Coaching support during the preconception phase can help you make beneficial lifestyle changes and deal with the emotional turmoil that may accompany your fertility journey. A health and fertility coach is an invaluable asset and a member of your care team.
During this personal time, you don’t want just any fertility coach. You want one who is going to be the right fit for you and your family. A fertility coach who also happens to be a certified Holistic Health Coach may be what you’re looking for.
In this article, you’ll learn about the perks of having a health and fertility coach all-in-one and much more!
- Benefits of a Fertility Coach
- Why a Health AND Fertility Coach?
- Dietary and Lifestyle Factors That Affect Fertility
- Choosing a Fertility Coach
- Are Fertility Coaches Worth It?
Let’s get started!
Benefits of a Fertility Coach
Fertility coaching is a tool to help you manage stress and optimize your health for better fertility outcomes. Infertility is a long, lonely, and complicated road. In fact, about 10 percent of women in the U.S. have difficulty getting or staying pregnant.
Fortunately, fertility coaches are becoming a commonplace resource for women to turn to. Fertility coaching impacts egg health, improves sperm motility, reduces endometriosis and PCOS, brings hormones back into balance, and a whole lot more.
Here are a few of the benefits of choosing to work with a fertility coach:
- Enhance your natural fertility
- Provide individualized support
- Advocate for your best interests
- Provide your baby with the best start possible
- Reduce rates of anxiety and depression
- Help you feel in control
- Navigate confusing medical decisions with wisdom
A fertility coach helps round out the treatment from your doctors by giving you the hands-on emotions, mental, and physical support you need to optimize your chances of pregnancy.
Why a Health AND Fertility Coach?
Here’s the thing, not all fertility coaches are equal. Fertility coaching credentials aren’t one thing or another. They range from registered nurses and licensed therapists to fertility acupuncturists and nutritionists. Sometimes, naturopathic doctors and functional medicine practitioners are also fertility coaches.
On the other hand, some don’t carry any credentials at all. Fertility coaching isn’t limited to one standard, so you’ll need to do some research into who you hire. It’s important to consider what your overall goal is and what you’re looking for with fertility coaching.
Here are a few considerations if you’re trying to decide what type of fertility coach to hire.
- If you want help understanding fertility medical procedures and treatments it may be beneficial to hire a coach who’s also an RN.
- If you desire emotional support on your journey then a coach who’s a licensed therapist may be best.
- If you want to understand the mind-body connection through infertility you may want a functional medicine practitioner.
- If you need help changing your diet to optimize your health it may help to work with a fertility coach who is also a nutritionist.
Now, if you’re looking for a fertility coach who can help you with all aspects of your fertility journey then a health and fertility coach is your best bet.
Generally speaking, a health coach is also a functional medicine practitioner and usually has a high degree of nutritional expertise. Often, a health coach is a former RN or another form of a conventional medical professional. They will have had past experience helping clients optimize their health from all sorts of issues ranging from gastrointestinal to hormonal.
A professional fertility coach will provide support in a wide range of areas such as miscarriage, IVF support, emotional support, endometriosis, infertility/sub-fertility, irregular periods, ovulation, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
They will draw on a variety of skills to create a personalized plan to improve your fertility such as
- Lifestyle plans
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Guided relaxation
- Positive psychology
- Goal setting
- And more!
Fertility coaching impacts egg health, improves sperm motility, reduces endometriosis and PCOS, brings hormones back into balance, and a whole lot more.
Dietary and Lifestyle Factors That Affect Fertility
Health coaches are experts who are helping you make dietary and lifestyle changes that impact your health. A fertility coach who is also a health coach will have the experience and know-how to help you make the right changes. Here are a few of the dietary and lifestyle factors that affect fertility.
- Chronic stress.
- It negatively impacts reproductive hormones, causing issues with ovulation, a woman’s menstrual cycle, and sperm quality. When you are stressed, your body releases the hormones cortisol and adrenaline to enable your body to deal with stress accordingly. These hormones inhibit the release of sex hormones which reduces sperm and ovarian activity.
