With bright green buds showing up on all the grey trees I’ve been thinking a lot about birth lately. As much as I love my cozy winters, there’s something comforting about a fresh start and a friendly reminder that new possibilities are just around the corner.
If you’re on the journey to starting a family, or growing yours and it hasn’t happened as fast as you were hoping, you may also be open to new possibilities this spring. If so you’ll definitely want to read on.
When you’re trying to conceive, the world of hormones and fertility can feel completely overwhelming. We hardly learn anything about our bodies while growing up, let alone our menstrual cycles, hormones and how fertility works. And, we don’t really talk about any of these personal topics over the dinner table. This is especially true for fertility issues, and it can leave you feeling completely isolated and alone.
Without anyone to talk to about your fertility issues, the next best place you often end up is the Internet. It’s an incredibly helpful place and amazing source of connection and support, but the internet can also lead to complete overload and a lot of anxiety.
That’s because there’s SO much information and ads selling the top “superfoods”, fertility foods, or THE vitamin you need to take to get pregnant. But, there’s just no way to filter it for YOUR body’s unique needs & situation.
This can make everything seem like the answer and there’s always another new food you HAVE to be eating. Trying to stay ahead of the curve can make you crazy!
The good news is it’s impossible for any one food or supplement to be the solution. I hope this gives you tons of relief.
Once you know WHY you’re having trouble getting pregnant, you have a filter to work with and can add in certain foods to support your body. This is an essential first step to simplifying the journey.
Instead of giving you a list of “fertility foods” that may or may not fit with your unique situation, I’d like to share the MOST important guiding principles to follow when it comes to getting your body ready for a healthy pregnancy.
Incorporating these 10 principles will not only help you get pregnant, but it will also reduce your risk of pregnancy complications, set you up for a smoother post-partum period AND set your baby up for healthy expression of his or her genes.
The best time to incorporate these principles is 3 or more months before you want to conceive or go in for IVF. That being said, if you bring some of them in today and get pregnant tomorrow, you’ve already made a huge impact on your and your baby’s health.
FERTILITY & FOOD: 10 PRINCIPLES TO FOLLOW:
1. Eat whole foods. You may have heard this word a million times, but what does it really mean? If you can name what you’re eating by it’s color, shape and/or natural taste it’s a whole food! In general, whole foods are unprocessed and unrefined and include fruits, veggies, whole grains and animal proteins.
2. Use olive oil, coconut oil & flax oil with your food. Coconut is great for baking and high temp cooking. Olive oil is best for salads, low/medium heat cooking and garnishing veggies. Flax oil is best for salads and should be never be heated.
3. Hold the tuna. Avoid fish that tend to accumulate high levels of mercury and other environmental toxins. Ahi tuna, big eye tuna, king mackerel, shark and swordfish are some fish with the highest mercury content that you’ll want to avoid altogether. Wild salmon, whitefish and sole are great low mercury options. Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch has an excellent guide. http://www.seafoodwatch.org/
4. Balance your blood sugars. If your blood sugar is on a roller coaster ride all day, so are the rest of your hormones! There are many many pieces to doing this, but the top two tips are to avoid sugar and add protein into every meal and snack.
5. Caffeine in moderation. I get asked this question a lot! You don’t need to quit caffeine cold turkey. 200mg of caffeine a day is fine for most, but if you’re sensitive to caffeine like I am (feel anxious, jittery or your sleep is affected by it), you might want to go with much less. Yo give you an idea of caffeine content, a Starbucks grande brewed coffee has 330mg of caffeine, and a grande Americano has about 225mg.
6. Eat organic meat & dairy. Both of these foods accumulate environmental toxins that wreak havoc on your hormones and fertility.
7. Cleanse? Not within 90 days of conception. Detox programs and cleanses can be a powerful element of pre-conception care, but the ideal time is well before you actually get pregnant. A natural part of the detoxification process includes dumping toxins from your tissue stores out into your bloodstream so that your body can get rid of them once and for all. You’ll want to avoid exposing your eggs to these toxins during their 90-day maturation phase leading up to ovulation.
8. Variety, variety, variety when it comes to veggies & fruit. The more variety you have in your diet, the more likely you’ll have all of your essential nutrients covered off. Challenge yourself with trying out new veggies each week, and eating as many colors in the rainbow as possible through your week.
9. Avoid combining plastic + hot food. This includes putting plastic containers in the microwave, using cling wrap over hot leftovers and adding hot foods to plastic containers. It leaches toxic estrogens into your food and too much estrogen is a major cause of infertility.
10. Moderation of moderation – loving your food and feeling great about what you eat is so important. Overly strict diets or expectations of yourself only add to the stress so be gentle with yourself (and your body) along the way.
As well as eating in a way that helps you get pregnant, it’s also incredibly helpful to uncover WHY you’re having trouble getting pregnant.
It pains me to see so many women told they have “bad eggs” or are “poor responders” to IVF when issues like immune imbalances, thyroid issues, inflammation or even the kind of lubrication or position for sex hasn’t been looked into. All of these can make a huge impact on fertility.
That’s why one of the first places I start with my fertility clients is doing an in-depth integrative fertility assessment. This helps us uncover specific root issues and from there we make a plan to address them.
Take the first step towards receiving insight on your issue. Contact me for a 45-minute complimentary Health Insight call. We’ll listen in to what’s going on for you, what you truly want for yourself and talk about potential first steps and strategies to get you there.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up your no expectations (and totally enlightening!) call today.