If you didn’t read September Baumgartner’s first two posts, read them here and here. She has some very intriguing thoughts that are helpful as you consider changing your lifestyle in order to enhance your fertility. Perhaps her experience and knowledge will be helpful to you…
Why am I not getting pregnant?
By September Baumgartner
In my previous two posts I discussed reducing/eliminating gluten and sugar in order to stop causing damage to the digestive tract and the body. I also suggested adding in a lot of leafy greens, omega-3 fatty acids, and bone broth to help heal the body and unlock the reproductive system.
In this final post I want to discuss reducing stress as well as ways to support good mood.
Why stress locks up fertility
We live in a society today that is go, go, go. We never seem to stop and smell the roses. We drink energy drinks and use other stimulants to keep us going when our bodies beg us to slow down. We have work deadlines to meet, school tests to study for, family demands, social demands, and church callings, it just never seems to end. And yet, making it all stop is absolutely critical to unlocking fertility.
The purpose of adrenaline is to get us out of life threatening situations. Adrenaline is only your friend when it’s a matter of life and death. If you’re not being chased through the woods by a bear, you do not want adrenaline being pumped through your system. Yet, most of us don’t seem to be able to turn it off. When you’re in a life threatening situation your body stops caring about its reproductive responsibilities. At that moment, it cares about getting you to safety. That’s it. If your body is convinced that life is an emergency it is going to take the resources that it should be sending to your reproductive organs and use those resources to simply keep you going from day to day.
Best relaxation exercises for fertility
In order to turn off the adrenaline and convince your body that everything is okay, that there’s no life and death emergency, there are relaxation exercises you should be doing every day.
The number one thing you can do is breathe! It sounds so simple but it’s essential. In your lungs, you have your upper lobes which contain stress receptors, and your lower lobes which contain relaxation receptors. Imagine this scenario: you’re in the woods foraging for berries (okay, silly I know, but stay with me) when all of a sudden you see a bear. He sees you, stands up on his hind legs, and opens that mouth as wide as he can, letting out a loud, ferocious roar. The second you see and hear it the adrenaline starts pumping. Now, imagine the quick sharp breath you would take. It would be so quick and shallow that the oxygen would only make it into the upper lobes of your lungs to signal the stress receptors. You do what you need to do to get away and make it to safety. Once you realize the bear is gone it’s time to tell your body everything is okay, the emergency is over. So, you sit down and you begin breathing very deeply. These deep breaths make it down to the bottom of your lungs signaling the relaxation receptors. After you breathe deeply for a while the adrenaline gets out of your system and your body is restored to normal. The problem for us is that we live our lives in a mild state of this stress response day in and day out.
Keeping in mind that oxygen that makes it to your lower lobes promotes relaxation, try this: anytime you feel stressed about anything, doesn’t matter what it is, just start breathing as deeply as you can. Also, take time out every day to consciously breathe this way, at least a couple of time throughout the day.
Another important thing to add in is relaxation exercise. Many people believe that we need to push our bodies to the limit during exercise, but consider the amount of stress that causes an already over stressed body. Instead, try things like yoga and tai chi. Things that require movement and promote relaxation. If you choose to do aerobic exercises breathe through your nose throughout your workout. Research has shown that nasal breathing during exercise puts the brain into a meditative state, rather than a stressed out, neurotic state. It’s difficult at first but it gets easier.
What nutrients support good mood
Most people don’t completely understand just how closely their mood is connected with what they’ve been eating. For women and couples who are struggling with infertility it is absolutely critical to eat food that will support healthy levels of serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine, all the things that make a person feel good about themselves, their lives, support lovey dovey feelings, and just feel more at peace with the world in general. Each of these has precursors which you have to consume so your body has the building blocks to keep them at optimum levels. Many of these precursors are found in lean, healthy sources of animal protein such as fish and bone broth. Other essential nutrients are folate, Vitamin C, all the B Vitamins (including B12 which many people, even meat eaters, are severely deficient in), selenium, and Vitamin D.
To support good mood and get you through this incredibly difficult time it is so important to keep your stress levels to a minimum as well as consume nutrient dense foods so your body can make all of its “feel good” substances.
I hope that these posts have given you some insight into just how important it is to eliminate damaging foods from your diet and to flood your system with nutrients so your body has the resources it needs to be able to create a new life. Not all women will be able to conceive without modern medical help even with these dietary changes. However, keep in mind that even if you are one of those women you will still benefit so much from making these changes. You will increase your chances of the medical help being successful, that your pregnancy will be significantly easier, and you will also greatly increase your chances of giving birth to a very healthy baby. I hope you have enjoyed these posts. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or if you are interested in receiving more personalized help.
To learn more about September Baumgartner, visit her website.