Preparing couples to conceive radiantly healthy babies by first focusing on strengthening their health in the time before conception.
"Everyone wants to promise pregnancy, but I believe that is the wrong approach."
We don't bring anything into practice that is not first in practice in our lives.
This is my (Dr. Josiah's) story, the journey that brought preconception work into our lives.
I was first introduced to the Schaefer Protocol in 2016, I was already pregnant with our first daughter, Zoe, and after the seminar didn't put much more thought into (what I saw at the time as) a fertility program.
I had a pretty uneventful, normal first pregnancy: nausea, fatigue, and thanks to great chiropractic care only one day of pelvic pain which happened because I was lazy and didn't use good ergonomics when moving a box.
I had a smooth, uncomplicated birth at home, and am truly happy with that incredible experience.
Then the postpartum period began...
We Didn't Prepare For This
Before pregnancy, there wasn't even any thought as to what we could do prior to conception to prepare ourselves physically and emotionally for growing our family. Once I was pregnant, as I see is the case for most families, all of the attention and focus was placed on the birth; postpartum is an afterthought, if that.
Our first daughter had a tongue tie and a lip tie, which made it exceedingly painful ever single time she latched to nurse, which was often because she wasn't transferring milk well.
My hormones were all over the place - I had never felt so unlike myself as in that time - and I was so ashamed I was struggling to feed my own baby; I didn't want a single soul to know.
Needless to say, postpartum was very challenging for Daniel, our baby, and myself. We did find support and came out of that time with better empathy and understanding for other families with similar circumstances. But after our experience, Zoe was almost our only child.
Different Choices, Different Outcomes
As time went on, the Schaefer Protocol kept coming back into my life. The more I learned, the more clarity I had that this protocol was not about getting pregnant. The Schaefer Protocol was about strengthening the health of the parents prior to pregnancy, which impacts the health of the baby, the pregnancy, and the entire postpartum experience.
I shared all I was learning with Daniel, and the hope that the next time could be different. I implemented the protocol into my life, and in 2018 I was pregnant with our second baby, Evie.
Despite chasing a toddler this time, I had good energy throughout the pregnancy, still had some nausea but not as bad as the first time, and once again had a smooth birth in our home.
Then the postpartum period began... and I was so relieved to know that it really could be such a delightful time! My mood and energy were much more balanced, I didn't experience any breastfeeding challenges; I was able to truly enjoy that time.
Preparing Together Made All The Difference
We had a baby in 2016 and 2018, so the next year in the pattern would have been 2020... But as that year started off, we took a look at our health and the stressors in our lives and decided to focus our efforts on strengthening our health rather than growing our family at that time.
Daniel and I both implemented the Schaefer Protocol this time - which made sense since 50% of the genes of our babies come from him, and it's his genes that build the placenta every pregnancy. That year he lost 60 pounds, gained energy, more restful sleep, and was able to show up better as a father and husband.
In 2021 I was pregnant for a third time, but with our third and fourth babies - identical twins!
The twin pregnancy was my best yet! I didn't experience any nausea, I had energy to keep up with my two girls and continue working in the clinic, I carried them 38 weeks and 4 days and gave birth to two more daughters, Hannah and Phoebe, (yes, all four of our children are girls!) in our living room surrounded by family and an exceptional birth team.
I'm not going to say I wasn't tired postpartum, because that's just silly, but I do believe the work that we did before conception built up my nutrient stores so that I wasn't incredibly depleted through pregnancy and into postpartum. We experienced healthier babies and pregnancy, and a postpartum that Daniel was better able to support us and take part in. I was able to exclusively breastfeed both babies well over a year, they didn't have any latch issues, and I felt like myself (just with a lot of children) through it all.
I didn't feel like it was my place to be in the fertility world, as we have never struggled with infertility personally, and this protocol has helped so many who fertility clinics were unable to.
But the more babies I see starting life with so much tension and stress, mothers having to recover not only physically, but mentally and emotionally from traumatic birth experiences, and fathers completely left out of the equation, I can't not share what I know.
It can be different, and the choices that make that difference happen before pregnancy even occurs.
preconception care is for you if
You are looking for a practitioner-led program that is customized for you and your lifestyle
You are ready to make changes to improve your health and chance of conception
You are at least 120 days away from when you would like to begin growing your family
Who can benefit from chiropractic care?Chiropractors are "back doctors," right? So why would you see one if you have something going on in your hip, or head... shoulders, knees, toes...? Or what's the point if you feel great and have no pain? Or if you are a baby who was just born?? We do focus on the back, but that's because that's where your spine is. Your spine is such a vital part of your health because it is the protection for your spinal cord, an extension of your brain. Nerves branch off the spinal cord and pass through the vertebra in the spine on their way to connect your brain with every single part of your body. When a joint isn't moving well, it causes stress in the nervous system. That stress can cause pain, but even more than that, it compromises function. We refer to this situation as a "subluxation." Chiropractors locate the joints or areas that are causing stress or irritation to the nerves (subluxations), make specific adjustments to restore normal motion, and alleviate the stress so the brain and body can communicate clearly. When your brain and body can communicate, not only do you often feel better, but your body is able to function at a higher level! You'll hear people report chiropractic care helping with a variety of issues, because at the core it's not treating a specific condition, it's supporting your body to be able to optimally function. And that's something that's good for every body!
How many adjustments do I need?Wouldn't it be great if ONE adjustment could resolve all the issues you came in for? Unfortunately, that's about as likely as one salad negating years of fast food, or one workout cancelling out years of a sedentary lifestyle - that's just not how things work. But just like with healthy food choices and movement, the more consistent you are as time passes, the better changes you will see. We go over your health history, current lifestyle, and what we find during our exam process to determine the best plan for you to reach your goals. After you receive our recommendation, then the choice is yours how you would like to proceed.
What is subluxation?The driving force behind the chiropractic care we provide in our office is not a quick fix or even pain relief, it's addressing subluxation. Subluxations are areas where there's stress or tension in a joint (where bones come together) that causes interference in the communication between the brain and the rest of the body. When proper motion is returned to the joint from a specific chiropractic adjustment, that stress is removed allowing the brain and body to talk clearly, and function is improved! Improved function means you're better able to adapt to and enjoy the world around you. The focus is not on what is wrong with you, but rather supporting what is right.