Did you know it’s possible to have JUST as healthy (if not healthier) of a pregnancy in your 30s and 40s as it is in your 20s?
I’ve been knee-deep in this research for the past four years. Around that time is when women in their late 30s and early 40s started coming to me who were having major trouble conceiving. They weren’t having any success with expensive conventional western methods and came to me as a “last resort”.
Fertility was new to me, but I accepted the challenge and dove in. I realized the approach had to be quite different, but that the results could be amazing and life changing. After all, it was the difference between having a (healthy) child of your own, or not. I took this mission very seriously, wanting it just as bad for my clients as they wanted it for themselves.
We looked at deeper aspects of lab work to see what, if any, toxicity needed to be cleared, where genetics were at play, and what nutritional deficiencies needed to be filled in order to conceive naturally, have a healthy pregnancy and baby, and how to balance hormones quickly during post-partum so they could actually enjoy this magical time in their lives.
Before I knew it, these women were getting pregnant left and right. Keep in mind that these were women who had tried for 3-6 years to get pregnant, spent thousands of dollars doing so, not to mention the enormous emotional roller coaster it took both them and their partner on.
Enter my dear friend and gifted homeopath and labor doula, Willow Buckley.
At the same time my practice was taking on this fertile bent of its own, Willow, who was 30 at the time, decided she was ready to have kids. She came over one night and told me that she and her husband were starting their “preconception detox” because they wanted to conceive in three months time.
I told her about all of the amazing “against all odds” (according to the western docs) pregnancies that were taking place in my practice.
She asked me if there were any books out there that had all of this information from start to finish – meaning a preconception diet for both mom and dad, what to eat in each trimester of pregnancy (week-by-week) to ensure optimal health for both baby and mom, and how to rock post-partum so it’s the best experience of your life.
There wasn’t any such resource. So with a one giant spark of divine inspiration and excitement, we decided we would write this book together.
It is crucial to understand that the health of your child is determined before you even conceive. It is also crucial to understand and be empowered by the fact that it is absolutely possible to conceive just as healthfully as you would have in your 20s if you do a little clean up work and boost your health.
Now that we have our facts straight, let’s take the batteries out of that proverbial and ever-ticking “biological clock”, leave fear behind, and go about making babies when the time is right. 🙂
The most important aspect of this process is preconception, meaning what you and your partner do 3 months before you conceive.
The quality of the egg and the sperm begin 90 days before the conception, so your habits, lifestyle and current state of health are all very important things to consider.
To kick off this series, I want to tell you about 7 lab tests that will give you so much information you need to build a lifestyle that supports healthy conception, takes away a lot of guesswork and headaches, and makes both the parents and mom healthy.
1 – The MTHFR Genetic Mutation
What is that you ask??? The MTHFR mutation inhibits methylation – i.e., the body has trouble converting inactive forms of folate and B12 to the active forms, which can adversely affect neurological and cardiovascular systems as well as be responsible for (multiple) miscarriages (the babies neural tube cannot form). This can also result in high homocysteine (increased risk for heart disease), low glutathione (makes you more susceptible to stress and toxin buildup), low SAM-e (can increase depression), etc.
• Some potential symptoms for this mutation are mental dysfunction (anxiety, depression, irritability, mood swings), infertility/miscarriages, Down Syndrome, MS, Autism, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, family history of heart attack or stroke, and more.
Don’t guess at it; test it. Any doctor can run this lab. Spectracell and Quest Labs run this test – they screen for both types of the mutation.
The cool thing is if you find it, you can circumvent it and have a healthy pregnancy and live a much healthier, happier life yourself.
Here’s a blog I wrote a while back on methylation if you’d like to learn more.
2 – Thyroid Testing
Optimal thyroid function is necessary for good fertility because poor thyroid function prevents ovulation. If you are not ovulating, you cannot get pregnant. Most women with underactive thyroid suffer with symptoms and have no idea their thyroid isn’t functionally optimally.
I think this is absolutely a crucial gland to test annually for every single human over age 25, but it is a non-negotiable test if you have had a miscarriage, a family history of thyroid problems, irregular menstrual cycle, or have been unsuccessful getting pregnant for 6 months or more.
I wrote an in depth blog about thyroid testing called “The Thyroid Uncovered” if you are ready for more.
Or you can do an easy, free DIY test at home to start. Do a basal temperature test to check your thyroid. To do this, you put a thermometer under your arm upon waking and lie still for 10 minutes before checking it. If it is under 97.4 consistently, you will want to give your thyroid some support since it is the regulator of the body and a healthy thyroid allows for much quicker conception. I suggest checking your temperature like this five times a day: upon waking, 20 minutes after each meal, and again before bed and chart your results for six days in a row.
3 – Stress and Sex Hormones
These are important to test in order to figure out the best supplements to take and how to adjust your diet to use food as medicine for improved fertility. I always run these tests if someone comes to me with PCOS (polyscistic ovarian syndrome), endometriosis, fibroids, or chronic prolonged stress/adrenal fatigue.
4 – Pathogens
A pathogen in this case is something that doesn’t belong. It can be anything from heavy metals, viruses, or bad bugs. Pathogens are at the root cause of many fertility issues (and at the root of so many hormonal issues) because exceptional health and fertility begins in the digestive system. I show you which tests to run in the video above.
5 – Food Sensitivities and Nutritional Deficiencies
Find out which foods are your medicine and which foods are draining your health.
• IgG blood tests or IgA stool testing (Cyrex Labs or Biohealth Diagnostics)
• Lab companies: Cyrex, Genova, ImmunoLabs, Alcat, and potentially Direct Labs
Here are three helpful blogs on Food Sensitivities:
The Five Most Common Food Sensitivities
The Differences Between IgE and IgG testing (Allergies vs. Sensitivities)
The Trouble with Wheat and Pasteurized Dairy
6 – pH Testing
For improved blood and immune health, you’ll want to check and balance your pH. It is the single best way to improve whole body health because the body must be in a balanced state to create an optimal environment for conception.
Here are two helpful blogs on pH:
Why Everyone Should Know about Acid-Alkaline Balance
I realize this might be totally overwhelming at first, but as you settle in and begin to understand your body differently, it won’t be. There are two more TV segments coming in the next few weeks to break this down further and to guide you to greater understanding and empowerment.
My final message is one that goes way beyond hope. I have witnessed dozens of women who otherwise could not get pregnant, who now have healthy babies and thriving families. You can too.
Trust the process. Trust your body. Do the work to change and improve your life, and watch miracles happen.
Our book is out now! You can order it here.
More on what to eat and avoid in preconception and how to eat for each trimester next week!