Podcast

42: Your Fertility Journey: Everything You Need to Know About Protecting and Optimizing Your Fertility with Jolinda Johnson

Welcome to the 42nd Episode of the Curiously You Podcast with Fertility Coach Jolinda Johnson. In today’s episode we will be covering everything you need to know to protect and optimise your fertility, which is important to every woman, whether or not you are currently trying for a baby.

Jolinda and I speak about the importance of the egg quality, how diet and exercise and lifestyle hugely impact upon your ability to successfully conceive. We also dive into the lesser spoken about emotional and spiritual aspect of conception, how to deal with others baby announcements as you struggle, and fostering a surrendered trusting mind-set helps allows for the feminine, sensual, receptive mode of creating a baby.

You’ll love this episode if you:

– Are not currently trying for a baby, but you want to know how you can protect and enhance your fertility for when the time arrives to try.

– Are trying for a baby, but finding the process stressful, disappointing, and overwhelming. The advice provided will help you move into a happier, healthier state.

– Have got the practicalities of conception on form! You know your best days, you are doing all the things, but you can’t seem to get a hold on some key ingredients: passion, femininity, trust and surrender.

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Time Stamped Notes

[3:55] Jolinda first became interested in fertility and pregnancy during her health coach training whilst she was preparing herself for her first (and only thus far) pregnancy.

She was very lucky with her son as she got pregnant within the first cycle. When trying for her second child, she didn’t approach the process with the same relaxed, loving, attitude. She steeped herself in all of the research, and became obsessed. Unwilling to surrender, she put pressure on herself: having only one child was not acceptable to her.

We all have a fertility story we develop at childhood, which is difficult to let go. As her mother-friends would announce that they were pregnant again, Jolinda would obsess over what she could do to best prepare herself. She wondered who she could talk to about these struggles.

Jolinda managed her depression following therapy through diet and lifestyle. She didn’t know who else she could talk to about which foods would support her fertility. It was also important to her to speak about gratitude and surrender to the process. She sought comfort and support from someone to help her see that she was exactly where she needed to be.

That’s when she realised she could go to a fertility coach, which incorporates all these facets of the pregnancy process.

[9:50] Jolinda has an auto-immune disease which is basically spinal arthritis. She controls this condition effectively by avoiding starch. It means she can eat greens, legumes and, depending on sensitivity, bananas and cashew nuts. She was already following a no starch diet, eating very clean (due to her experience with depression) and drinking minimal alcohol to regulate her mood.

Diet affects egg quality. There is confusion about what foods will most maximise your own fertility, tailored to what works best for your body. You have to start with the basics – the things that are going to be harmful to your health will be harmful to your fertility, such as white sugar, trans fats. Remove these from your diet and eat when you are actually hungry, and notice how you feel when you eat certain foods. Do you feel energised, or do you feel in a fog? Are you bloated? Uncomfortable? “You are what you eat”, as the old adage says.

[14:18] The influence of diet often doesn’t click until the late 20’s. Everything that you’re putting into your body is used by your cells to fuel your physiological processes. When it comes to your hormones, consuming even moderate amount of sugars can create high insulin, and decrease fertility. Women benefit by sticking to slow burning carbohydrates.

[16:21] Get intimate with your own physiology, which can be difficult to do on your own. If you don’t feel well on a vegan diet and you’re attached to that diet, it’s not easy to start incorporating animal products on your own.

Jolinda didn’t realise her low energy levels for a few years. Sometimes we convince ourselves that one diet is the way but our body is crying out to us to make changes. It’s easier to make those changes when you have someone by your side helping you make good food choices. This is what Jolinda does with her clients, too.

[19:37] Your ability to be fertile depends on the egg equality. The biggest reason for not getting pregnant or miscarrying early is chromosomal abnormalities due to sperm and egg quality.

There are lots of things in your diet and lifestyle that affect egg quality. A woman in her 30’s who has a stressful job, drinks 5 coffees a day, is not paying attention to her diet, and who has irregular periods will likely have cortisol levels through the roof. Contrast this with a woman who eats well and is aware of her cycles. These two women won’t have the same egg quality.