- A diet that is high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, soda, junk food, dairy, and trans fats.
- Poor dietary habits promote inflammation and steal your body’s essential nutrients. Sugar spikes your insulin levels, affecting the production of essential reproductive hormones. A high-sugar diet can also interfere with egg maturation, reducing the chance of fertilization.
- Nutritional deficiencies.
- Folic acid, B12, zinc, vitamin D, and omega-3 essential fatty acids.
- Caffeine and alcohol consumption.
- These substances impact ovulation and sperm production. Caffeine also increases cortisol which can decrease testosterone in men and cause an imbalance in estrogen and progesterone in women.
- It floods the body with toxic chemicals which damage the DNA of eggs and sperm. It also interferes with hormone production and fertilization.
- Drugs and medication.
- These can affect fertility in a number of ways including lowering hormone levels, suppressing ovulation, and damaging eggs and sperm. It’s important to work with your primary care doctor to determine which drugs you absolutely need and which ones you may be able to stop taking.
- Lack of sleep.
- Insomnia changes the body’s circadian rhythm which in turn impacts hormone production.
- Being overweight.
- This increases your risk of menstrual dysfunction, impaired ovulation, miscarriage, and pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia (high blood pressure).
- Lack of exercise.
- A lack of physical movement not only affects your overall health, it can also hinder your fertility.
It may come as a surprise to you how much your diet and lifestyle impact fertility. It can’t be overstated: your overall health impacts your reproductive health!
Choosing a Fertility Coach
Maybe you’ve been scrolling through social media searching for encouragement and fertility tips. Maybe your doctor told you to keep trying and come back in a year, or you are about to start fertility treatments. Wherever you’re at in your journey, you’ve made the decision to hire a fertility coach.
Understandably, it can feel like the stakes become higher the longer it takes to conceive. You’re likely wondering what you can do to optimize your chances for conception, whether you’re just starting this journey or have already been diagnosed with a specific concern. Either way, the first step is to choose a fertility coach. While there are many benefits to choosing a health and fertility coach here are a few more considerations:
- What would I like to see in my coach’s background?
- What type of education, training, or experience is important for my coach to have?
- Am I looking for emotional support, lifestyle recommendations, or both?
- Do I want my coach to have experience with a specific fertility-impacting condition like PCOS?
- Do I want my coach to have experience with a specific type of fertility treatment like IVF?
- What type of support am I looking for: one-on-one, a program, or a group?
- What type of personality do I hope my coach will have?
- Is my coach’s location or time zone important?
- Do they offer virtual support?
Are Fertility Coaches Worth It?
Health coaching for fertility works to optimize your health for conception and pregnancy. It has been shown to be highly successful in helping people feel more in control of their physical and mental health, which can improve pregnancy rates and reduce rates of anxiety and depression.
Let’s not forget, that overcoming health challenges like endometriosis or PCOS also increases the likelihood of conception.
Having someone experienced and knowledgeable to walk the journey with you can help alleviate feelings of isolation, frustration, helplessness, and confusion. Navigating infertility is stressful. A fertility coach is the bridge between a doctor’s recommendations and what you intuitively know is best for your body and your family.
When you work with a fertility coach you’ll learn how to implement daily habits, self-care routines, and nutritional and lifestyle changes that will all increase your natural fertility. The skills you learn from your fertility coach will last a lifetime.
If you’re interested in learning more about fertility coaching reach out to me. As a Doctor of Naturopathy, Certified Holistic Health Coach, and Fertility Coach I’m dedicated to helping you achieve success on your fertility journey.
Not to mention, I’m a mom of six so I’ve got plenty of experience to share! My goal is to help you feel prepared and nourish your physical, emotional, and mental well-being as you work to achieve a healthy pregnancy.