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Ultimate Pre- and Post-conception Care With Sarah Clark

Welcome to Episode 5 of Season 8 of The PCOS Revolution Podcast:

Ultimate Pre- and Post-conception Care With Sarah Clark

Today, Sarah Clark, a good friend and repeat podcast guest is joining us once again. We’ll be chatting about everything pre-and post-conception care. This is something that is near and dear to my heart.

This week on PCOS Revolution Podcast, I am having a conversation with Sarah Clark. She is a certified life coach as well as a health coach. Sarah is the author of Fabulously Fertile and few other books as well. Her coaching program drastically helps her clients live better lives.

A lot of people go on the pill for acne or painful periods. When they come off the pill, a lot of times the issue is still there. The pill simply acted as a band-aid, and it some cases it can be worse when come coming off the pill. The problem hasn’t been fixed and now they are struggling with infertility.

During this episode, we’ll dive deep into the food and nutrition part of things. Many people struggle with different symptoms, pains, illness, etc. The problem is we’ve outsourced our cooking to the food industry and that’s why we are sick.

Learn more about Sarah, her practice and what you should be doing pre-and post-conception if you are pregnant or looking to become pregnant during this episode of the PCOS Revolution Podcast.

READ the entire transcript here:

Read Full Transcript

Farrar Duro

Welcome back everybody to the PCOS Revolution Podcast. I’m excited today because I have a friend and longtime podcast guest who’s been on the show a few times, Sarah Clark here to talk about today, something very near and dear to my heart, which is preconception and postpartum care with PCOS. So I want to introduce her to you quickly for those of you who don’t know her. She is a certified life coach with accreditation from the International coaches Federation and a health coach with training from the Institute for integrative nutrition. And, you know, she also is the author of Fabulously Fertile, Supercharge Your Fertility Naturally, The Fabulously Fertile Cookbook and Fertility Preparation program. And she’s also super proud of her signature fertility coaching program, which includes functional lab testing supports couples to make diet and lifestyle changes that dramatically improve your chance of having a healthy baby and pregnancy. So welcome, Sarah. So glad to have you.

Sarah Clark

Thanks for having me, I’m excited to be back Farrar.

Farrar Duro

And this is something that we get emails about, we get questions. We also work with this a lot in our clinic. You know, definitely the preconception part, but we also are getting some feedback from a lot of people that you know, PCOS and postpartum care, it’s not adequately addressed, because there are certain challenges that come up. So, we need to start with with preconception care, because we know preconception care is actually going to determine a lot of times how you’re feeling postpartum as well. So, what First of all, what started you out on this path of working with fertility and pregnancy, and that sort of thing?

Sarah Clark

Yeah, so I had my own journey with infertility and was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure and had both my kids with donor eggs. Then years later discovered, I had these food sensitivities. And later after that gut infection, I had chronic bladder, sinus, and yeast infections. Then the time when I discovered all this, I was fully in menopause, and then really if you’re still cycling naturally, there’s things we can do, but really looking at those different symptoms. And I was given, I had irregular periods in my early 20s, and acne, and I was given the pill. And then when I went off the pill, the periods are still regular, the acne was still there. So that was just a bandaid solution. And then being on the pill, then impacted my nutrient levels and my body’s ability to absorb them, and then also the health of my gut, so predisposing me to these food sensitivities and gut infections. And we see this quite a lot with people being, most people that come to me, I asked them, you know, obviously, they’re, they’re struggling with infertility, and they’ve been on the pill, when then the majority of them do not go on the pill for prevention. They went on it because of either acne or irregular periods, you know, painful periods, heavy periods. And then they come off and the issue is, is still there and has hasn’t been fixed. Now. They’re struggling with infertility.

Farrar Duro

Definitely. And if if any of you have been listening to our previous episodes, especially this season, with Dr. Jolene Brighton and Dr. Briden, we’ve really focused on, you know, that the reasoning, find the reason behind why you’re on hormonal birth control in the first place, or why your doctor wants to put you on hormonal birth control, so that you’ll save time in the long run also, and save a lot of frustration, when it comes time to trying to conceive as well. Because the biggest complaint we hear from our patients is “I wish I would have known this sooner.” Right? You hear that too? So we’re here today to save you some some frustration. And number one, when you are thinking about starting a family or when you are trying to conceive and thinking okay, I’d like to conceive in the next year hopefully. Where do you start? like where do you start with your clients when they when they first come to you?

