solid Starts has been a great resource for learning about feeding babies, especially when it comes to introducing real foods into their diet down the road.

For Baby Sleep Prep — Dr. Aubrie DeBear from @babysleepdr

Just like feeding a baby can be a learning process, so is understanding a little one’s sleep routine. Dr. Aubrie DeBear is a mom of three and Doctor of Psychology. Her posts are great for getting a peek into what’s to be expected when getting a baby or toddler into a sleep routine with plenty of helpful tips I plan to refer back to when the time of long nights comes.

For Mental and Emotional Wellness — Dr. Nicole LePera from @the.holistic.psychologist

The author of How to Do the Work, Dr. LePera, frequently shared insightful posts on her Instagram regarding topics she covers in her books. Her posts are thought-provoking and encourage followers to get real with themselves and do what it takes to heal from their past circumstances for a better future.

Finding a Doctor

I’m excited about the progress I’ve made so far in my preconception planning. And I look forward to the health benefits that come from the lifestyle changes I’ve made while planning for pregnancy. The work doesn’t end here, though. I know there’s more I can do to better prepare myself, especially as I get closer to trying to conceive.

What’s next on my list is finding an OB-GYN to consult with prior to trying to get pregnant. Even though I can keep trying my best to prepare my mind and body, there may be things I don’t know about that can affect conception. They’ll be able to run tests to uncover potential unknown challenges, and hopefully, I’ll have time to try to tackle anything that might stand in my way. It’s important to me that I find a doctor I feel comfortable with and confident in, so starting this search earlier than later seems like a win-win in my book.

Researching Birthing Options

On top of finding a trusted physician, I plan to do research on several birthing options available to me. At this point, it feels impossible to know what type of birth plan I’ll want to pursue. To prepare, research will include looking into different options like hospital versus at-home birth, epidural versus unmedicated, and the like. Of course, things won’t always go as planned, and I’ll have to remind myself probably more than once that I can’t control everything. But I know having some knowledge and research under my belt will put my micromanaging mind at ease.

preparing for pregnancy
Source: Brett Nicole Hayden

Learning from the Moms in My Life

There’s nothing quite like the knowledge we get from those closest to us. I’ve been fortunate enough in recent years to watch my sister and some of my closest friends welcome little ones of their own. Now more than ever, I’m prioritizing spending quality time with them and their kiddos, learning from them, and joining them in whatever ways I can to help take care of their babies. From these firsthand experiences, I hope to gain even an ounce of the knowledge that can’t be taught from an outside source.

Final Thoughts

While we can do everything right, exercise regularly, take the supplements, and have a mindset that’s ready for kids, sometimes there are factors outside of our control that can impact fertility. I’m not a doctor, nor do I have a crystal ball that’s shown me if I have a healthy lifestyle, I’ll be promised kids in the future. Instead, I’m simply choosing to learn from other women who have gone before me. Thanks to their work, I have the ability to gather as much knowledge as I can, piece together the practices that work best for me, and hopefully see hard work pay off down the road.

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