Cosmetics also play a role, so be aware of environmental factors. Fertility decreases with age between 35-40, every year, fertility goes down but in any stage of your life you can always improve to your own health. Your fertility is essentially your health.

[23:26] Jolinda has friends who have taken the pill for 15 years and have gotten pregnant first try, and some who waited for three years.

The longer you’re on the pill, the longer you’re missing out on information that is going on in your body which is valuable to prepare for pregnancy. You have a 6 day window to conceive. Your fertile window has to do with when you ovulate – the issue isn’t necessarily getting pregnant, it’s staying pregnant. This also depends on the quality of your egg. Many women miscarry without even realising it.

[29:25] There aren’t many fertility coaches in the broader context. Many of them focus on visualisation and meditation – affirmations can be helpful – however, the biggest mindset shift for Jolinda, is the shift towards self-compassion, self-kindness, and surrender. It will inform all of these other choices that affect your fertility

A woman who feels kind towards herself, and her body and trusts where she is in the process will be much more open to surrendering into the sexual appearance. Fertility thrives on receptive energy – look at areas in your life that you are not willing to receive – from the bedroom to compliments.

[34:50] How are you taking care of yourself? How are you releasing stress from your body?

Jolinda didn’t realise how disconnected she was from her body until she took Zumba. When she would do these hip thursts, it felt so unnatural and awkward. It’s about getting comfortable in your own bodies and movement; caring for yourself, and healing yourself.

Caring for yourself mentally is another pathway to self-compassion. When she finds herself worried she will practise forgiveness and use matras throughout the day, for example, “this too will pass”. She will repeat that mantra as she is walking down the street. She associates it with a gospel song that her mother played, it reminds her of the loving energy of being with her mum and knowing that life is ever-changing, and how we move with that change. The more we resist, the more we suffer.

What really helped Jolinda get over the ache she experienced when other women would announce their second child was by reconnecting with her own passions outside of motherhood. It’s really important to widen the lens, because when you have laser focus, then you miss out on everything else that is going on.

Start to bring other things into your life that bring you joy and make you feel fulfilled – what are you looking to get out of motherhood? How can you experience and incite those feelings now? Having a child is a beautiful experiences, yet it’s a myth that it will help you to love yourself – for Jolinda it has been quite the contrary. It didn’t erase her self doubt, or boost her self esteem. And so these are things you can work on creating for yourself now.

Your experience of motherhood is going to be shaped by how you feel already about yourself as the baby is not going to fix everything. This is one of the features of fertility coaching. it helps you work on your struggles up until to this point.

[44:03] So many of us know what it is that we want, but we need the space to figure it out and we need someone asking us the right questions. That’s the power of any coach – it helps you get in touch with what your desires are and what your action plan is for your reality.

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Resources

Connect with Jolinda

Jolinda Offers 3 or 6 month Fertility Programs around diet, lifestyle and mindset.

Find out more at http://jolindajohnson.com

Connect with Jolinda on social media:

Instagram | Facebook

Books that Jolinda recommends:

It’s Starts with the Egg by Rebecca Fett

Come As You Are by Emily Nogowski

How to Conceive Naturally and Have a Healthy Pregnancy After 30 by Christa Orecchio, Willow Buckley

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Tony Weshler

Self Compassion by Kristin Neff

The Fertile Female by Julieanne DeChova

Curious Question

As Jolinda shares, having a baby most of the time will not resolve any underlying struggles before pregnancy.

And so how do you believe having a baby will make you feel that is different to how you feel now?

How can you create those feelings for yourself now? How would you be showing up, and what might you be doing?

Let us know in the comments section!

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Thank you for tuning in curious friends, and thank you Jolinda for joining us on the show this week!

Until the next episode, take care of yourself.

Love,

Jen x

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Hi Curious Friends!
I’m Jen, and Curiously You is a safe space for you to move past who you “should” be and step into who you are!

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