Posts in Fertility
Overcoming My Fear of Infertility

I finally had to allow the question lurking in the corners of my heart, mind, and womb to surface. "What if I can't have children?"

I was approaching thirty. I had read the articles and the question, "When are you going to have children? You're not getting any younger," was something I had been hearing more often (seriously folks, just stop asking people that question. It's rude and frankly, nonya business.)

My chances of conceiving were declining according to everything I read. My family history sure as hell wasn't reassuring. Hysterectomies due to heavy, painful periods that resulted in anemia. Premature ovarian failure. Fibroids. Not exactly the picture of optimal fertility.

While I didn't have any definitive proof I would experience infertility, I didn't have a guarantee that I wouldn't, either. And it was that uncertainty that left me unsettled and fearful.

I like to know what's ahead. It gives me a (false) sense of control. And there's nothing I like more than to feel like I'm in control, completely in control of my life, my body, and most certainly my fertility.

I knew I had to do something to overcome my fear of infertility. So I faced it head on. Below are the three steps I took (and continue to take) to get back the peace and confidence I had lost.

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Pregnancy and Fertility Friendly DIY Fruit and Vegetable Wash

If you've read any pregnancy books or food safety articles online, you've probably been admonished to "thoroughly wash all produce" more times than you can count. That's because as healthful as fruit and veggies are, they can harbor not so healthful bacteria, viruses, and fungi. All of which could make you and your baby sick.

Fortunately, cleaning produce is not difficult to do at all. Honestly, a thorough rinsing with clean water, followed by drying with a paper towel is pretty darn effective for most produce. But there's something even more effective.

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Mediterranean Lifestyle Basics for Optimal Fertility

Next month is my second favorite month of the entire year (October for some inexplicable reason has always held the top spot in my heart.) I love May! For one, May is Mediterranean Diet Month. It’s also the month our attention turns to mothers and motherhood. And if you didn't know, I'm kinda obsessed with maternal health and women's health in general. Mother's Day serves as a reminder of the amazingly complex ways a mother’s body shaped her child before, during, and after her pregnancy.

At first glance, a connection between the Mediterranean lifestyle and maternal health isn’t readily apparent. But if we look at the research, we’ll find the former has the potential to positively affect the latter.

Before we dig into the impact the Mediterranean lifestyle has on fertility and maternal health, let’s define the Mediterranean lifestyle. 

What is the Mediterranean Lifestyle?

The Mediterranean lifestyle includes the delicious and healthy eating pattern, a focus on fun functional movement, and the social habits of the traditional Mediterranean way of life. There’s plenty of research which details health benefit after health benefit related to following the Mediterranean lifestyle.

The healthy eating pattern is all about eating:

  • plant based meals full of fruit, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, herbs, and spices.
  • ample amounts of healthy fats from olive oil, seafood, nuts, and seeds.
  • limiting red meat and refined sweets

The other equally important parts of the lifestyle include:

  • weaving enjoyable movement throughout our days
  • spending time with people we like and love
  • participating in activities that light us up

It’s pretty clear why the Mediterranean lifestyle is associated with improved health. And good health is one of the cornerstones of optimal fertility.

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What You Need to Know About Marijuana and Your Fertility

I've been putting off writing this post for awhile now.  

Mary Jane, weed, pot, Bobo bash, no matter what you call it, marijuana can be a very polarizing topic. And I tend to steer clear of controversy, at least in my online life. 

When you talk about cannabis, folks tend to assume you're a pothead. Add in my fro, fondness for boho fashion, and love of essential oils, and it's easy for people to assume I must be.

Truth be told, aside from the time in elementary school when my older friend (who had much older friends) rolled sugar, pepper, and dried grass from her backyard in a sheet of loose leaf paper and offered it to me as a makeshift dooby, I've never been offered a smoke of anything, nor have I ever smoked anything. But just because I choose not to, doesn't mean I'm completely against others choosing to.

There are medically legitimate reasons to take it. And it's the most used recreational drug in the US. Nearly half of the US population has tried it at least once. With more and more states decriminalizing its use, medical marijuana going mainstream (heck, even Whoopi Goldberg has medical cannabis line of products for menstrual issues), and Well + Good dubbing cannabis as one of THE wellness trends to watch in 2017, I'm sure its use is only going to continue increase.

Before we get started, remember I'm not here to pass a moral judgment, I just want to provide you with the info. That way you can make a decision that's right for you, your health, and your fertility.

That being said, I would be an awful healthcare practitioner if I didn't say, the American College of Gynecologists strongly encourages women to avoid taking or using marijuana in all it's forms while TTC, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

Alright, let's jump in and answer your questions about fertility and marijuana.

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How Stress Affects Your Fertility
"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. - Ovid

Last year really kicked my butt. The stress from all the changes, some good, many not so good, negatively affected my hormonal health. The wonky periods and acne I experienced over the summer proved that.

While I wasn't TTC, I'm still WTT, I'm fairly certain if I had tried, it wouldn't have gone as I would have hoped. Hormones and periods gone awry usually aren't a sign of optimal reproductive health. Quite the opposite. 

The connection between fertility and stress in all its forms, whether psychological or physical, is complicated. The, "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" question comes to mind. Which comes first? Does stress lead to difficulty conceiving or does difficulty conceiving lead to stress? 

I'm going to go with both.

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3 Holiday Mocktails for the Pregnant (or Trying to Conceive) Crowd

There are three things you're sure to find at just about every holiday celebration: food, booze, and ugly sweaters. Without fail. If you're pregnant, trying to conceive, or just don't drink, one of these three may leave you feeling a little left out. While you can certainly partake of the food and don an ugly sweater, many of the festive drinks are a no-go.

Sure, you can just have some water, juice, or soda. But maybe you want something more in line with the holiday spirit. Homemade eggnog is out if you're pregnant or icked out (like me) by the whole undercooked egg thing. And definitely no glög chugging for you.

Because I wholeheartedly believe everyone deserves to have a fancy glass in hand at parties, I've put together three simple recipes for folks forgoing alcohol this holiday season.

Whether you're a teetotaller, the designated driver, or have a bun in the over (or heating the oven up in preparation) I'm certain you'll enjoy the following virgin "cocktail" recipes. 

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