Basal Body Temperature
Women want safe ways to investigate as to what is going on within their bodies throughout pregnancy. No matter how much you’ve educated yourself and no matter how many books you’ve read, doubt creeps in here and there. Our goal is to not let doubt run our thoughts, but to have a practice in place that empowers one's soul to address it while at the same time progressing forward.
One way we encourage women to investigate their bodies and their training throughout pregnancy is by getting a journal. In this particular journal, the mom-to-be will record her Basal Body Temperature, certain feelings and emotions, and baby’s movements for a particular time period after working out (we go over these three in our BIRTHFIT Basics Consultation). These three things give us a bit of insight as to what is going on within the woman’s body without having to perform an ultrasound or insert anything inside the mother.
BBT is your body’s temperature at rest, or before you have started your day, and after at least three hours of sleep. A lot of women will do this to get to know their cycle when they are trying to conceive. It is a simple, low cost, yet effective way to monitor when you are ovulating.
Some simple rules apply when recording your basal body temperature. Those include, taking your temperature first thing in the morning and using the same thermometer and body part. Consistency is key.
Getting to know one’s cycle through monitoring one’s temperature is pretty dang easy once you create the habit. So, we decided to keep it going throughout pregnancy as one way to offer insight into a woman’s body.
When a woman has been utilizing her journal daily by marking down her temperature, briefly describing her emotions, and, when the time is right, jotting down baby movements, she will have a foundation to go back to when her mind starts to play tricks on her. Many women have mentioned to me that it has been helpful, interesting, and reassuring to have this journal. For some, it has offered a whole new route of exploration. For others, and those that love numbers, this is a great way curb some of their Type A, super OCD habits.
When carried out correctly, BBT will rise to 97-99 degrees after ovulation and hangout a bit on the higher side (meaning half a degree or degree) for the remainder of your pregnancy. For most women it’s around 96-98 degrees before ovulation. Once conception happens, it is believed that the BBT increases due to huge fluctuation in hormones and possibly a change in metabolism.
By measuring your BBT you have insight into your immune system and overall health. You will notice that your temperature may increase with negative stressors, lack of sleep, general fatigue, certain foods or beverages, and when your body may be fighting an illness that you may not even be aware of yet.
When your temperature has increased and you have some crappy emotions to go along with it, then maybe today is not the day for CrossFit or a 15 mile run or surfing Teahupo’o. It would be a great day to nourish your body. By learning more about your body, you will be empowered to make decisions specific to your body and overall health.
Lindsey Mathews, DC