Sarah Clark

Yes, we look at this, the stressor, some people that come to us, let’s say everyone will tell me they’re eating clean diet, most people will tell me that. And then when we dig into and they say I don’t have any food sensitivities, and we dig into it, actually, the majority of people we work with have a food sensitivity. So we start people off by doing the elimination diets which are the gold standard to figure out exactly how food impacts your body, taking out dairy, gluten, soy, corn, peanuts, and eggs, take those up for 10 days, and then systematically reintroduce them and see exactly how how each food impacts your body. So people brought back in corn, they could flare up their asthma, bring back in dairy, they can feel Fleming bring back in gluten, digestive issues, so it’s different for everyone. And you really need to go through that elimination diet. And we have both partners do this. So for preconception health, it is the male and the female partner. Most people that come to me are women. But we will coach couples because it’s both. Even if the man saying my sperm is totally fine, there’s always things we can do to optimize preconception health. So that’s for both partners.

Sarah Clark

And it’s a lot of times with food sensitivities. People think oh, it’s just digestion, you know, the diarrhea, constipation, burping, bloating, those things can be common, but not normal. So that’s one one piece of it. Another part of it food sensitivity is mood issues. So people that have brain fog, ADHD, depression, anxiety, irritability, which is what I would I had some mood issues, skin issues, I had this as well, obviously with acne, but psoriasis, dermatitis, hives, skin rashes, and then joint issues. I had this with painful joints, arthritis, like swelling of the joints. And then also autoimmune issues, we see a lot of people coming to us saying, Oh, I have infertility. And oh, by the way, I have an autoimmune disease. And it’s not Oh, by the way, that’s a huge clue to dig in deeper, you know, and you’re when you have one autoimmune disease, you’re at a higher propensity to get another one. So to really be able to dig into those factors, and food really does impact it..

Sarah Clark

It’s not about so the elimination diet, you’re taking those foods out. And some of them you may find like, so if there isn’t any kind of reaction, you would then keep the food out. And we also will pair that with a food sensitivity test. We like the leap MRT The thing with the food sensitivity test lot of people are saying, you know, it is a snapshot in time, there’s no perfect food sensitivity test. But it is too, but not to go like super restrictive because sometimes people are looking at me like “Oh I can only eat like six foods.” So you still want nutrient dense foods. And you know foods that are preparing your body for pregnancy, like how it like a lot of making sure you’re getting your proteins, your healthy fats. But it’s, if you gone super restrictive, you know, there could be a leaky gut going on. So if you’re especially if you were on hormonal birth control. So factors that will impose the leaky gut would be chronic stress, hormonal birth control, antibiotic use, those are the kind of the main ones. And so then you could get a food sensitivity test and being tolerant to all your favorite foods, which I had, I came back I’m like, I was like intolerant to avocado, like are you kidding me. But then as you heal the gut, then then that can improve. So it is to take those foods out for for the foods in the yellow for 60 on the food sensitivity test, to take them up for 60 days, foods in the Red Keep out for 90 days, and then you can then reintroduce them. So it’s just to be careful to not go down that slippery slope of oh my goodness, all I’m eating is you know, steak or whatever it is. So it because we see that a lot to where people go the other way, being very restrictive.

Sarah Clark

Typically, we see a lot of people that the two top allergens are dairy and gluten. So we see, we would typically recommend keeping those out for 90 days for both partners. And then either after the 90 days, if you’re not pregnant, then dig into the gut testing. But the food piece is really huge. I think a lot of people miss the part on that they might gluten light or dairy light. And if your body is intolerant to it, even a crumb of it is going to cause an issue. And we see a lot of people with infertility that have high gluten sensitivity, be it either non celiac gluten sensitivity or undiagnosed celiac disease. And so if it’s non celiac gluten sensitivity, we recommend the whole house going gluten free is even your husband coming home, having a beer and then give me a kiss or having you know, a bagel and give me a kiss those crumbs could then cause reaction in your body. So the third piece is huge is just the caveat about not going too restrictive. And, and missing out on those nutrient dense foods.

Farrar Duro

That’s okay, because inflammation start somewhere doesn’t just randomly appear. And so you’re really kind of getting upstream and figuring out in the beginning what’s going on. And yeah, and amazingly, you know, people will lose weight, a lot of women will start losing weight as just an unintended side effect if needed. You know, because they’ve gained weight, we found with past fertility treatments also with, you know, not exercising, they’re told not to exercise a lot of times or, you know, also the stress eating from just going through the whole thing. So, I think that really helps. And with the gluten free, you know, we’ve had we had a patient recently lose 30 pounds in the last two months just preparing for IVF on that particular program, so just you know, just trying to cut out the the dairy and the gluten and also introducing a lot of anti inflammatory foods so so you can get the secondary benefits too. And and also, we see you know that these, there now these hidden little inflammatory issues with the uterus, I don’t know if you’ve noticed that endometritis seems to be coming up more and more and more for our patients like where and they’re like, where did it come from? Like, it’s inflammation inside your uterus. I mean, it’s not endometriosis, it’s different. So that inflammation and that autoimmunity can really hide in different areas. It doesn’t just depend on it’s not specific to one organ. So, so what you’re talking about is so important. And it’s great to have the partner involved because it makes it easier if your partner is actually on board. And you can do it together and you feel good together and you can suffer together.

