Updated: Aug 27
For those undergoing fertility treatments during this time which has been put on hold, I am sorry.
I know it can be heartbreaking to feel you are so close to becoming pregnant and then something out of your control disrupts your plans.
The events surrounding us now are truly something we have no power over but there are elements you can influence which will support your fertility, egg health, and overall well-being, so regardless of external events you are still taking a positive step forward.
You are likely already adhering to a fertility diet and if not now is a great time to start. A fertility diet is not one where you have to spend lots of money on expensive ingredients or buy products whose name you can’t pronounce. It is a diet that focuses on micro and macro-nutrients which can be easily found in your kitchen and which research suggests makes an improvement to ovulation, conception, and the chances of a healthy baby. The key points of a fertility diet are an abundance of nutrients and it is devoid of anti-nutrients that can have a detrimental effect on fertility such as alcohol, caffeine, and trans-fatty foods.
Because nutrition is the foundation of cellular health, eating well increases the quality of your ovum and sperm.
Wholefoods: If your great grandparents ate it, it’s gonna be good for you. Wholefood means it comes straight from nature with little to no processing. Think of colourful vegetables, fruits, organic meats, and herbs and spices. If you have the time during this period try making some foods from scratch. A couple of my favourite recipes are this amazing bread form My New Roots and this simple gut-loving sauerkraut from Little Bird.
Vegetables: Yes they were mentioned above, but if you knew what kind of goodness was encapsulated in a broccoli sprout you would never go a day without them. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits means you are getting a ton of antioxidants which support sperm and egg health as well as fibre for blood sugar regulation and a number of other nutrients and minerals.
Good quality fats: Fats are used in the body for a whole host of biological functions. The fat you consume is the fat that is responsible for cell communication, hormone production, growth and reproduction, neural development, gene expression and babies brain development, to name just a few. When they say you are what you eat wouldn't you rather be made up of organic virgin cold-pressed olive oil as opposed to greasy takeaway fries made of rancid canola oil? Good quality oils can be found in fatty fish - mackerel, sardines, wild-caught salmon and plant sources are flax-seed, olive oil, hemp oil, and walnuts. Avoid eating fish high in methyl mercury during the conception window such as tuna and shark.
There is no better time than now to benefit from a mindfulness practice which has positive effects on psychological and physical health. Using an app for 5 - 15 minutes daily is wonderful for stress reduction and brings you an inner sense of calm.
Headspace: This app is perfect for beginner meditators and as it guides you through the basic principles of meditating.
Calm: Great for sleep and stress, calm has hundreds of different meditations.
Insight Timer: This is my personal favourite, a mixture of music, guided meditations, and discourses.
Specific for fertility
Circle&Bloom: Paid meditations for fertility, IVF, IUI, and miscarriage support.
Mindful IVF: This app will take you through your whole journey from regulation, stimulation, and transfer.
Insight Timer: Again this app has great programmes and meditation to guide you through all aspects of the fertility journey.
Moving your body and exercising makes you feel good, you've heard that great quote “No one ever regrets a workout”. That is because exercise releases feel-good hormones and neurotransmitters, it is a natural mood booster. Another benefit of movement is blood circulation, whether you are waiting for your IVF/IUI cycle or are TTC naturally your ovaries and uterus need a good supply of oxygenated blood which will carry with it the micro-nutrients needed for conception.