Here I am at 36 and ready to attempt conceiving our first child. I’ve been a little fearful about waiting for so long, but that’s the modern way for women: we want to have careers, explore life and grow into our fullest potential. We do pay a price for this, as seen in the rise of infertility in women over 35.
On my journey, I plan on getting pregnant naturally by boosting my body’s ability to conceive through proper diet and supplements. This is the first post I will start in this series where I share what I’m doing to try conceive. Hopefully this information helps somebody out there.
For now, I cannot say that I’m infertile. I have regular periods for the most part. We have been trying only for the past 2 months without success. I can definitely narrow down this lack of success to a few things:
- My period cycle varies from 28-35 days. From my own research, this is actually normally. Very few women have an exact 28 day cycle. This makes it hard for me to gauge when I ovulate.
- My husband went on 2 trips during this time and we most likely missed our window. That has more to do with reason 1, but no sperm=no babies.
- Stress. We are both overly dedicated to our respective jobs.
During the past couple weeks, I read a lot of articles from medical journals and blogs discussing natural ways to boost fertility just through diet and supplements.
Oddly enough, I never realized how much you need to do before trying to conceive that will help you successfully conceive. Pregnancy is a luxury for the body. Yes, it’s a necessity to keep humanity going, but in terms of the primal action, it’s a true luxury. Ask any hardcore female athlete if she is prone to missing periods or not getting them at all. There’s a good chance the answer is yes.
When you work out really hard, it is stressful on the body which in turns throws your hormones out of whack. Google it and you will see numerous results on this. I experienced this myself back in July when I started doing P90x videos. I was doing them every other day. That month, my period was 2 weeks late and I’m not usually that far off in my cycle. I started researching and discovered the reason for this: my body was stressed out. P90x is an awesome workout, don’t get me wrong. I think the problem was I pushed myself too hard. What I mean by that is, I would keep going even though I was out of breath and almost feeling nauseous. Ladies, I know we all want that awesome figure, but it’s not worth it if you are trying to conceive. I stopped the workouts and my period came a few days later.
During this time, I was also losing weight, as that was the goal. However, when you are trying to get pregnant, you should not be losing weight unless you are overweight. I’m defining overweight as your BMI (body mass index) ratio is over 24%, which is in the ideal maximum thresh hold for healthy weight.
When you start losing weight and not replacing the calories you burn off, the body starts to think you are experiencing a time of famine. I suspect the extra activity also tricks your body into thinking it’s “running for it’s life.” Think about it for a second, when in human history are people running and working out hard? When they fight for their lives in war or from predators. This is just my own personal theory. Therefore, one of the first things the body will shut down is the ability to create life, because it currently needs to preserve your own life. Think about how tired periods make us and, if you are like me, it seems like there is no end to my appetite until my period starts.
After encountering that experience, I started to read a little more about fertility diets and supplements. There’s a lot out there! This free e-book seems to be helpful and I started to incorporate some of the tips:
- Kefir made from whole milk & ice cream (yes, ice cream!) – organic whole milk is not as wholesome as we thought
- multi-vitamins supplements
I encourage you to read this free e-book if you are trying to conceive. It’s written by a doctor and it’s FREE. Frankly, with everything the medical world knows about pregnancy, this information should be free. I refuse to spend money on books that regurgitate information that is already out there.
I can honestly say, since doing just the two things above, I noticed a significant difference in my period this month:
- PMS was not as bad and lasted maybe 2 days, instead of a week
- Cramps were almost non-existent and no ibuprofen needed.
- Flow was not as heavy
- Period was shorter by 1 day
- I actually lost 1 pound, despite eating ice cream at night for 5 days in a row! (1/2 cup serving size each time)
I was completely shocked by the change in my period and how quickly this took effect. I generally eat balanced meals and eat more produce than meat. I did not consume milk or ice cream at all. I figured my diet should cover me in terms of nutrients. However, after starting the supplements, I noticed I had more energy and my head was more clear–I was indeed nutrient deficient.
Back to pregnancy being a luxury. When you start taking supplements and increasing your intake of healthy calories, your body thinks it’s in a period of prosperity: there’s a lot of nutrients available. That is when this excess of nutrients becomes a resource for creating life. Now your body thinks, “We can AFFORD the energy to make a baby.”
I’m currently at the stage in trying to conceive where at one week after my period, I’m tracking my ovulation using testing strips. I’ve done all the correct diet and minimal supplements, with positive results from using them. Now I wait to see if I will be able to properly time my ovulation and conceive this month.
Here’s a list of the supplements and whole milk dairy I’m consuming:
***Bryers Ice Cream – Hormone free, made using whole milk
Here’s the link to find your retailer: http://www.breyers.com/
I kept it simple to keep the calorie count in check and bought the classic vanilla, chocolate, strawberry mix. This ice cream is not loaded with corn syrup or excess sugar. It’s just pure and light textured ice cream.
***Kefir – full fat, whole milk, grass fed, pasture raised, contains probiotics naturally
I add 1/4 to 1/2 cup to my morning smoothies.
I use this brand: http://lifewaykefir.com/
***myKind Organic Multi-Vitamins – organic food sourced
This is the best vitamin I’ve tried in my life. My stomach does not hurt after taking them. I only take 1 a day, instead of the 2 doses. I figure, I’m supplementing my diet, so I do not need to reach 100% of everything. Plus, you’re body will get rid of the excess and that’s just peeing out money. These are not cheap vitamins.
You can buy it here for convenience:Garden of Life mykind Organics Women’s Multi, 120 Organic Tablet
I used these vitamins instead of prenatals because I am a small person at 4′ 10″ and eat healthy. The prenatal version of these vitamins is pretty potent and even more expensive. I did a side by side comparison and they are fairly close in what they offer. However, you need to take 3 of these vitamins to meet the daily recommendations. I’m budget conscious, so that was the deciding factor. If you don’t typically have a balanced diet, this might be better for you.
You can purchase the prenatal here: Garden of Life mykind Organics Prenatal Multi, 180 Organic Tablet.