The concept of Wellness is pervasive. We see it everywhere…books, magazines, television; choosing the right path can be overwhelming. Fortunately, when it comes to Wellness and Fertility, a simple approach is often the best. Abiding by several basic principles will improve your experience and may even enhance your outcome.
Optimizing Your Health
Lifestyle choices affect all areas of your life. Optimizing your health—by eating well, exercising and avoiding smoking and alcohol—can increase your chance of becoming pregnant, and of having an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery. SRM is proud to offer Food for Fertility, a group workshop focused on the needs of women struggling with infertility and excess body weight.
The first step, Food for Fertility is led by Judy Simon, MS, RD. An expert in reproductive nutrition, Judy is dedicated to providing the information and motivation you need to incorporate healthy habits into your life. Participants, with their partner if possible, first meet with Judy for a 60-minute virtual information gathering session; she will work one-on-one with you to develop a personalized nutrition and exercise program. The plan is based on your lifestyle, lab results, weight, and fertility goals.
The Food for Fertility program is comprised of six weekly 75-90 minute sessions. Each session is highly interactive and designed to provide you with lifestyle information and skill building to promote optimal nutrition, movement, stress reduction, and fertility. Sessions involves goal setting, cooking a “food of the week” at your home virtually side by side with Judy and Dr. Angela, and sharing your experiences with other participants. Many of our patients have found that the most valuable aspect of the class is the sense of support you get from your peers.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep restores both mind and body. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults sleep 7–9 hours each night (6 hours being the bare minimum). Watch for signs of chronic sleep deficiency such as daytime drowsiness and caffeine dependence. Practice good sleep hygiene and all aspects of Wellness will improve.
Make Exercise a Priority
The best exercise is what you enjoy doing. If it feels like work, you won’t stick with it. Don’t get bogged down searching for the right watch or the perfect shoes. Just start. By exercising consistently, you will find it easier to control your weight and build self-confidence.
Minimize Substance Abuse
There is broad agreement that illegal drugs and tobacco pose a major health risk and they should be eliminated. What about alcohol? Alcohol can disrupt a variety of Wellness goals, causing restless sleep, consumption of unnecessary calories, and escaping stress in an unhealthy way. Consider curtailing alcohol consumption by limiting it to smaller volumes on special occasions. Once you are pregnant, you should discontinue all substance use.
Struggling to conceive can damage even the strongest relationships. Open, honest, and frequent communication is key to preserving your mental health. Individuals taking the journey alone are particularly vulnerable. Don’t be afraid to seek support from friends, family, or a professional counselor. SRM has counseling services available for those in need of additional support. We are here to help…just ask.
Stress is inescapable. Pause and consider its effect on each principle of Wellness—rushed diet, restless sleep, no time for exercise, self-medication through consumption, strained communication. Throw in a few months of unsuccessful timed intercourse and relationships can unravel. Begin by taking an honest appraisal of where you stand. Next, find an outlet for stress tailored to improving your personal Wellness. Exercise, meditation, service to others, time management; experiment and find what works for you.
Several of our patients have worked acupuncture into their personalized treatment plan, and report that it helps ease the stress and anxiety that is common during treatment. We have two acupuncturists here at SRM. They are experts in their field and will be fully versed on your specific situation and course of care.
When facing hurdles such as fertility, reframe your mindset. Ask yourself, “How can I turn this life challenge into something positive?” View the fertility journey as an opportunity to make Wellness a priority. Know that with time, both your objectives and perspectives will change. Be consistent, set goals, and involve those who care for you. Most importantly, embrace Wellness as a lifestyle and celebrate the new you.