There is so much advice written about managing certain aspects of our modern lives, from career growth to money management to finding the right partner. But as many women will attest, preparing for pregnancy is often where the advice tends to fall short. Many of us don't think about fertility before we start trying to get pregnant, and once we are trying, the tips we do get can be confusing or entirely technical. What missing is the recognition that preparing for pregnancy can be transformative—a time to expand your understanding of your health and approach to living on a more compassionate and joyful level.
Awareness comes in many forms and on many levels. As we grow into ourselves we develop awareness to who we are and how we want our lives to look. Last month, I wrote about how seeing your life as art is an important key to finding daily gratitude and value in your experience. Becoming aware and seeing your experience from a new perspective is something that is often developed through resilience and healing our painful experiences. This month, on the heels of Mother’s Day, if you are feeling any kind of struggle - whether with fertility, motherhood or relationships, I want you to know you’re on the right path, even if it doesn’t feel like it.
‘A work of art’ is a reference we often use for something traditionally creative. You might think of art as a painting or music or even a wonderful book you’ve always loved. But what if artistic virtue is more profound and personal? As someone who has spent my life creating not artwork, but a beautiful and meaningful life, I’ve been long devoted to the idea that creativity is actually much broader and deeper than something painted on a canvas.
By the time you are ready to have a child, or you're ready to think about having a child, you've probably become accustomed to certain routine choices and ways of living. When it comes to your fertility health, you also probably know the bigger factors to pay attention to, such as a healthy diet, reduced stress levels, and prenatal vitamins. Beyond the broader advice, however, there are also some surprising choices you might be making that can leave a real impact on your fertility.
Does it seem like everyone’s getting pregnant but you? Infertility, in and of itself, is one of the harder emotional and physical experiences a woman can face in life. It triggers a range of uncomfortable emotions, questions and new realities — and that’s especially true if you feel like you are the only one struggling to conceive. Indeed, being surrounded by friends with babies and bumps is a constant reminder that you are still not pregnant. But however tough your fertility journey may be, there are ways to cope. So don’t isolate yourself from all your expecting friends just yet.
As a fertility acupuncturist and founder of Fifth Avenue Fertility Wellness, my passion is to empower women on their reproductive journey. One of the first things I discuss with patients is how their diet plays a crucial role in enhancing their fertility and overall health.
When it comes to any lifestyle choice, I live according to what I recommend. Last year, when I was diagnosed with Lyme disease, I knew I needed to treat myself as I would my own patient. I started with my diet.
So much in our lives is defined by the idea of an end goal or reaching a specific destination. In the workplace, in our social lives, and even in our hobbies it can be easy to think of life in terms of success or failure. So it’s no surprise that many women approach fertility and motherhood the same way. Culturally we are encouraged to think only of specific outcomes and not to consider how we may learn, grow, and transform as we move toward our dreams. While there is likely significant personal and social pressure to focus on results to make us happy, thinking this way
March is a month when we pay special attention to women - from celebrations of Women’s History Month to events and demonstrations around the world on International Women’s Day. This month is also endometriosis awareness month, and that makes it good time to highlight this condition’s impact on women’s fertility and everyday lives. While many women have heard of endometriosis, there is still a lot of confusion around its symptoms and its most effective treatments, and even more so, whether there are any other ways women can help themselves to feel better by making empowered lifestyle decisions and embracing their health The short answer is yes, you can make choices that will help, and I’ve seen it make a lot of difference for my patients.
As a fertility acupuncturist, I can share a lot about how acupuncture works to support the IVF process, as well what lifestyle changes will help prepare you for fertility treatments. These are the kinds of conversations I have with patients and doctors as we work through the (sometimes very complicated) fertility journey.
Over the course of my career, I have supported thousands of women going through fertility treatments, such as the increasingly common procedure of freezing their eggs. This area of my practice has grown steadily as more successful women have sought out the freedom to determine their own biological age.
When I was seven years old my father told me that I could never really love anyone else until I truly loved myself. And since I was a very curious kid with a zest for insight I responded by asking him how could I do that. Teach me? It turns out, even though he knew the concept, he couldn’t explain how to get beyond the should part.
I think that’s also where the conversation around self-love starts and ends today for many of us as adults.
It is now a few weeks into January and I hope that you’re all honoring your intentions and resolutions for 2017 with a sense of empowerment and authenticity. I also hope for another important thing: you will feel strength in your full humanity this year. As you look at all the possibilities on the horizon, I invite you to also embrace the dark, the pain, both good and bad, that makes up your full emotional range as a balanced, healthy human being.
Chances are you've spent part of your December thinking about what you will be giving your family members and what you can do for your friends during the holidays. These acts of kindness are beautiful gestures of appreciation for the loved ones in our lives that make the season worth all of the additional effort. I can’t imagine not being able to generously give and show love during this time of year. There are also real benefits to this.
The reality that some women will conceive easily and some women will experience a much more difficult journey to do so can rob even the most grounded soul of her sanity. Sure, modern science is there to explain that fertility issues are common and surmountable. But this doesn’t always soothe a racing mind or ease anxiety
Nearly a year ago, I found myself sitting with a new patient, Jenny. Her reproductive endocrinologist had made a referral to our office for additional support while she was going through her egg freezing process.
Upon meeting Jenny you get the immediate impression that she has everything one could want and, more specifically, she has achieved these things on her own terms. Her decision concerning motherhood could easily be accepted as another self-directed aspect of the full, beautiful life she’d built for herself.
Behind the veneer of success, though, like many women that come to see me, Jenny was struggling.
There are many things that we as women spend a great deal of time readying ourselves for throughout our lives, whether it be college, grade school, a notable promotion, or even our wedding day. We understand that the preparation itself is valuable, that it will provide us with an edge and a better perspective as we step into a new phase of our lives.
Women today are shaping tomorrow’s future. Having manifested a greater equality than we’ve ever seen before, women have created very real change in our communities as our opportunities continue to increase. Most of us are able to attain higher education and impressive salaries. We have the freedom to be single, to travel, to do whatever we want and be whomever we want to be.
Anita’s story starts off as many do – she found love a little later in life, and she and her husband started trying to have a baby when she was 34. Anita had no problem conceiving, but had a difficult time maintaining a healthy pregnancy. She experienced several early miscarriages that left her physically and emotionally drained. Each required at least six months of recovery time before she could start trying to conceive again. In part because of her age, Anita was feeling both the deep sadness of the miscarriages and the pressure of needing to conceive quickly, even if her body hadn’t completely healed.
When Jocelyn first came to see me, she and her husband had been trying to conceive for over a year. She had been through four cycles of Clomid and three IUIs, none of which had resulted in a pregnancy. She had reached the point where her physician recommended she take a break from medical treatments due to the stress it was causing her. Jocelyn’s physician suggested she look into stress relief techniques such as acupuncture, which lead her to my practice.