Tag Archives: infertility

Dawn Bonavita Lost 93 Pounds After Painful Struggle with Fertility

Dawn Bonavita collage

This Sunday, when Dawn Bonavita celebrates Mother’s Day, she will likely open homemade cards made by sticky hands and hug each child as they bound in to tell her good morning. In the decade and a half it took to have her three daughters, Dawn struggled with infertility, pregnancy loss, and weight that fluctuated wildly due to stress and bouts of depression.

After losing 93 pounds, Dawn feels blessed that she’s now the mom who can play with her kids without feeling winded, lift up her two year old with ease, and be an example of healthy living.

Just say no to cookies – This was the humiliating advice given to Dawn by a pediatrician when she was just a young girl. Heavy most of her childhood, Dawn became very active in high school and sprouted to five foot ten, which kept her trim for a few years but soon, the process of starting a family would take its toll on her waistline once again.

“My late twenties and all of my thirties were consumed with fertility issues,” Dawn explained. “We used fertility treatments to get pregnant with our first child and it worked within three months.” Unfortunately, Dawn’s second pregnancy would not be as easy. During the four years it took to conceive her second child, Dawn endured four rounds of IVF treatments and lost five pregnancies.


Alicia Silverstone’s Clueless, Anecdotal Pregnancy Advice Leaves us Saying ‘As If!’

The Kind Mama - alicia silverstoneAlicia Silverstone is known for many things, like being an actress, star of Aerosmith videos, vegan, and champion for the environment. She is not, however, a licensed physician or even a wise shaman, though in her new book, The Kind Mama, she’s giving advice that has our experts seeing red and shouting, “As if!”

A few eyebrow-raising comments from the book include, “Bananas are a naughty food for a baby,” “Dairy leaves toxic sludge in your baby house (uterus),” “The diaper industry is fueled by corporate-backed pseudoscience,” and also, pretty much everything she talks about in the book is “yummy.”

We’ve been HERE before

This is not the first time the Clueless star has been in the news for her nontraditional parenting style. Wait, I didn’t mean to call her clueless, I meant she was in the 90s cult classic movie, Clueless. Actually, come to think of it, either way that sentence works. Anyway, there was that time she chewed up her toddler’s food and fed him from her own mouth, baby bird style. Then, she admitted to eating her own placenta after his birth. She didn’t just reach down, grab it and munch on it. It was in pill form, so it’s totally not weird.

Did she really just go there about infertility? Yep, she did.

I believe Alicia had good intentions when she wrote this book, but she has to know that some of her claims will be challenged. It’s widely known that our managing editor, Brandi Koskie, had infertility issues before giving birth to her daughter, so when she read Alicia’s one-size-fits-all fertility rule about simply “cleaning up your baby house,” “having lots of yummy sex,” and avoiding fertility drugs, she had a swift response:

“Doesn’t that just sound delightful and peachy keen? Well, I’m here to tell you that Alicia is delusional. (more…)

Why it’s Crucial to Eat Right Before You Conceive

By Emily Wade Adams, CNC at PrimingTheBump.com and Natal-Nutrition.com

Eat Right Before You ConceiveWhy It’s Crucial to Eat Right Before You Conceive

Some people get pregnant without any preparation, it’s true. So what’s the point of undertaking a fertility preparation program? Why can’t you just sit down with a tub of ice cream and watch Jersey Shore instead?

Well, aside from the obvious explanation that in most cases, watching Snooki isn’t going to get you pregnant, there are two crucial reasons to eat right before you conceive:

EASE OF CONCEPTION. Speaking of ‘reality,’ not everyone is as fecund as TV shows may have you believe (see: 16 and Pregnant; 19 Kids and Counting). In fact, about 10-15% of couples now experience some form of infertility, and that percentage is steadily rising.

To conceive with ease, your reproductive system must be in good working order. Which means that your body must have all the necessary nutrients on hand – and in sufficient quantities – to feed the cells, hormones & processes of the reproductive system. In addition, any compounds that interfere with fertility must be avoided.

