Thinking about an appointment at the fertility clinic? A holistic fertility plan can help you optimize your fertility, conceive naturally, and have a vibrant, healthy pregnancy.
An integrative approach to fertility evaluates every aspect of your life, and since your body systems are so interconnected, it's important to start viewing fertility as a whole-body event rather than something that happens just in the ovaries and fallopian tubes. Every couple is unique, but this simple blueprint will help you develop a holistic approach to pregnancy.
Nutrition for fertility
Without a doubt, nutrition is key to fertility, a happy pregnancy, and a healthy baby. Small changes in your daily nutritional intake can make a BIG difference.The optimum fertility diet supports your body in its reproductive efforts and includes foods that are bursting at the seams with the nutrients needed for egg and sperm health, hormone balance, and fetal development. So when you are trying for a baby, focus on these fertility-boosting food groups:
Forget low-fat diets; getting enough healthy fat in your diet is essential for nourishing your reproductive organs. Concentrate on eating plenty of nuts and seeds, fish, grass-fed butter, and coconut oil.
Protein is the building block for all the body's tissues and, therefore, is essential for your baby's growth. Eggs, lentils, beans, fish, and grass-fed meats are all great sources of protein.
Antioxidants will protect your eggs and sperm from DNA damage. Fruits and vegetables, especially dark green vegetables and berries, are bursting with antioxidants.
CoQ10 has been shown to increase sperm motility, and most men don't get enough. CoQ10 can be found in seafood and organ meats.
Stress and fertility
Many of the couples I work with are too exhausted to think sensibly about trying for a baby. Generally speaking, our lives have become far busier and more stressful than our parents' lives were, and we have had to become experts at juggling our work, social engagements, and home lives.
Many couples try to fit having a baby around getting married, renovating their homes, or going for a promotion at work. I always ask my clients to stop and consider what else is going on in their lives and whether or not it can wait. If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed at the thought of having a baby, there are lifestyle measures you can take to help restore your body's natural balance.
- Getting enough sleep allows your brain to recharge and your body to rest.
- Exercising regularly can bump up your production of endorphins, improve your mood, and reduce your stress levels.
- Stress reduction techniques such as mindfulness, acupuncture, and meditation can help relieve stress.
Relationships and your fertility
Trying for a baby can test even the strongest relationship. Most couples view getting pregnant as a challenge, but if you spend too much time focusing on the finish line, you might forget to enjoy the journey. Don't allow yourself to become completely consumed by the thought of fertility; it is still important to inject fun into your life and make time for your relationship. Don't put unnecessary pressure on yourselves; it usually takes between 8 and 12 months to conceive naturally, so it's important to manage your expectations and set realistic goals.
Sex and fertility
Are you having enough of it? Sex shouldn't be reserved for only the most fertile period of a woman's monthly cycle. Most women can't accurately predict when they ovulate, so couples should aim to have sex at least three times a week. It's very easy to allow sex to become mechanical when you are trying for a baby, but this approach simply isn't sustainable. You still need to enjoy your sex life if you want to maintain enough fresh sperm for fertilization. Perhaps an honest conversation is needed here; are you both doing enough to keep the flame alive in your sexual relationship?
I always encourage my clients to take stock of where they are, refocus on where they want to be, and then find the easiest and most enjoyable path to get there. If you are feeling overwhelmed on your path to parenthood, don't forget that miracles take time.