Fertility blog

April 2012 Archives

According to U.S. News Health, one in seven American couples struggle with infertility, sometimes for reasons doctors cannot iagnose or explain. Many couples resort to medicines, taken orally or intravenously, to increase the woman's ovulation. Other couples may try Assistive Reproductive Technology (ART), a medical procedure that works by removing the eggs from a woman's body, mixing the eggs with the man's sperm, and placing the resulting embryo back into the woman's body. However, fertility medicines and invasive medical procedures can be very expensive. Before you worry yourself over these costs and complications, consider one low-cost home remedy: a change to your diet.

Harvard University's Nurses' Study reports that restricting the intake of some foods, such as trans fats (fried foods, snack foods, i.e. pizza, pastries, cookies, candies) can have a beneficial effect on promoting healthy ovulation. Women trying to increase fertility should try healthier alternatives such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Studies have also shown that eating small amounts of high-fat dairy products such as whole milk, ice-cream, and cheese also increase fertility. 

Today, more and more healthy pregnant women are opting for Cesarean delivery over natural births, and many of them are scheduling the all-important procedure to take place before their newborns have reached full-term.  Despite the widely held understanding that a healthy full term pregnancy should last about 40 weeks, recent studies have found that as many as 36 percent of elective C-sections now occur before 39 weeks. 

Research published by the New York Times in August 2011 revealed that this trend has led to an alarming increase in health complications for both mother and child in elective pre-term deliveries.   Complications may include respiratory distress, infection, and low blood sugar, among other things.  Such problems are likely caused by insufficient development of vital organs like the brain, lungs and liver that typically occurs in the 39th and 40th weeks of pregnancy. 

This research confirms what natural birthing experts have been saying all along: When possible, deliver naturally.  Your body is the best judge of when you're ready to give birth.  So listen to your body.  It will ensure the best for both you and your baby. 

Despite negative connotations, home births are making a dramatic comeback in the United States.  While it is still not necessarily popular to give birth at home, since 2004 % more American women are choosing to abandon traditional hospital births for the comfort of their own homes.

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There is not a clear reason for the increase, but some speculate that women are delivering at home in order to remove themselves from hospital procedures such as C-sections. Medical interventions have increased in hospital births the past several years, concerning some women and hospital-birth critics.

Those who birth from home begin planning for the big day well in advance. Finding a midwife or doctor who the mother feels comfortable with is the first step; it is also important to decide what spaces in the home would be most conducive to birthing needs.

Experts suggest that healthy low-risk pregnant women are the best candidates for delivering outside of the hospital.  Home birth may not be for those who are diabetic, have high blood pressure or have given premature birth in the past or are at risk of doing so now. Home births are most successful when the partner is in complete support of the birthing decision.

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Lisa Cartier

Lisa is a Birth and Natural Fertility Coach, Monitrice/Birth Doula and a Reiki Master. She helps women connect with their inner resources to discover their true beliefs about themselves, their relationships and their abilities to birth and parent their children. As a childbirth educator, certified lactation counselor and a certified doula, she believes the journey into motherhood is a rite of passage and life-changing. This passage should be honored and celebrated. Using many diverse complimentary therapies, her practice empowers wellness in mind, body and spirit.