baby-chick-and-an-eggI am reading Feeding Your Fertility: Nourishing Your Mind, Body & Spirit with Chinese Medicine and Healthy Living by Emily Bartlett, LAc and Laura Erlich, LAc. First and foremost, let me say, I love this book! I am finding it to be very clear, informational and well organized, which does not surprise me based on my experience of Emily Bartlett’s book The Eczema Cure that I also reviewed. “Feeding Your Fertility” is one of the 30 e-books offered in the End of Summer E-Book Bundle offered by Village Green Network, for a 90% savings through September 10.

This book, which I find very accessible to read, is fairly comprehensive in it’s reach as it covers topics such as food, miscarriages, endometriosis, fibroids and polyps, irregular or no ovulation and thyroid issues to name a few as seen through the both the medical model and Chinese Medicine points of view. The chapters focus on:

  • Cultivating Fertility
  • Chinese Medicine and Fertility
  • The Infertility Lifestyle: How your lifestyle may be hindering pregnancy
  • Self-Care: Making Time for You
  • Traditional Diets and Fertility
  • Using Chinese Medicine Nutrition to Find Your Balance
  • Bringing it All Together
  • Vitamins and Supplements for Fertility
  • Dealing with Obstacles: Conventional and Holistic Solutions for Common Infertility
  • Navigating the Medical Fertility World

A Focus on Real Food

I was delighted and relieved when I skipped ahead immediately to the Vitamins & Supplements for Fertility chapter and read the header: “Why food is the best prenatal nutrition.”

Here’s a wild concept: for most folks, it is completely possible to receive adequate, excellent nutrition through diet alone. In our modern western world, prospective mothers and pregnant women are sent to the pharmacy with a prescription for synthetic supplements that are difficult for the body to digest and absorb.

The authors supply several charts that illustrate how one can meet the Recommended Daily Allowances of nutrients through whole food.  The entire chapter is, from my perspective, quite detailed and informative. They cover the importance of omega 3s, vitamin D, vitamin A  from food only, vitamin K2, probiotics, amino acid therapy, and antioxidants.

Krill Oil – A Difference of Opinion

They do mention krill oil as an option. The Weston A. Price Foundation doesn’t recommend krill oil, however there is a paragraph in this book that points out the following benefits and disadvantages:

There are several more advantages to krill oil over other fish oils. Krill is:

  • Easier to digest—doesn’t produce a fishy after-taste
  • More potent as an anti-oxidant
  • Generally less likely to be contaminated with toxins since krill is a tiny animal
  • A protector against skin damage from UV exposure as it contains astaxanthin

The downsides to krill are that it does not contain vitamins A or D in adequate amounts, and it can be fairly expensive. However, during the summer months if you are getting enough sun exposure for vitamin D as well as eating liver regularly, krill may be a good choice.

The Weston A. Price Foundation answers a member’s question about krill oil:

Q: I know that fish oil is bad for us especially because there is too much omega-3 derivatives EPA and DHA. And this disrupts the balance between omega-3 and omega-6, which weakens the immune system right? You clearly mention on your website that you don’t recommend fish oil. But cod liver oil is a fish oil right? So the same reasoning applies to cod liver oil. It will disrupt the balance between the omega-3 and 6, which is bad. In this case, is it better to take the cod liver oil with some omega-6 rich oils like safflower or sunflower oils? Dr. Mercola, and others, recommends krill oil, what do you think of that?

A: We recommend cod liver oil to get adequate A and D. Using the high-vitamin cod liver oil or even the regular dose cod liver oil, you can get adequate A and D without overdosing on either omega-6 or omega-3. Also, the vitamin A protects the polyunsaturates from oxidation. Be sure to use only the brands of cod liver oil that we recommend. The manufacturers of krill oil do not reveal how much A and D is in their oil, so I have to assume it is not much. So there is no reason to take krill oil.

Nourishing Ourselves

Beyond food, the book covers how to feed our fertility on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels as well. The self-care and lifestyle chapters include mediations, mantras and mindful movement, getting emotional support, the importance of sleep, concerns about toxins and stress, amongst other topics.

Chinese Medicine

I love the succinctly written Chinese Medicine and Fertility chapter, which includes approaches to integrating both East and West philosophies. Readers will learn about Qi, Jing, and Shen and “The Five Elements”: fire, earth, metal, water and wood as seen through CM.

The entire book weaves back and forth between what many will face as they move through the conventional medical model and how one may view what they are experiencing through the Chinese Medical model. For example, the authors offer case studies of unexplained infertility that become explained infertility when viewed through CM. There is a quiz or really more of a questionnaire in the back of the book that allows you to self diagnose different deficiencies, as seen through the Chinese Medicine lens. I plan to take it as soon as I publish this review!

In Summation

I think their opening paragraph serves as an apropos  summation as well:

While the decision to start a family can be both exciting and terrifying, it is especially so for couples who encounter challenges. At its best, making a baby can be the thrill and joy of a lifetime. At its worst, it can be a rollercoaster of hope, disappointment, and unfulfilled dreams. We wrote this ebook to take the chaos and confusion down a notch and put you back in the driver’s seat. Is your diet nourishing you and contributing to your ability to conceive? Have you explored the unique perspectives on fertility that Chinese Medicine can provide? Are you getting the most out of your medical care? Have you truly created space in your life for a new little being? The title we chose, Feed Your Fertility, has to do with a lot more than food. We believe that, in order to truly nourish yourself in a meaningful way, all aspects of your life must be “fed.” That means paying attention to your relationships, your lifestyle habits, and all of the nuances that go into making you feel healthy, inside and out. In this ebook, we hope to provide you with tools to enhance your whole self, paving the way toward conception, a healthy pregnancy and a thriving baby.

Again, I highly, highly recommend this book and will be including it in our resource list! This is an opportune time to purchase it because the authors have priced their  e-book at 39.95.  For 39.00 you’ll receive this book and 29 others through September 10! If you are a Village Green Network Prime Member, you’ll receive an additional 25% off.