For those women who struggle with infertility issues and still trying to conceive, we are often so conscientious about our diet, lifestyle, indeed every choice that we make, in our commitment and dedication to getting pregnant that it can feel confusing when seemingly good advice doesn’t match up and correlate.
There are 2 fundamental truths that I feel are entirely left out of the discussion, but which I know to be vital and important for pregnancy. When women come to Flo Living needing help with getting pregnant, staying pregnant, or maintaining a healthy pregnancy, this is what I always tell them from the start.
- You must invest 3 months to a year preparing your body for pregnancy with diet and lifestyle changes before you will begin trying in earnest by any means (be that naturally or via IVF). Time is your real ally. Waiting until you become pregnant before you change your diet and lifestyle is not giving you or your baby the optimal chance for vibrant health.
- Most reproductive endocrinologists are not looking at reproductive biology from a functional nutrition standpoint. When you will do anything and everything to get pregnant, it can be frustrating to know that you are likely not hearing the information that will actually help you to conceive.
Instead of trying to map out all the tips and lists and recommendations thrown your way, I find it’s much easier to focus on improving 4 areas of your health with simple proactive strategies. That way you know exactly why you are making a diet or lifestyle change or picking a particular path. You are in control. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, you get to feel empowered.
These are the 4 areas that need your focus:
1) Healing and supporting your microbiome.
Problem: There’s no quick fix when it comes to the microbiome. First up, you need to be avoiding antibiotics as much as possible. You also need to come off the Pill sooner rather than later. These two medications severely disrupt the microbiome. Your microbiome is a main player in regulating your hormones, especially your estrogen levels. Estrogen-dominance as a result of a poorly functioning microbiome leads to every hormonal imbalance symptom or sickness you can think of, including infertility. A poor internal ecosystem caused by bad diet, exposure to chemicals and stress, will suppress the good bacteria, promote the bad bacteria, and will lead to a toxic buildup of hormones as well as other signs of systemic inflammation. Here are my tips for making friends with your microbiome. Just taking probiotic tablets is not enough when you’re dealing with a hostile internal eco-system, it takes a little more engagement and effort, but you can do it!
Solution: Eat more jicama, radishes and artichokes which are full of good prebiotics. Jicama is the sweet root of the Mexican wild yam and a natural progesterone treatment. Radishes help with the processing of unhealthy fat and are rich in antioxidants. Artichokes are in fact powerful liver detoxifiers.
2) Preventing inflammation in your body.
Problem: When your microbiome is unhealthy, this triggers inflammation pathways in the adrenal axis, which is turn causes a body stress response, which then disrupts and prevents regular ovulation. When your body thinks it is physically under attack or subject to undue biological stress, it will decide this is not the right time for you to conceive and shutdown ovulation. It’s pretty smart like that. Your body wants to see you get pregnant when you have the best chance of maintaining a healthy pregnancy and having a healthy baby.
Solution: Add turmeric and apple cider vinegar to your daily diet. The curcumin in the spice turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory. In India it is called “the holy powder” because of its health supportive properties. And 1 to 2 tablespoons a day of apple cider vinegar can prevent inflammation of the intestines.
3) Managing micronutrient deficiencies.
Problem: If you’re not eating in a way that is hormonally-supportive then you may not be producing enough hormones to conceive and maintain a pregnancy. You need to be eating lots of good monounsaturated fats to be making hormones and then balancing out your levels with foods that allow you to experience the hormonal peak required for ovulation to occur in any one cycle. You also need to eat foods that will help you eliminate excess estrogen efficiently and prevent the kind of buildup that can confuse the brain-ovary conversation. A high quality diet will limit internal stress on important organs that need the time and space to concentrate on helping you conceive. Something as simple as an iron deficiency has linked to potential ADD problems and poor brain development in the developing baby. Here are some of my favorite fertility-boosting foods.
Solution: Eat for your FLO! The FLO protocol has you eating foods that boost all the essential hormone and fertility boosting micronutrients.
4) Balancing your estrogen and progesterone levels.
Problem: In order to stay pregnant once you conceive and avoid experiencing a miscarriage, you need good levels of progesterone. The first sign that you are suffering with worryingly low progesterone levels is bad PMS symptoms, but you’ll also see clues in irregular or heavy bleeding. You can get this hormone level tested by your doctor with a serum progesterone blood test one week before your period is due. If you have low progesterone levels, you might not be ovulating and need to focus on regaining your full fertility.
Solution: Eat more fermented cabbage to help your body metabolize estrogen. By supporting liver detoxification fermented cabbage speeds up the elimination of excess estrogen and prevents estrogen dominance or overload, which is a key cause of infertility. Eliminating excess estrogen will help to support and boost your progesterone supplies.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this – the science of your body is on your side!
to your FLO,
Good things come in threes:
I want to hear from you!
First, do you believe diet can improve your fertility?
Second, what do you think is your fertility weak spot from the list above?
Third: You know every one you know is hormonal – spread a little good ovary karma and share this article on social by clicking the buttons below
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Whether you are just starting to think about having a baby, or have already tried naturally or have been trying with IVF, our Fertile FLO Program will help improve your chances of conception.
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