If you’re trying to start a family, Doctor of Chinese Medicine who is well respected for her success working with male and female patients struggling with infertility and author of the ebook Holistic Fertility, Kim Gatenby shares how considering these 4 lifestyle changes can help improve fertility.
Now that you’ve got your supplements in order from the first article in this series, it’s time to dive into some lifestyle changes you may not have thought to incorporate on your journey to motherhood. Here are my top four lifestyle changes to make to improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy.
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1. Reduce Exposure to BPA
BPA (bisphenol A – a chemical found in plastics) may have appeared on your radar a few years ago when it was first brought into the spotlight as being harmful to our endocrine (hormone) systems. Obviously when trying to fall pregnant, we don’t want to be exposed to anything that might negatively disrupt the delicate balance of our hormonal system. To keep yourself safe from toxic BPA it’s best to reduce your exposure to items made from plastic. This includes things like Tupperware, shower curtains, and drink bottles. Healthier options would be a glass drink bottle, glass containers (plastic lids are fine), and opting for the most natural shower curtain you can find. I’m about to make one out of naturally antibacterial hemp (wish me luck!), but as long as you avoid the PVC ones, you’re doing well.
2. Switch to Organics.
If I’m telling you to watch out for chemicals in food containers, then you probably guessed I was going to bring up the chemicals on our food! Where possible, it’s always a better choice to opt for organic food that hasn’t been sprayed with pesticides. Studies have shown a link between pesticides and low sperm quality, so it wouldn’t hurt men to avoid pesticides as well. There are lots of organic delivery companies these days, and local markets that sell organic produce at cheaper rates, which make switching to organics easy.
3. Reduce Exposure to Phthalates and Parabens.
You might not be as familiar with phthalates and parabens. They’re chemicals that are often found in personal care products like shampoo, nail polish, and perfumes, and they’ve been linked to fertility problems. We’re pretty much surrounded by these chemicals and are using them on our bodies on a daily basis in multiple forms. This might seem a bit overwhelming to tackle, but it comes down to making some healthier choices over time. Swap your usual brands for more natural versions. They work just as well, and there are more options available than ever before. I promise I wouldn’t leave you walking around all smelly and unkempt! Try and choose nail polish that is labelled “8 free” so that it has 8 less of the main toxic ingredients, and switch to using essential oils as a body fragrance – there are some divine options out there, and I’ve even had male dates try on some of my spicier essential oil fragrances for themselves!
4. Swap Cleaning Products for Safe Versions.
Much like the chemicals we’ve covered already, the cleaning products in your home are an obvious source of chemicals that can impact delicate sperm and egg cells. Do you really need to bleach your white laundry items and bathroom? (If you said yes, that’s not the answer!). In my house I’ve switched to 100% natural cleaning products, and everything is still sparkly and clean. Less obvious changes I’ve made are natural laundry detergent, and natural dish washing liquid. Now when I wash dishes my nails don’t become brittle and I’m able to grow them longer than ever before.
I know it can initially seem a bit overwhelming to think about how many items in your home will need to be changed, but just make a list and have fun with the process of shopping for new, safer products. There are plenty of cost effective versions around, so being healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune. It’s all a worthwhile investment in your future baby’s health.
Best of luck with your fertility journey and keep an eye out for the third and final part of my fertility special here on Rescu about how acupuncture & Chinese herbs can help.
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