Thursday, May 28, 2009

Tips for Starting a Fertility Diet

Most fertility diets are not easy. They require that you give up dairy, sugar, and even wheat. Of course caffeine and alcohol are out too. If you’re used to having that cup of Joe every morning (and even if you’re not), the change can be shocking. Here are a few tips for starting a fertility diet:
  • Don’t NOT see a fertility specialist. If you’ve been trying to conceive for a while without results, don’t skip this step. It’s great to start a fertility diet at anytime because it will get your body in the healthiest, best possible position to conceive. However, if you have blocked tubes or you’re not ovulating, for example, you may (or will) need medical help to take your body the rest of the way and get you pregnant.
  • When choosing what to keep and throw out on a fertility diet, I wholeheartedly believe in the advice of Julia Indichova, author of Inconceivable: follow your instinct and do what makes sense to you. Although there are many commonalities among diets (they all agree on no processed sugar, for example), there are also variations. You have to choose for yourself what makes sense to you, because everybody is different. For example, I researched a list of supplements (vitamins and minerals) that would aid fertility. Among them is zinc. Very important. But when I took it I would break out in mild hives and get really hyper/nervous. (It took me a few days to figure out it was the zinc.) So that came off the list for me. Which leads to the next tip…
  • Ease into the diet, eliminating one or two items at a time over the course of a few weeks. It can be daunting to go cold turkey. Plus, a lot of what we eat is habit: the coffee every morning, throwing cheese in the eggs… and habits need time to change. Eliminating a couple items at a time also gives you a chance to see how your body reacts to the change.
  • Plan ahead and have plenty of healthy snacks on hand. Where I used to chomp on crackers while I work, I would replace that with carrot and celery sticks. It may take a little while for your old cravings and habits to die down, but if you stick to it then your body will adjust to the new eating habits and you’ll start feeling great.
  • Do other natural healing regimens; diet doesn’t work alone. Meditation, visualizations, and yoga are all good. They have the aim of putting you in a relaxed state where you really need to be to aid fertility. A book I recommend to help with mind-body exercises to aid fertility is Alice Domar’s Conquering Infertility.
  • Think of the diet as a way to clean out your body and prepare for pregnancy, and not necessarily as a way to get pregnant. Why? First, because it’s always best to keep the pressure off (although I know this can be hard). Second, food is one tool, but it’s not the only tool.