I'm falling asleep at my desk! Don't have anyone scheduled this afternoon & the office is rather slow, too, so i'll probably go do other things soon.
Wannabe Mommy recently had a set back in their baby quest. I mentioned nutrition as a factor, tho hesitantly, as i didn't want to add to her distress. (Well-meaning suggestions when you are low can be difficult to handle.) But she asked in comments in my last page what we did to try to help our fertility along.
Truth is, i had a number of resources already mentioned here. But i'll try to go over some of the things we've done. Some of the things i did are already mentioned (listed in the side bar as "The Journey So Far") but in re-reading it i find that most of the things i speak of there are related to my attempt to be healthier.
When we began our baby quest i already had some chronic fatigue issues, but they were not too extreme. I was able to carry my table & supplies, i also was able to go biking & do some hiking or walking. And in general i was able to do house cleaning. I was a little limited but not as i am now. And having a baby didn't seem too unreasonable to us.
I began "health quest" in a number of different steps. I think i first began by reading Andrew Weil's website. I don't remember exactly where i went from there. I think it was about this time that i got pregnant with our one confirmed pregnancy - about 3 weeks after i began getting acupuncture. I was eating "healthy" by American Standards, but still had a way to go to realize what composes true healthy eating.
Someone gave me Kevin Trudeau's book Natural Cures "They" Don't Want You to Know About. This is a book i don't recommend to others. He has been charged in several different instances of fraud. His book is difficult to read. He has well written parts & in other parts he rants about the "persecution" he has received from various gov't authorities. I will say that many of his health recommendations are sound, but the rest of the book makes him sound crazy. I don't know if he is, but he certainly comes across that way. Also he wants a lot of $$$ to "join" his health information site.
From here i found Raymond Francis' book Never Be Sick Again. He also has a website Beyond Health. His recommendations are very similar to that of Kevin Trudeau, but without all the crazy conspiracy theory rants. Essentially, all of the things i do to try to be healthy are covered by this book by Francis. He basis all that he writes on his belief that there is only ONE disease - cell malfunction (although which cells malfunction determines the symptoms & diagnosis of many diseases) and TWO reasons cells malfunction - deficiency (lack of nutrients) & toxicity (poisoning from foods or environment). To address that he has six "pathways." But if you are interested by this, check out his website or books.
Then i also found a number of books & websites for "pregnant over 40" but frankly, much of the info was similar to that of Francis: reduce toxins, clean diet & be sure what you eat is full of natural nutrients. Pregnant over 40, Naturally was one of the books i purchased. (I know Wannabe Mommy is not over 40, but i think the info contained in this book is excellent for anyone trying to get pregnant. I believe that if many of the 20-something women who are considering IVF would follow this info they wouldn't need the IVF.)
I also bought an e-book at this website where the writer had her daughter at 40.
What it really comes down to is that we have so polluted our world & our bodies with fake foods "fortified" with fake nutrients most people in this Land of Plenty are malnourished & lack the ability to be healthy & bear healthy children. Now, i don't mean that as an indictment. I'm in the same boat. I struggle with the same things. But our science keeps looking for different ways of providing "answers" all the while ignoring symptoms (poor health, over weight, unable to conceive). If we address WHY the symptoms are occurring rather than try to make the symptoms disappear, some of these problems will resolve themselves. We haven't been given the info we need to address the issues behind the symptoms.
Not long after we moved to Big Bear i found the website of Dr. Mercola (this link is to one specifically on healthy pregnancy). He has a wealth of info. Although, recently with the H1N1 "panic" some of his posts also have to be read carefully. I was very impressed with all the info provided & also liked that i could "talk" to others who are like-minded in the comment forum.
However, i came down with a very serious cold that summer (2007) & although i really wanted to treat it naturally, i didn't have the knowledge to do so. I followed the recommendations of the website Doctor Yourself, but i kept getting worse. When i was coughing to the point of passing out, i gave in & went to ER. They gave me a respiratory treatment, an antibiotic for both the bronchitis & also a UTI. What i didn't realize was that the med given me (Cipro) is fluoride-based. I've had a history of problems with fluoride. The fact is that med sent me into a tail spin from which i've not yet recovered. I no longer am physically able to do the things i had been able to do previously. That med triggered a serious Chronic Fatigue episode that i still struggle with more than 2 years later.
This has put a hold on our baby hopes either thru having a child normally or adopting. My health is not such that my body would support a pregnancy (tho i have to admit i still hope) nor would i pass a physical with an adoption agency.
And, maybe, if i am able to regain my health we can revisit the idea of having a child. It doesn't look all that hopeful currently.
One of the best websites on health is the one i mentioned previously: Hawkes' Health. This is a wonderful forum where you can freely ask questions & post info on health-related subjects. (The section on pregnancy is a wealth of info.) One of the big problems i found with Mercola was that if you post "off topic" your post may be deleted or you can even be banned, depending on the moderator's mood. At HH, as long as you are respectful, you can post or ask questions whatever you need & also comment on other's posts to facilitate discussion.
There is another book i am reading with which i'm impressed. It is called UltraMetabolism by Dr. Mark Hyman. He talks about current "myths" that are making us fat. Such as, the idea that low-fat diets help folks lose weight. But the problem is that this doesn't work & we have more overweight & obese folks (& more heart disease) since this has been recommended.