Sarah Clark

Exactly in the beginning. It’s like oh, my goodness, we’re eating the stuff. And yeah, I could suck in the beginning. And then as you start to because this is not a sick population that’s coming to me probably the same for you like and they’re not sick, but you don’t know how how awesome you can feel until you take some of those inflammatory foods out and you’re like, oh, some of those weird issues that we’re dealing with either skin or headaches or brain fog or some of these, then these issues then start to live and you know, you get you know, renewed energy. Yeah, a side effect of this great side effect is is weight loss. And we know how weight can impact population and the success of IVF. And they can impact sperm quality and testosterone levels. So the weight piece is huge. But if we attack the weight like dead on this is not how we look at it, we sort of say the weight loss is like a nice side benefit of you know, stop eating crap out of a box like don’t eat like the process, just forget the processed foods. It’s not about us surviving on a green juice every day. It’s it’s is eating, you know, like real food veggies.

Farrar Duro

Yeah.

Sarah Clark

Yeah, and, and meats and stuff and fish. But if you haven’t done any home cooking before, it can be a bit of a transition it can be it can be tough in the beginning, but now we’re lucky we have all these you know, we can get a box delivered to our house for fairly meal, like meal delivery services, and veggies and meats delivered to our house. So there’s lots of things to help us. But we’ve outsourced our, our cooking to the food industry. And that’s why we’re sick.

Farrar Duro

Definitely. And so, so definitely starting with the food sensitivities. And then do you do any toxin testing like heavy metals, anything like that? Or is that something just that comes later on?

Sarah Clark

Yeah, like we we focus on the food sensitivity testing, and then we do the, we do the Dutch test. So looking at the hormone levels and seeing exactly you know which pathways they’re going down, this really gives us a clue to develop a protocol. Because sometimes people will come in and they’re there, they’re thinking they’re taking different supplements for what they think they may have. And really when you’re doing the Dutch test, you can actually see exactly the pathways of the hormones and see exactly what your cortisol levels doing and maybe you’re over supplementing we see this a lot with melatonin because you’re having issues sleeping and now your Melatonin is like through the freakin roof. And or it’s really low, which can be an indicator we got infection. So we will pair the Dutch test as part of my team, I work with a Functional Diagnostic nutrition practitioner, she’s the one that’s going to be going to be running these tests and then developing that protocol. And then we do and pairing with that we do the stool test. So this the key one, if there was a cost thing and you’re you know, looking at to them, the two we really would recommend men would be the hormone test, obviously, we’re looking at fertility, you want to see, you know, where you know where your hormones are, and the stool test.

Sarah Clark

The food sensitivity test, I wouldn’t like budgets an issue, I wouldn’t worry about the food sensitivity test, I would for sure do the elimination diet. Most people are though, are in a kind of a panic of when they want to have their children so they want to like really nail in the food piece. But if budgets an issue, I would do the Dutch test and the stool tests and so we look at the we use the GI map test looks at the DNA, your stool, the majority people we work with something comes back in the stool being a parasite, a bacterial infection and fungal infection. And so you got to if you got a gut infection going on, that’s your body wants to survive, not not procreate. So and we see H pylori being passed back and forth. Or the H pylori can kind of hide out in the dental cavities too. So you’re kissing your partner and H pylori going back and forth. So being really there’s a targeted protocol to eradicate what’s going on because of you, you haven’t gotten infection, and you’re just like, Oh, you don’t know what you have you think, Oh, I’m gonna, you know, do a gut cleanse, and just, you know, whatever that whatever that may be.

Sarah Clark

Yeah, so with the gut infections, and a lot of if you’re saying, Oh, wait, I don’t really know what’s going on. They’re all just a gut cleanse. But if you have a parasite, and we see this very regularly, like on a regular basis, with people having gut infections, you have to take a to do a specified protocol, then to eliminate it, and then retest and make sure you got it because there’s biofilms on on the on the on the gut bugs. And once you you eradicate some, you’ll find sometimes there’s other ones underneath. And then you would then do it Additional Protocol, typically That one’s not as long, maybe 30 to 60 days. And typically, most protocols are about three, three to four months was very, very targeted, but also the stressors on the body or the food sensitivity. People, some people miss that they gut infection, people, I don’t think anyone I thinks of looking at the gut, and the gut actually is key to you can forget this whole infertility thing, it’s key to all of our health. So any issue you have going on, to look at the health of the gut. And if you’ve been on hormonal birth control that’s going to predispose you to the food sensitivities and gut infections.

