National Infertility Awareness Week Starts….NOW
Infertility Awareness has a special place in my heart. My two sweet little boys wouldn’t be here today without the help of science and I intend to fight for women’s reproductive rights until the day I die…for my kid’s sake. My husband and I are very lucky that we have 2 success stories but I know that a lot of people are out there fighting the same fight we have fought for so many years.
I’m not here to tell you that there are some foods that can magically get you pregnant – because trust me, I would have 15 babies by now if that was the case. There are some healthy changes you can make in your day-to-day life that can get your body ready to house a baby for 9 months and help increase conception success.
Body Weight (for BOTH partners!)
Hopefully, this does not come as a surprise for you…but it takes TWO people to make a baby. So it’s not just the woman’s health that needs to be optimal. Obesity alters hormones….hormones are needed to get pregnant. Make sense? If a woman is overweight, cycles can change and hormones can definitely disrupt the process. If a man is overweight, the same thing happens. Testosterone changes, mobility, and sperm health also decrease.
Did you know that even a 5% weight loss can help boost your fertility? If there was ever a reason to lose weight – this is it. The same goes for the other side of the weight spectrum too. Being underweight also disrupts the normal cycle of a woman and ovulation can actually stop. Don’t know where to start? Find out what your BMI is. (I know, I know, it’s not an ideal way to figure out weight status, but its a start! If you are in the overweight or obese range, its time to shape up for the kiddo’s sake!)
Are you really that shocked? You probably knew I was going to say something about vegetables, right? Boosting your body with needed vitamins, minerals as well as creating a strong immunity defense with antioxidants is a win-win. Try adding a vegetable to every meal and MIX it up! And remember, organic is the way to go. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Have a preparation question or just need some inspiration?? Email me!
It’s time to focus a little bit more on plant-based protein and a little less on animal proteins. Read the list below for some ideas:
- chia seeds – add them to smoothies, oatmeal and more
- lentils – add them to salads, rice, even spaghetti sauce
- quinoa – add it to your cereal, or use it in place of rice
- seeds – hemp, chia, flax, sunflower, pumpkin – the list goes on!
- Nuts – great in small portions for snacking
- Beans – soy, black or kidney – I think a taco night is in order
Check out Nutrition Stripped for a full list of plant-based proteins
No Trans Fats
Again, this is nothing new. Learning about the types of fat in your foods is powerful. Once you understand the difference, you can grocery shop like a pro. Check out this blog post for more information on fats.
Focusing on unsaturated fats can help improve infertility and helps keep that unwanted belly fat away. Having a healthy heart is definitely needed to carry a baby for 9 months so there is no time like the present to make some healthier choices. Unsaturated fats improve insulin sensitivity and inflammation which are essential to fertility health. Cooking with olive oils, checking for trans fats on food labels and steering clear of fried foods or fast foods is a great start to making a healthy change.
Avoiding carbs altogether is no bueno, especially when you are trying to get pregnant. Focusing on whole wheat products, which release slowly into the bloodstream, will not only increase your fiber consumption (cha-ching!) but also will help control blood sugars. Try switching the pasta you buy to a whole wheat or opt for whole grain cereals and bread.
More More More
- exercise 3-5 times a week
- take a multivitamin (prenatal for women, regular for men)
- try to decrease caffeine intakes to 200 mg/day of coffee or tea. Say bye bye to sodas
- SOMETHING FUN: ditch the skim milk! Whole milk has been shown to increase fertility! Skip the non-fat ice cream and go straight towards the full-fat kind. Just remember, moderation 🙂
Just keep in mind – this is a TEAM effort and both partners should be participating. Make sure to take time with your partner to connect and maybe not talk about trying to conceive all of the time (I know, it’s so hard). Emotional health is just as important and infertility can definitely mess with that. Try meditation, yoga or some other kind of relaxing activities. Running was huge for me – and is always a good stress reliever. I know it’s easier said than done, but try to relax. Get a weekly massage or mani/pedi. Go for long walks on the weekend or make a weekly lunch date with a friend.
I found it very freeing to be completely open with my fertility struggles. I wrote a blog about what I was going through and it felt so good. A lot of times infertility patients keep to themselves and it’s completely understandable. It’s a tough fight to fight. If you want to talk but don’t know where to start, please email me. I’m always here!
That’s what Infertility Awareness Week is all about!
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