I don't agree with everything that Hyman recommends. He believes dairy to be bad (i believe pasteurized dairy to be bad), & he doesn't seem to differentiate between natural saturated, healthy fats & transfats. Also, i was on his mailing list for a while & it irritated me a great deal as much of it was "buy my book, buy my book buy my book." Obviously i do purchase books if i feel there is some merit in the website/newsletter of the person i'm reading. But crass marketing bugs me.
But here is Hyman's website. And there is a great deal of really good info in the book.
There is one other book that i'm seriously considering. It is called Great Taste No Pain. Four of my aunties have been eating this way. The book (or website) focuses a lot on gastric issues. (I don't have these issues.) But a couple of my aunts do not have these issues either, but they are finding they have more energy & are losing weight following these recommendations. It is about food combining & how some foods work together well & other combinations cause problems.
There are about four things that i consider essential to healthy living these days.
One - cut processed food. As much as possible. Almost always if it has a "food label" with more than 4 ingredients, it will contain chemicals your body doesn't need.
Two - almost everyone needs more Vitamin D3. It is strongly suggested you get your levels tested (Dr. Mercola & others say that the test that needs to be done is - shoot, their website isn't loading, check out his website for the proper test to be run.) A fish oil supplement is also a good addition as well.
Three - eat more fat! The healthy kind. And that includes butter & coconut oil and olive oil & grape seed oil (as well as lard or tallow if you are not vegetarian). AVOID all forms of corn, canola, & other vegetable oils . I could go on about this for a long time. If you really want to check it out, see the movie Food, Inc. Much of what we have been taught is "healthy" has had the bias of politically-motivated "civil servants" to provide that "information" to us. And the results can be seen every day: We have out of control amounts of cancer, heart disease, obesity & all manner of ills related to these things. Our bodies need a certain amount of healthy fat. It helps digest food more slowly so that we don't get hungry as fast & utilize nutrients more efficiently. We need fat to help our skin & all the cells in our bodies to maintain their integrity. AND women who are pregnant need a good deal of healthy fats to provide for the growing baby.
Four - cut sugar. ALL of it if you can. But if you can't, limit sugar in general & try to only eat organic cane sugar, honey, real maple syrup, molasses, & develop a taste for stevia. Do your best to not eat anything with High Fructose Corn Syrup. And definitely avoid fake sweeteners such as Splenda, Nutrasweet (aspartame) or saccharin. These chemical sweeteners are frankly poison. Even the American Diabetes Association is no longer recommending them because of the problems associated with them. (Whoops - that is not correct. I had been told that it is so, but in looking on their website several times they say "the FDA states it is safe.") There is some recent evidence in studies that artificial sweeteners contribute to weight gain & insulin resistance.
Well, i've gone on & on. These issues are much more complicated than what i've even begun to address. Another important part of trying to get pregnant is cleaning our home environment of chemicals including the ones in cleaners, laundry detergent, shampoos, & the like. But Wannabe Mommy said she has already addressed these issues. She's probably also addressed what i'm covering, but it doesn't hurt to cover it i suppose.
Oh, a book i don't have but would very much like to acquire is Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
I'll finish with a couple - a few - blogs i follow which have info which i find invaluable. These blogs cover a number of things like which foods are the ones most important to eat organic (apples are at the top of the list) & lots of other suggestions. I follow others with good info as well, these are the ones off the top of my head.
The Heart Scan Blog This one isn't specifically about trying to get pregnant. However, i just recently found this blog & i'm very impressed with his common sense & the things he advocates especially the healthy fats & Vitamin D3. His concept of our relationship with doctors is very much like my own (that they should be occasionally used consultants, but that the person him/herself is responsible). And he points out very accurately that following the recommendations of doctors or nutritionists lead to disease.
Health Begins with Mom
Keeper of the Home
Naturally Knocked Up
It should go without saying, but in this current society i have to say that i am NOT a medical doctor. I have no license to prescribe, recommend, or suggest. What is written in this post is merely my opinion on these issues.
I found this list somewhere else:
These are the things i have done on the quest of better health & getting pregnant/carrying a pregnancy (& have tried to be environmentally sound in the process):
* candida cleanse
* gluten-free eating
* replaced all Teflon-coated cookware with corning ware
* gotten off all Rx meds
* quit all OTC meds as well
* taken a variety of supplements
* been careful about food choices trying to eliminate processed items
* stopped using deodorant/antiperspirant
* changed shampoos
* changed skin care/moisturizers
* changed hair color products
* stopped using commercial cleaners
* stopped using bleach
* changed to natural products for laundry
* changed to natural products for cleaning (vinegar, baking soda)
* don't wear jewelry
* seen a naturopath
* worked with a couple of acupuncture folks
* get regular chiropractic care
* get semi-regular cranio-sacral & PT care
* no amalgam dental fillings
* drink a lot of water
* carry glass water bottles rather than buying plastic
* eat mostly organic foods
* eat mostly vegetarian (not vegan)
* have LOTS of folks praying
That last is not least. I can't think of other things i've done, but i've done quite a lot.