Sarah Clark

So to really dig into that piece, and then another stressor on the body would be the environmental toxins. So really, really digging into cleaning up what you’re exposed to exposed to and it’s you can’t have it perfect, but you can really minimize your exposure. So looking at your personal care products like switching over to organic or natural ones, making sure it’s not the green washing and so going to so which is you’re labeling it as organic and natural, and meanwhile, it’s full of chemicals. So you can go to the skin deep database and check your products there. So you want to between one and three.

Sarah Clark

So just check your products, people kind of go sometimes people get very focused on this and sort of lose their mind a little bit as well. It’s, it’s basically as each product expires or is finished, get a new one because otherwise it’s it’s it’s extremely costly and you’re you know, you’re throwing everything out and you’re starting fresh and that’s too much. So it’s each one and then you go and get a new one and find one that works for you. So the personal care, go to the skin deep database, the cleaning chemicals same, switching those over to natural ones. And again, if you go to Environmental Working Group, you can you can check yours and find other ones that will work for you. Looking at your water, so making sure you have a water filtration at the minimum looking at a at a at a Brita but a Brita won’t filter out everything I like the I like the Bercy which will filter out the for the fluoride, the chlorine, the birth control pills, like all those things out of your water. And then another one that people forget about is the shower so getting away water filter in the shower because you know the shower, you’re inhaling all the vapors from the shower. And then that’s especially if you have a thyroid issue, you’re inhaling you know inhaling all those which can be fluoride, which can be contraindicated for thyroid so getting a filter, I like the Bercy filter, I think it’s like 30 bucks. So installing that on your shower your plastics, making sure you’re drinking from a glass water bottle or a stainless steel a water bottle because the i think i think a lot of us know about the plastic side of it not microwaving in plastics. So really getting rid of your plastics.

Farrar Duro

And even if it says BPA free, there’s other chemicals that are not so good.

Sarah Clark

Yeah, because BPA free then they went to move it to bps, which is just as harmful as BPA but really, it’s all BPA free. No Just do glass or stainless steel just and the last one is a little more of an investment but the last longer and so when you’re when you’re heating up your food, you know try to heat it on the stove if you can, obviously at you’re at work maybe you can heat it up and put it in a thermos before you before you leave because using a microwave kind of changes like consistency of your food. But those environmental toxins and then also the exposure with your you know the EMF electromagnetic magnetic field. So like for men taking the taking the phone, you know definitely out of your pocket and thing for women like to not charge your phone besides your head night. Even for sleep just like taking having you and your partner take the phone out of the bedroom. Yeah, and just because you’ve got those, you know, you can put it on on on night mode, but it’s just to take it out of there because a lot of times the first thing we look at in the morning is that our emails which we really want to wake up on our own our own schedule, not someone else’s schedule of stuff coming in. So yeah, the environmental toxins I think.

Sarah Clark

And then also a big one for women to look out for is their feminine hygiene. So I think a lot of times you know, we’re using conventional tampons and pads that are sprayed with glyphosate, which is a herbicide linked to infertility, whole host of other different diseases and it’s sprayed on these on these conventional feminine hygiene. So switching over to a natural pattern tampon trying the diva cap, it takes like, you know, two or three cycles to potentially figure that one out. There’s, you know, reusable pads, there’s those underwear think and I think underwear. So really like that will be we tell our couples right away our women right away, switch out the feminine hygiene because that stuff is going into your most intimate area and you know cause causing potential harm. And I had I interviewed Kieron Krishnan from Megaspore, this the probiotic that we recommend. And he’s a he’s a microbiologist. .

Farrar Duro

I’ve heard about him, I actually wanted to get him on our show.

Sarah Clark

And he was he talked about the vaginal microbiome and a lot of times we’re going to the gynecologist, and they’re putting all that stuff, you know, that lubricant in our vaginas, and that is like completely obliterating our, our vaginal microbiome. So really being being aware of that I, you know, because I was dealing with infertility, and all people deal with infertility, we’re seeing our OB/GYN on a regular basis and and, you know, using those products that are not, you know, not helpful.

