Today we have a guest post from a Practitioner friend of mine, Liz Escoffery, FCP.
Another year has flown by, and we will welcome a new one in just a few short days. A study by the University of Scranton revealed that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s goals. I like to be optimistic and I think that you, dear reader, are one of those dedicated 8% who will achieve your New Year’s resolutions this year. The article points out that success is correlated with keeping the goals simple, tangible, obvious, and that believing you can achieve them is key.
Here are 5 resolutions related to your fertility and reproductive health (no matter what your state in life is) that I hope you will consider making a priority in the year to come:
1. Begin charting your fertility!
What are you waiting for? Now is the time to pick a natural method and learn how to track your fertility biomarkers and gain knowledge into your health and well-being. Wondering why your periods don’t come every month? Wanting to gain more insight into the cause of your PMS? Wanting to space a pregnancy following the birth of your little one? Wanting to become pregnant this year? Wanting to get off the Pill? Stop putting this on the back burner and get started with the help of a certified instructor.
2. Reevaluate your diet and lifestyle.
Do a pantry raid. Eliminate expired foods, foods you know aren’t good for you, and foods you never intend to eat. Do the same with your cleaning supplies and beauty/hygiene products. Replace what you discard with healthier, more sustainable foods and products. For ideas of what toxins are in our food, cleaning products, and beauty/hygiene products and which products rank better, visit the Environmental Working Group. If you need help purging, find a friend who is up to the task. Make small, practical changes whether it is one change per week or month. For example, this month I switched laundry detergents from Tide (and I was a Tide fanatic!) to one without toxins that gets everything just as clean made by Norwex. I feel good about doing laundry, knowing my family (and my unborn baby) are not being exposed to harmful toxins.
3. Find a doctor, nurse practitioner, or nurse midwife who truly cares for you.
Not all providers are created equal. Find a medical professional who listens to your fertility-related concerns and provides real solutions. Check out Natural Womanhood’s blog post with several websites and directories of those providers who support fertility awareness/Natural Family Planning (NFP). Ask like-minded friends in your area for their recommendations. Interview different providers with varying philosophies: MDs, DOs (Doctors of Osteopathy), doctors trained in functional medicine, etc. Remember that you don’t have to stick with the first one you find and trust your good judgment in selecting one (or more than one) to care for you and your health.
4. Eliminate stress in nourishing and life-giving ways.
Stress can wreck serious havoc on our minds and our bodies. Our fertility can be impacted by both chronic stress (continual) and acute stress (particular situations that are stressful). Give yourself permission to focus on things that fill you up for at least 30 minutes per day. Whether it’s reading a favorite book, soaking in a warm bath, taking a run, praying, writing a letter to a friend, or pursuing a hobby, schedule that time for yourself and make it a priority each day. You’re worth it and your friends/family/co-workers are counting on you to be your best self!
5. Foster healthy communication with your spouse about family planning and intimacy.
This can look different for each couple, but take time at least monthly if not more often to talk about your goals and hopes for the present and future of your relationship. Help each other to understand what is going on in your mind and talk about ways you have felt loved by your spouse. If you are struggling with infertility or a difficult time postponing pregnancy, be open and honest about your emotions and challenges throughout this season of life. If you’re single, spend time reflecting upon your personal fulfillment, the community around you, and nurture relationships which are important to you.
Have you decided to incorporate one or more of these resolutions into your life this year? Would love to have you comment below to share your thoughts on your goals and what’s working.
Liz Escoffery, FCP is a FertilityCare Practitioner. She has been working with women and couples wanting to learn the Creighton Model of FertilityCare locally and long-distance for the past 2 ½ years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of St. Thomas in 2011 and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Theology at St. Meinrad. She, her husband, and toddler son live in beautiful Indianapolis where she enjoys gourmet cooking and crafting in her free time.