By: Bonnie Burgess
What is a fertility nutritionist?
If you have been trying to conceive for some time, or you just want to have the deck stacked in your favor, a fertility nutritionist is a valuable resource to know about.
Diet and lifestyle choices affect reproductive function, and a fertility nutritionist is an expert who uses the tools of nutrition to optimize your chances at getting pregnant and staying pregnant.
A fertility nutritionist using a holistic lens will review:
- what you eat
- how you eat and digest
- when you eat
- why you eat
- what supplements you take
- how you move your body, how you sleep, as well as
- how you manage your stress and environmental exposures
With this level of personalization, a fertility nutritionist can make recommendations targeted at root cause factors which affect your fertility.
What does working with a fertility nutritionist look like?
A fertility nutritionist typically begins with a thorough intake process in order to individually tailor recommendations. This might include keeping a food journal, sharing lab work and answering questions about your health history and current lifestyle.
From there, you’ll meet one-on-one to discuss recommendations that span diet, lifestyle and possibly supplementation in order to address modifiable risk factors for infertility as well as set you up for your optimal health.
A fertility nutritionist not only guides you in what to change, they’re also here to guide you in how to implement recommendations.
In a literal sense, this support may include:
- meal planning to reduce stress around cooking
- pragmatic tips for eating out
- how to simplify grocery shopping
- recipes that suit your (and your family’s) preferences and goals
Although fertility patients are a motivated bunch, changing the habits you’ve built over decades can take time to pivot sustainability. Some changes you make, such as modifications for blood sugar stability or good gut health, can make a quick impact. Other changes will take longer to have an effect.
For example, to impact egg quality expect 3-4 months. Good fertility nutritionists keep your fertility goals in balance with the realities of your life. For this reason, they may recommend a series of meetings, spaced out to support you in making sustainable change that works for you.
In addition to meeting with you, a fertility nutritionist will collaborate with key health practitioners at your consent. If you’re working with an acupuncturist, ob-gyn or reproductive endocrinologist, your fertility nutritionist will transparently share insights and recommendations so that you receive the most comprehensive care.
5 Benefits to working with a fertility nutritionist
1. Best possible outcome
There is significant evidence that diet and lifestyle factors impact fertility. Optimizing these with a fertility nutritionist sets you up for success and can help increase your fertility.
Outsource the information overload. There are so many small daily lifestyle choices that could impact fertility. A fertility nutritionist helps you sort out what matters from what doesn’t. From there, they can help prioritize what matters in a way that’s simple for you. What a relief!
Your fertility nutritionist is an expert resource, armed with knowledge of the research and the tools, who sits in your corner and takes the time to listen. The alchemy of the two creates a powerful ally.
A fertility diet sets the stage for both a prenatal diet that keeps you and your baby healthy and for a postpartum diet that aids your recovery to enter motherhood with vigor. Addressing your nutrition during preconception gives you a strong head start.
5. Lifelong Health
The principles you learn and implement are an investment in your long-term health. Many of the factors which affect fertility in the short-term are also key contributors for chronic disease that bubble to the surface later in life. Working on blood sugar stability and sources of inflammation, for example, pay dividends in years to come.
About Bonnie Burgess:
Bonnie is a holistic functional nutritionist who specializes in women’s health. She addresses the root cause of troubling symptoms through diet and lifestyle modifications. Her private clients and program participants describe finding new awareness and tools to optimally fuel full-body wellness. Bonnie lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she serves an international client base through a 100% virtual consultancy at Burgess Wellness.
About The Oldershaw Clinic:
We are an integrative health clinic specializing in fertility, pregnancy, and women’s health. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we would love to work with you. We can answer your questions and help you get scheduled for your first appointment.