Farrar Duro

Ultrasound gel, the vaginal ultrasound gel, yeah, yeah. Well, what’s the alternative?

Sarah Clark

I know, I was like, I don’t know, or I’m not sure if coconut would be recommended, or jojoba, yeah, so, to be aware of that, it can be disruptive. Because there’s all the different microbiomes, the skin microbiome, the I get to talking about leaky skin, leaky gut, leaky mouth, leaky brain leaky, you know, all of those, it all ties together. So I’ve interviewed a bunch of people on those different subjects as interviewed someone this week on dealing with people that have psoriasis. And really, he key to this, if you wouldn’t think it was psoriasis, because if you go to a dermatologist, they’re going to tell you the creams and some medication, but it’s actually healing the gut. So that’s the gut again, but so those are, those are the environmental toxins, really seeing what you put you inhale and paste on your skin and what you’re you’re drinking out of.

Sarah Clark

And then also your mental emotional stress, like that is key as well, you can eat this beautiful healthy diet, it’s all you know, free of the top of allergens, anti inflammatory, and you’re just you know, on your way, but you’re in a toxic relationship, you are, you know, hate your job, you’re stressed to the max because you’re working, you know, 55 hours plus a week, and you have not got honest about your mental emotional health, you could have you know, trauma from whatever may, you know, may have happened in your in your life, and even trauma going through infertility. So reaching out for support about that. Really getting into the self care, it’s more than the mani/pedi, it’s more like that’s nice, mani/pedi and massage, who doesn’t like that. But like, the self care is more like saying no, like, being able to say, you know, yeah, even though I’m excited about a bunch of stuff, I’m like, No, do I really want to do that right now, you know, what really lights me up. Like, when I coach people, we do this like circle of life. And one of the categories is joy. And a lot of times their joy is just like, it’s taken a nosedive. Because this is infertility is impacted, it’s really stolen their joy. So it’s really them to do small things every day, that kind of light you up. And you either it’s looking at gratitude looking at journaling, like any and even creativity is it like for you what gets your creative juices going is it It may be that drawing like those adult coloring books, dancing, like something where you’re like, Yeah, I just like feel like alive. And a lot of times we could have, we could have shelved those things that brought us joy, because we’re so like, focused on this journey of, you know, expanding our family are having a baby. And it’s, is to get back to that that piece.

Farrar Duro

Definitely. And, and even, sometimes patients will say, I look forward to this acupuncture treatment whole week, this is like, what is my time, you know, and the phone is off, and they have meditation playing and they have that time. That’s so important. And they’re like, I would come here every day, if I could. Just getting out of your environment, getting out of your element, you know, it’s important, taking a trip, some people take take a vacation after an IVF or a short vacation, because that’s all they can afford, you know, but after an IVF cycle, just you know, taking a few days to get out of town, that sort of thing. After all that stress so, so yeah, and so let’s talk a little bit about like, those things are really important. That’s good advice for preparing your body preparing your mind for pregnancy. And so what about if you have not had those things in place, and you’re pregnant now or your postpartum. And in you know, maybe you’re not ready to get pregnant, right away again. But you’re also dealing with some issues with you know, postpartum depression, perhaps or some baby blues or just, you know, issues with digestion and that sort of thing. Like, how long would you recommend someone waiting in order to get their hormone levels checked again, or to do this type of food sensitivity testing and things like that?

Sarah Clark

Yeah, so a lot of obviously, we recommend people taking like least six months to focus on this ahead of time. So because you can’t, if we find a gut infection, and there’s a food sensitivity, there could be die off. You know, trying to conceive, actually actively trying to conceive of work around getting a parasite is not recommended. So postpartum health, if you haven’t addressed some of those things, you may have a rougher period. So I, I didn’t, I’ve just heard about this postpartum rage. I wasn’t like completely raging, but I definitely was like, super irritable. And it was, yeah, it was a tough time for me. So and I didn’t figure out the food sensitivity piece. And all that later in my health, I really, my health was just not great. Like I had nine colds after my daughter was born, everyone went into a sinus infection. And I took all sorts of antibiotics and completely eradicated my, you know, my, my gut flora, and good and bad gut flora. So to me in the beginning, obviously, it’s like the self care pieces. So it’s like digging in to the sleep piece. Like really, it’s hard when you have a newborn obviously trying to look at sleep, but sleep when the baby sleeps. And really asking for support because I think you know, in that in the past, we would do this in a, in a community in a tribe and now we’re going to do it all by ourselves and no one asked for help. But it is important to do, because people want to help and but it’s just being able to ask them for for what you need. And maybe it’s what you need to have someone look after. I know in the beginning for us, like all I really wanted was like just to go with my husband and go out for just like maybe an hour and for dinner or something and have someone look after the baby.

