The nine months before the nine months

In my last post I talked about my journey to motherhood. What I left out was the adjustments I made in hopes of making my body hospitable for tiny humans to grow inside.

There are two parts to this…the first is physical. I wanted to make food and beverage choices that would support the reduction of endometriosis in my body. The second is mental. I wanted to reduce stress in my life.

For anyone struggling with endometriosis, I want to share the 5 top things that research led me to try and I truly believe they worked.

  1. Eliminate coffee…this is not about caffeine, but the acids that are in coffee. They are hard on the system and there is evidence that eliminating coffee can help reduce endo pain. I replaced my morning coffee with earl grey tea. It took some adjustment, but over time I grew to love tea and wonder how it ever felt like a sacrifice.
  2. Increase beta carotene…I ate a ton of sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots.
  3. Increase omega 3 intake…Omega 3 fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect and this is important in reducing endo. Foods such as salmon, ground flax seed, hemp hearts, chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, olives, avocado, as well as olive and avocado oil are great sources.
  4. Eliminate red meat…these can cause exacerbation of endometriosis due to production of negative prostaglandins.
  5. Eliminate refined sugar…can cause more inflammation to occur, which I was hoping to reduce.

I also chose to eliminate most alcohol as it too has been shown to exacerbate endometriosis.

Two dietary choices that have also proven to be effective for some, but did not seem to make a difference for me are:

  1. Gluten free…this refers to eliminating all gluten containing products from your diet, not just bread.
  2. Dairy free…this refers to no cow’s milk or products with cow’s milk in them as well as no eggs.

If you are currently experiencing pain from endometriosis, you may want to try some or all of these options. For each one give yourself 2-3 months with elimination and then a reintroduction. You will know quite quickly if they matter for you or not.

For the second part of preparation, I tried to reduce the stress in my life. I reduced my work hours. I tried to do yoga a few times per week. I continued to run most days, but listened to my body for how long and far to go rather than always trying to beat my last time or distance.  I golfed a lot that summer as I found the social aspect and fresh air very therapeutic. Overall, I tried to give myself room to breathe. I tried to be kinder to myself and respect limitations. It was painful at times as I had to say no to some things that I really wanted to do, but in the end it all paid off and I have no regrets. Not with the end result of these angels…

IMG_5224

So a few different posts from the usual in honour of Infertility Awareness Week. Next time I will be back to normal, every day posts. Thanks for caring and thanks for reading.

Until next time….stay healthy!

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