Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Fertility ... it's just the first step

Worthwhile fledgling initiative, courtesy of the Fertility Coalition, which includes Andrology Australia, Jean Hailes for Women’s Health and the Robinson Institute. Surprise, surprise, they’re promoting diet and lifestyle changes as a way of improving fertility. But why stop there? “Getting pregnant” is just the first tiny step in a long, rewarding, albeit sometimes challenging journey. Every stage of the journey can be improved if both partners are in great shape before they conceive, and if they’re aware of the best birthing, feeding and nurturing choices that build on that great foundation.

The Coalition contacted me, looking for case histories, I suggested my own story might be worth telling...

Thirty years ago, when I decided rather late in life that I would have a baby and that healthy preparation was the way to go, very few practitioners were familiar with the concept. So aware of Foresight UK’s work, in Sydney it was mostly a self-guided journey, which resulted in my becoming first time Mum at 38 (conceived in the first cycle of “trying”), 3 hour labour, long-term breastfeeding, but most important - exceptionally beautiful bright, happy healthy baby. Same story again when I was 42. My two sons are now young men (27 and 23), together they have seen a doctor only six times in their collective 50 years, which is to me the most important part of the preconception story. 

For over 30 years I’ve promoted the benefits of both partners cleaning up their diets and their lifestyles before conception. However I’m an educator, not in clinical practice and while tens of thousands of couples have read my books, my focus goes way beyond fertility. With good preconception healthcare for both partners the whole reproductive cycle unfolds to best advantage, which was how and why I was originally inspired. Prospective parents are certainly well served by recommendations to “clean up their preconception act” but also need to think about what lies beyond that positive pregnancy test.




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