Sarah Clark

So being able to ask for that. And I guess that’s like the self care. So looking at your sleep. We like a few apps, like a good one is if you’re if you’re having issues with sleeping, you’re snoring. So that could be an indicator. If there’s potential sleep apnea, you can say you want to like if you want to really dig into that at that point, but there’s a but there if any of your partner snoring and this interrupting your sleep, you can look at the apps snore lab and see if you are snoring. And then kind of you can dig into that to optimize it. For sleep, you really want to you really want to make sure you minimize your your your blue lights. So you can get those blue light blockers, their little glasses or you can just on your on your phone, you can install F.lux. So F.Lux and then or you can also feel the iPhone, put it on put it on night mode, making sure that it’s not those blue, those blue lights because that interrupts your body’s ability to make melatonin turn your natural melatonin then you could be a lot of times you can you can be up typically to cut to get get to bed before 1030 because after that you get a second wind and you’d be up to like one or two in the morning. So attempting to go to bed earlier like and to minimize the screen time. And if you are watching screens just to make sure you have those, those blue light blockers on and obviously with the TV, it’s hard to do that you would need the glasses. Making sure your room is dark. Like if there’s any TV thing and they’re like blocking those little those little lights that come out. I’ve since started sleeping with a sleep mask. And I tell you I’m like this I got like 100% silk sleep mask and it’s like a dusty pink color. And, and I had like blackout blackout blinds, but because our our bedroom faces a street lamp, it was like still there was like a little crack light coming in there. And with this sleep mask, it’s like this, like little hug, I don’t know how to describe it, I would highly recommend a sleep mask. It just really makes you kind of go into like, like a coma. All right. Love it. Yeah, so keeping it dark, and then also the bedroom itself, making it just for sleep or sex. And if you’re co-sleeping with your little baby, then then then that as well.

Farrar Duro

But like having it just not like you on your laptop working or, you know, just having it for those two things. Because then it gets when you’re in there you’re thinking of things you have to do. Whereas your bedroom should be like this sanctuary where basically you’re sleeping, you’re sleeping, or you’re, you know, you’re you’re you’re getting intimate so looking at that piece and also having that night routine if you can to if you can somehow have someone help with the baby, while you go and have a bath and you know, always change into pajamas to to make that sometimes people will go from like and be wearing jogging pants old t shirt during the bed. And so it’s not like that transition. So it’s like the body has to have like a clue that they’re going to bed. So like a maybe a bath. I like putting essential oils on and then putting on pajamas. And you can do some visualization to before it might be difficult when you got a baby and I’m telling you all this stuff. You’re like are you kidding me? This is ridiculous.

Farrar Duro

Even taking a bath with a baby sometimes it’s so hard.

Sarah Clark

Yeah.

Farrar Duro

I don’t know what it was called. But it’s some sort of little chair for the baby like so you can take a bath.

Sarah Clark

Yeah, even like it was like some of these things, but maybe just picking one and just maybe for you and you’re like, I’m going to take the blue light blockers and make sure if I am watching up watching whatever program you’re watching that you’re that you’re actually putting the blue light blockers on so that helps with your melatonin you’re not like, like wired at two o’clock. And keeping your room dark.

Farrar Duro

Yeah, that’s excellent and cool enough because sometimes, you know, a lot of times we have patients that can’t sleep because it’s too hot in their room and the partner likes it hot they like a cold and they’re fighting over the thermostat. So I don’t know what the ideal temperature is. But try to get it to where you know you’re you’re not waking up hot at night.

Sarah Clark

Yeah, below 68 I think, we have a fan going even with the air conditioning on but it just otherwise Yeah, I’ll wake up and get a lather and you’re just uncomfortable. I actually got another thing is to look at it feel like investing in this. We just did but organic sheets, and I got a I got a I got a bamboo comforter. Because it is it is it’s it’s one of those it’s like the sheets. I don’t sweat as much because it’s not that synthetic stuff with all the you know, the toxins on it. And then the bamboo companies very thin. I’m like, oh my I’m in Canada. So I’m like, Oh my god, I’m going to freeze. This is ridiculous. But no, it actually keeps you cool in the winter. So it cool in the summer and warm in the winter. And I don’t know how it works. But I like it. And it’s it’s not like piled up with all these blankets and you’re sweating. And yeah.

