Back to School: Teaching our Kids about 'Different'

Back to School:  Teaching our Kids about 'Different'

Back to school for me brings about an excitement for my son and also for me.  When I was a kid I loved getting a new outfit, pencil box and supplies and back pack.  It was an exciting time and despite my longing for summer to never end I also looked forward to the new things to come.

As I sit on the other side as a mother now getting ready to send my son off to 1rst grade, also am thinking about my desire to preserve and protect the essence of my son his sense of self, while also helping him understand and accept his and other’s differences.

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We cannot escape disappointment: Go all in!

We cannot escape disappointment: Go all in!

"Our disappointment is the same if we go all in or tread cautiously.  I say "Go all in!"  

I say this often to my patients when they just find out that they are pregnant and are holding their breath until they reach the second trimester or beyond.  

For many the journey to pregnancy has been years and to finally receive that positive pregnancy test it can often feel so overwhelming and emotional, that it's only natural that we would want to protect ourselves from disappointment.   

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Sperm: what role does it play in your fertility?

 

According to Resolve approximately 30% of infertility is due to factors involving sperm.  When couples come into my office I ask a series of questions about their health history and we talk about test results that have been done.  When we get to the questions involving sperm many times couples are unaware of how this can be a factor in their fertility.

If couples have been tested at a Reproductive Endocrinologists office they most likely have had a sperm analysis but occasionally if they were tested at their general doctors office they may not have been tested at all, or not with the criteria that fertility doctors look at.

I’ve put together a brief description of what the technical terms is for each marker and their ideal values and a few ways you can improve your sperm markers as well.  

Motility:  This is the measurement of how well the sperm are moving forward.  This is obviously important factor so that the sperm can travel the sometime treacherous journey to fertilize the egg.  Greater than or equal to 50% is considered fertile.  

Count or Concentration:  How many sperm are swimming around.  The more there are the better the odds.  15,000,000 or more is considered a good count.  

Morphology: (Strict-Kruger is considered the gold standard)  this is the % of how many normal sperm there are.  Ideally sperm has one head and one tail, but poor morphology shows sperm with abnormal shapes; two heads, or two tails for example.  Greater than 4% or more is considered normal.

So what do you do if you get news that your sperm doesn’t meet all these markers?  

  1. Lifestyle choices: that have been shown to improve motility: Stop smoking tobacco and marijuana, stop drinking, stop your steroid use. Avoid hot tubs tight underwear and long bike rides.

  2. Change your diet:  Introduce foods that are known to eliminate free radicals and are high in antioxidants have been shown to help improve sperm markers.organically grown fruits and vegetables especially broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts.  Essential fatty acids are a must (avoid farm raised fish i.e salmon) mackerel, sardines nuts, avocados and olives.  Sperm takes about 72 days to mature so we can do things to improve the quality of the sperm before it is ejaculated and ready to fertilize.  Dairy products should be used in moderation as well as sodas and drink only filtered or bottled water.  

  3. Supplements:  Antioxidant supplements such as L-Arginine and Pycnogenols have been shown to help with sperm markers.  These things take time so make sure to give it some time before you see any results.  

  4. Acupuncture:  Abnormal sperm analysis has been linked to tight clothing, hot tubs, and other ways that blood flow is being restricted.  One of acupuncture's main function is to restore proper blood flow, it also has the added benefit of easing stress a common experience of couples that are trying to conceive.  

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Fertile Recipe for Receptivity

 

To build anything we must first have a good foundation.  Of course nutrition, exercise, minerals and supplements are a good place to start.  But, what we also really need is to  develop our ability to receive; tap into our femininity and learn to nurture our creativity.

We live in an age where we get mixed messages all the time about what it means to be feminine.  We are expected to be a go getter, lift heavy things, take care of the kids, have a high powered job, cook, look sexy, and have it all together, all at the same time!  It’s a challenge to keep up with all of it.

Celebrating what we are naturally good at, rather than trying to be something outside our nature, is both exhausting and not optimal for fertility.  

What do I mean by being receptive?  

When I was in labor with my first child I remember wanting to “DO” labor, I felt that I needed to walk, bounce, move, push and change positions at all times.  I was in a major masculine mode.  But that wasn’t working in my favor.  What I needed was to allow, breathe, open, rest, and go inwards.  But the athlete in me kept wanting to push forward.  

It’s the same with the way we want to control our fertility, when in fact,  what is needed is more yielding opening, patience, and receiving.  I know this is hard advise to hear, let alone follow.

Here is a short list of ways you can incorporate femininity and receiving into your day that is a little more in line with the life of a modern day woman.

  • Walking meditation
  • Yoga (but not the hot kind)
  • Accepting a compliment
  • Asking your husband for a foot massage
  • Asking for help from a friend or relative
  • Intentional Breathing for 5 minutes
  • Wearing something that makes you feel sexy and beautiful for no reason at all