I am back in the office… we are in full operation, so let us know if you need anything.
My surprise “geriatric” pregnancy, which aside from the added stress of potential age-related risks, went amazingly well and resulted in the easiest and quickest of all my labors. Shout out to all the “geriatric” moms out there :-).
Since the day I showed my husband a picture of the bold double pink lines from my positive pregnancy test, we kept wondering how this happened. You don’t need to be a doctor to grasp the most basic logistics of getting pregnant, but at an age when fertility is sharply declining, our doctor brains searched beyond how it happened for what made it possible.
I see many patients for fertility issues and when it comes to getting pregnant or avoiding pregnancy, I know the ins and outs in great detail. I’ve relied on natural family planning for 15 years to get pregnant easily and to not get pregnant easily for myself, as well as instructing patients on the option. I am very knowledgeable about female cyclical patterns via home monitoring as well as advanced lab testing. For me, at an age when many people find it difficult to get pregnant, I managed to unknowingly extend my fertility window.
For years during our group cleanses, I would always mention to participants that we had a high success rate for improving fertility and to take note of that. For some this has been welcome news over the years and for others, quite a surprise. We know from clinical experience that lowering inflammation, increasing nutrient intake and removing toxin exposures improves fertility.
Overall, I live a cleanse style life so that was nothing new for me but I added a new variable the year before becoming pregnant. I shifted my focus to fascia health. I became fascinated with the topic of fascia and how it relates to overall health. I started thinking differently, supplementing differently and exercising differently in order to support my fascia. I strongly believe this shift was how my fertility window lengthened. Let me explain…
Fascia is a collagen filled connective tissue that surrounds your muscles, nerves, tendons, ligament and bones. When fascia becomes rigid, it starts to “pull” on underlying tissue and can contribute to pain and inflammation, decreased range of motion, body tension, cellulite, headaches, anxiety and the list goes on and on. Because fascia connects all parts of the body, you can imagine dehydrated, tense tissue in one area can affect all parts of the body depending on the individual. The nervous system is bombarded with a constant signal that something is wrong. Over time, this will wear away at your energy and hormone reserves. Without an adequate supply of hormonal reserves, we become depleted and experience fatigue, depression, aches/pains and all kinds of hormonal imbalances from infertility to PMS. This same connective tissue also surrounds your pelvic girdle. When you loosen tense fascia, your reproductive organs get more blood flow and hydration. Logically, this can lead to increased fertility as well. As mention in my ebook, Fascia Fix Food Plan, I focused on 3 components of fascia health: Food, Fluid, and Flow.
Personally, I had already identified inflammatory foods that weren’t working for me and was eating a clean diet. However, I focused more on collagen rich foods by consistently making and drinking homemade bone broth… our crockpot was brewing most days of the week. I added collagen hydrolysate to foods and drinks. Lastly, I started taking additional supplemental collagen peptides, collagen promoting nutrients and co-factors like glutamine, glucosamine, biotin, silica and aloe together in our Fascia Fix CPC Powder and Supple Skin Cream, daily. It was easy and by my own standards, I had some catching up to do with my fascia.
Fascia needs to be fluid and hydrated in order to function. Something I personally struggle with is staying hydrated. I can have a busy day at the office and completely forget to drink water or go to the bathroom. I decided to change all of that for the sake of my fascia health. I made myself take breaks and drink water. I added sea salt and minerals to my water to improve hydration status and I got consistent with my oil and vinegar based daily dressings. While I have always loved Epsom salt baths, I became more consistent with them for delivery of magnesium and sulfate into my muscles and fascia.
Healthy blood vessels are key to delivering nutrients to the fascia and escorting wastes away. I used heat from my Epsom salt baths and infrared sauna to vasodilate blood vessels and deliver my high nutrient diet and supplements I was consuming. I also used my FasciaBlaster gently in the sauna and used gentle stretching while heated to release my tight fascia.
I stopped constricting my fascia by scaling back on intense workouts and enjoying more rest days. Instead of always contracting my muscles with high impact weight and cardio training, I incorporated more fluid, elongating movements found in yoga and barre classes.
I thought about exercising and stretching in a different way. For example, when I stretched my calves, I consciously thought about how the rest of my body responded. I used heat in various forms like a bath, sauna, space heater or heating pad to loosen my connective tissue before stretching and foam rolling. Instead of focusing on reducing stress from external sources I focused on the internal sources. I was looking at stressors from the physical plane not specifically the mental/emotional one. Through focusing on my fascia needs with food, fluid and flow, I shifted my body into a parasympathetic state. In this more relaxed state, cortisol stores and sex hormones are repleted. I became more energetic and youthful.
This was invigorating for me, mentally and physically. In my line of work it can be difficult to identify new ways to promote health. For me, learning about fascia and shifting my focus on fascia health gave me a framework to make specific changes to my routine. Fascia health was key to feeling my very best, getting in the best shape of my life and consequently prolonging my fertility window. Now that I am settling back into new motherhood, I look forward to getting back to supporting my post-pregnancy fascia. Admittedly though, I will be paying very close attention to my newly extended fertility window.
Thanks for reading and sharing in my work and my life.
~ Dr. Sherri (and Zaidee)