Farrar Duro

We have to link to that comforter, because I’m in Florida and I can’t find one that’s right. It’s like you’re hot. You’re super hot at night or it’s like never warm enough. So yeah. Awesome. So yeah, pamper yourself you do this is a time for your self care and asking for help. And even during pregnancy, don’t feel like you can’t get a prenatal massage or have some time to yourself as well. To be able to to calm your mind a bit because there’s a lot of stress and fear that comes up during pregnancy. Like, am I going to be a good mom? Is this labor going to go how I think it’s going to go? you know all these questions. So it’s okay to seek help to get treatment and to in fact there is research that if you do acupuncture during the third trimester of pregnancy, the rate of postpartum depression decreases. So a lot of times with PCOS, we tell our patients if you can get in some treatments during that last trimester, that’s actually going to be really beneficial for when you have the baby because there is a little bit more anxiety and depression we know with with PCOS, but we can do certain things. And also your hormones are really tanking after the delivery, you have all this estrogen and progesterone in your body. And then once you deliver it kind of like everything kind of starts plummeting. So So sometimes your body is going to go through a lot of changes, just trying to deal with the crash of the hormones.

Farrar Duro

Breastfeeding can help sometimes too with that, but it can be difficult. I know I had a difficult time also with my daughter. So and you know, there wasn’t much help around, my family doesn’t live near me. So it was tough. So I’d say you know, be be okay with not doing everything yourself. And, you know, obviously prepping meals, like putting in the freezer, before labor is also good. So that you get home and you actually have stuff already cooked. It’s great if someone else is cooking for you. But if you can do, you know prep it yourself, that’s really good. And just know that be patient with your body, it’s not going to be six months that you know, everything’s back to normal, it could take a year or two so just be patient. These these media images of these women, you know, it’s six weeks postpartum, just completely bouncing back being in the gym and just, you know, having great skin great hair right now, you know, it’s a bit of a myth, I think. I mean, it’s just not, it’s not reality. If that’s you, that’s great that that’s happening. But that’s not the majority of women. You just you’ve gone through a marathon, you’ve gone through, you know, being pregnant for nine months. So just expect that your body could take up to a year or longer to get back to normal. So that’s it and that’s okay.

Sarah Clark

I like I like Chrissy Teagan, how she talks about this was like, okay, she’s walking around, she had some extra weight. And here she has like a supermodel. And she’s like, this is me, it took me a while to get my body back. And not this like pressure to get into skinny jeans after like, as you say, six weeks and putting all this undue pressure on ourselves and the acupuncture. I really yeah, I highly recommend that I’ve I was I hadn’t done it in years. And this this year, I’m like, Okay, I’m going to a chiropractor to get the I didn’t really have neck issues. But I’m like, I’m gonna go to a chiropractor, every couple of weeks and acupuncture and I go in there. And I meditate on a regular basis. But I go in there and my mind’s kind of racing a little bit. And I’m like, Oh, here we go. Again, it’s kind of racing. And then put the needles in and the first 10 minutes and like eh, and then something happens in that second period that last 10 minutes where I’m like, I am all in this, like, this complete state of bliss, I leave. I’m like floating, and yeah, like I highly recommend it.

Farrar Duro

Yeah, it does take a little while for your brainwaves to actually change a little bit and get to that point. And, yeah, and I think that’s great. And it also is beneficial, you know, just to think about preparing for pregnancy as well, obviously, getting your cycles on synched because that’s the biggest fear also, is this this cycle going to be regular? Is it going to come back after I have this baby? Or is my period just going to be gone forever, you know, so that that can, the more we work on some preconception care, like we’ve been talking about, and also, you know, getting regular treatments in if you are doing acupuncture, acupressure, those sort of things really help. And then you know, the same thing that can also help you with preconception care can help you and postpartum as well. It’s just that you do have to be a little bit more aggressive about blocking your time. Like, okay, guys, you’re going to help me right, I’m going to go to my session, I’m going to I’m going to have one hour to myself either every every week to do something. Yeah, even if it’s just sitting in nature, just like okay, let me let me relax a little. So. So definitely, that that’s so important. I’m really glad that we’re talking about this because it’s often an ignored phase, it’s really considered, you know, the fourth trimester, but we’re just, we don’t talk about it so much. Because it’s like, oh, you’re good. Everything’s great. Now at your six week checkup, you can go ahead and do everything that you’re supposed to be doing. But that’s not often the case. So any advice you’d like to give our listeners if they are thinking about trying to conceive in the near future or trying to prep their body for pregnancy?

