Fertility.  Infertility.  Either way you put it, it seems to be a big deal these days.  Pretty much everyone I know knows or has heard of someone dealing with conception difficulties and opting for help in one way or another.  Why?  What is going on?

This blog comes after  interviewing the very wise, and very unapologetic Susun Weed.  Let me tell you, she put me in my place a few times today!  And just when I thought I knew everything…

Though Susun stated in our interview that fertility is not on the decline, I didn’t have a chance to ask her whether the elevated birthrate she mentioned is partially a result of couples going through some kind of treatment, whether it be via conventional or more natural practices.  How many women have struggled for years before they could conceive?  How many men needed help in order for conception to take place?  Yes, women are still having babies, but it seems to me that they are having a harder time of it.  Now, I didn’t do the research on this, and Susun seems to disagree, so I don’t know the reality of all the numbers, yet it seems to me that infertility is a major concern for a lot of people.

Susun shared with me a lot of fascinating information.  You can always count on her to go against what so many others are saying, and having no problem doing so whatsoever.  Something I love about her.  Bar none, her favourite fertility herb is red clover.  Here is a video about exactly how you can make a red clover infusion, and some of its many benefits.

For fertility, Susun recommends drinking a minimum of 3 quarts (roughly 3L) per week, and to do so for at least 6 weeks before seeking further help.  Additionally, I would recommend consuming plenty of marine-sourced omega 3 oils and other good quality fats such as coconut oil, butter and lard (yes, lard).  I strongly suggest that you choose organic sources, and choose organic foods in general…the pesticides on foods contain xenoestrogens that can be messing with your fertility. (For more information on xenoestrogens, please watch the excellent documentary The Disappearing Male.) Pregnancy – before, during and after –  is a time for deeply nourishing foods.  It is not a time for low fat (never is that a good time, actually) or for convenience foods.  You only have one chance to build that human, so use the best starting materials that you can!

In preparation for pregnancy, a major area of focus should be on improving gut health and ensuring that the colon is populated with plenty of good bacteria.  This can be done by getting high quality probiotics from the health food store; however, this isn’t my preference and nor may it be enough.  The most effective method for achieving a healthy gut, both in terms of cost and results, is to eat plenty of fermented foods and beverages daily.  Some of my favourites include water kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut.  I make these all at home and always have a good supply of each on hand (in fact, I have some chopped up cabbage waiting for my massaging hands as I write this).  It may sound like a lot of work, but I assure you that it is not. ( Stay tuned for future blog posts where  I will show how to make each of these.)  The gut of your baby will populate with the bacteria that is in your birth canal and breast milk, so if your gut flora is is largely pathogenic, that will leave baby open for lowered immunity, asthma, allergies, learning difficulties and even potentially autism.

If  you’re having difficulty conceiving, take it as an opportunity to take a step back and ask why is this most basic of functions not working.  Don’t go rushing to your doctor for fertility treatments, as this may not be the answer.  Take it as an opportunity for growth and to get to know yourself a little better.  This may not be easy, but it could be exactly what you need.  Take some time to embrace your feminine creative role and invite that new life to come through.  If you are a woman busy performing in a man’s world,  you may want to take a timeout from that world to love and cultivate your feminine…spend more time in nature, make your surroundings beautiful, take a pole dancing class… 😀

And in the end, if you still need it, the fertility treatments will be there, and you will be healthier and better connected with yourself, which is not a bad place to be before getting pregnant.

If you’re in Calgary and would like a deeper understanding of how you can eat for fertility and create a healthier environment around you, then please join me at Lasya Healing Centre on April 17th and 24th for a two-part workshop:  Take Back Your Fertility:  7 Essential Environmental and Nutritional Keys to Unlocking Your Fertile Self.

How was conception for you?  Did you need to seek help before you were able to get pregnant?  I’d love to hear your comments!