Sarah Clark

To me, it takes you know, it takes 90 days for the egg to renew itself, the life cycle, the sperm is 70 to 80 days, I’d say an absolute minimum of three months, typically six months is going to be better. I had Dr. Ben Lynch on the podcast, and he’s the author of dirty jeans, and really expert on methylation, mth Jabbar, and he was talking about he was talking to a friend, he’s like, why, why did we spend 12 to 18 months preparing for our wedding? And then one month thinking we’re going to get pregnant, why don’t we swap that around? Like we’re affecting our future generation, he’s actually saying that the infertility, infertility as a gene, or infertility itself can be passed on to our children. So we have are struggling with this right now the body is telling us and like, to me racing off to the IVF, or IUI is the absolute last step up, the majority of us can get pregnant naturally, there’s a few of us have some structural issues, but if the majority of us can get pregnant naturally, like why, why do we think the first step is to go to IVF or IUI, to me, it doesn’t make any sense. And yet the technologies available, and it’s, it’s faster, but also it’s, it can take an average of, you know, three cycles and the cost of $60,000, for it to work for an average IVF. And then you’ve got the postpartum issues, because you haven’t dealt with any of the staff, that so that you’re dealing with, and then potentially, it’s impacting your, your children as well. So I didn’t deal with any of this, but my kids have food sensitivities and other health issues, which potentially could have been avoided if I had a focused on my preconception house.

Sarah Clark

So it may feel like right now, it’s like a panic to have your child but in the grand scheme of things, taking that six months to really work on this. And if you got to get a functional, you got a food sensitivity, if you’ve been on the pill, if you got stressed and you just haven’t dealt with, like we see a lot of people that have been through multiple failures, IUIs and IVF, we look at their their Dutch test and the cortisol levels just like they are burnt out, like they are just completely freaking exhausted. And they and it’s kind of like you just gotta go Uber into that self care and some of the strategies that we talked about and really focus on yourself like now’s the time to mother yourself before the baby comes. Because if you haven’t got the shit done now, like when the baby comes, it is like massively difficult to focus on yourself when when the baby counts right now to focus on focus on that. And really, you know, you do the best you can, when I was diagnosed POF, I didn’t get a second opinion. And I went straight down the the fertility clinic route. And I was lucky enough it worked for me. But years later, my health took a nosedive. So it catches up to you eventually. So to me, it’s like taking this time now. And then you’ve like, treated this like solid foundations. And when you’re, it’s interesting now with this whole movement, organics for you know, plastics, all the stuff for babies, like why are we doing all these things for our baby? Like we’re making sure the baby isn’t exposed to things and getting organic foods and all that. But then why have we done that for ourselves and preconception health?

Farrar Duro

So true, yes, I agree. And we’re learning more and we say, you know what, we’ll learn new things every every year about the gut microbiome and about those prebiotics that are so important and probiotics during pregnancy now. That wasn’t usually even talked about during pregnancy. So you know, to actually pass those on to to our future generations so that they have a good immune system going forward. So. So all those things are coming out. Now. It’s exciting. It’s an exciting time to be alive, I say, because we have so much great information here that we just need, we need to implement. So you work with with couples and women all over the world. How can they find you and what’s the best place to connect with you?

Sarah Clark

Yeah, they can find me on my on my podcast at Get Pregnant Naturally. So we interview, we talked about functional medicine, natural fertility solutions, mind body solutions, all geared to people that are trying to conceive and really focusing on preconception health to optimize that, instead of going straight to IVF or IUI and really taking that functional approach where we look at look at testing as the as the starting part. But a lot of people get caught up in the testing. So it’s more than the testing. It’s all these different strategies we talked about. But yeah, definitely check out get pregnant actually. It’s the best place to find me.

Farrar Duro

Awesome. Thank you so much, Sarah, for being here. And I really love talking to you and get so much out of it every time. If you guys want to check out our show notes will have all the links that we’ve discussed there on our website at Floridacompletewellness.com, and I look forward to talking to you guys next week. Have a great week and take care of yourself, everyone. Thank you

Episode Spotlights:

  • Sarah’s journey ([2:02])
  • Using the elimination diet to determine food sensitives ([4:15])
  • Leaky gut ([6:45])
  • Hormone and stool tests ([13:05])
  • Stressors on the body ([15:15])
  • Environmental toxins and EMFS ([18:40])
  • Asking for help ([26:16])
  • Minimizing blue light ([27:19])
  • Evaluating your options ([32:05])

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

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Disclaimer: The information in this podcast is intended for general audience only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or replace professional medical advice.

About the author, Farrar

Farrar Duro here, reproductive acupuncturist at Florida Complete Wellness and founder & host of The PCOS Revolution, a cutting-edge podcast where I interview PCOS experts and cysters who share their pearls of wisdom on how to kick PCOS symptoms to the curb once and for all!

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