A nutritional preparation period helps stock your body full of healthy, fertility-boosting nutrients while eliminating anything that could block reproduction. Not only does this improve reproductive health, but it also puts you in control of your journey toward conception. (more…)

Free IVF Offered as Prize for the Cade Foundation Race for the Family

Grab your friends, family, dog or even just your headphones and participate in a virtual 5k. The Cade Foundation is hosting its annual Cade Foundation Race for the Family this year with a little twist. It’s a virtual race. Participants are asked to register, then prompted to participate in their own locations instead of coming together for a big race.

family running together

The Cade Foundation Race for the Family is held to raise money to help fund grants for families facing infertility. The Cade Foundation was started in 2005 and is named for founder Dr. Camille Hammond’s mother who carried and delivered Dr. Camille and Dr. Jason Hammond’s triplets after the couple had struggled with infertility for five years. By providing information support and financial assistance, the Cade Foundation looks to help needy families overcome infertility, often through in vitro fertilization.


Eat a Clean Diet and Aimee Raupp Says, “Yes, You Can Get Pregnant”

Like so many women, Jan found herself in her thirties with a career, a husband, and a strong desire to get pregnant. At 33, this corporate attorney had already had one miscarriage and two unsuccessful IUIs (intrauterine insemination), and she was “very upset and unsettled,” as described in Aimee Raupp’s new book Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: The Diet That Will Improve Your Fertility Now and Into Your 40s.

Jan is a real-life client of Aimee’s, a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and author of Chill Out and Get Healthy, who is included as a case study in this new book. Jan is described as arriving at Aimee’s office with a diet iced tea and a story of “fertility reducing eating habits,” a nutritionally void diet of low-fat, sugar-free, processed foods. Jen is probably not unlike a lot of women visiting Aimee or fertility specialists across the country; in fact, she’s probably more like the average infertility patient than not.

Where Jan may take a left fork in the road is in the diet she now follows, as prescribed by Aimee and outlined in the Yes, You Can Get Pregnant book. Today, Aimee excitedly told me that Jan is pregnant, and she did it naturally without the invasive IVF she was prepared to do. Aimee explained that Jan cleaned up her diet, took liver pills, and did eight acupuncture treatments. Then, after two menstrual cycles, learned she was expecting.

So is another of Aimee’s clients, a 43-year-old woman pregnant with her second child. “She followed my diet to a T, better than I do sometimes,” said Aimee. “She’s 20 weeks pregnant with a clean amnio.”

So what is Aimee prescribing that’s helping these women achieve the pregnancies they so desire? Just like Jan and the 43-year-old mom, they’re laser focused on what they eat as much as what they don’t. (more…)

PCOS Treatment Relies Heavily on a Healthy Lifestyle

This week, we’re helping to raise understanding about infertility by recognizing National Infertility Awareness Week. One in eight couples of childbearing age is diagnosed with infertility, and for women, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a leading cause. It is a hormonal imbalance accompanied by two of three characteristics: overproduction of androgens (male hormones); irregular menstrual cycles; and an ultrasound that shows ovaries with tiny follicles that look like cysts but are not. PCOS affects six to eight percent of women of childbearing age.

The signs of PCOS vary greatly among women. Some have excessive hair growth in a male pattern, as well as weight gain, acne, and scalp hair loss. Others have insulin resistance that may lead to diabetes, with lipid disorders and high blood pressure. The good news is that women with PCOS can and do get pregnant, but conception often means an unpleasant ordeal of tests, procedures, cycle tracking, and medications, not to mention cost.

Lifestyle interventions (i.e. healthy eating and activity) that help control weight are a cornerstone of PCOS treatment. Having too much body fat and eating too many carbohydrates aggravates insulin resistance and hormonal imbalance. The diet for PCOS should have only the number of calories that it takes to maintain a healthy weight and carbohydrates should not contribute more than 40 to 50 percent of total calories. (more…)

Weight Loss Renews Hope of a Healthy Pregnancy for Biggest Loser’s Sarah Nitta

It’s one of the most natural desires a woman can have – to start a family. And when Sarah Nitta experienced multiple miscarriages, it forced her to look at the reasons why, with her weight being a primary culprit. Her starting weight on Biggest Loser season 11 was 261 pounds, a lot for her small 5-foot-six-inch frame to carry. “My goal going into this was to get myself healthy enough to have a child,” she said in a post-elimination interview. Focused on getting to her finale weight goal, she said after that her first goal is to “try to carry a healthy pregnancy.”

Like most women, she has concerns about the pregnancy weight gain, but is already educating herself on the best way to go about that, citing the recommended amount of weight a woman can healthily gain for a pregnancy (about 35 pounds). She has spoken with her trainers and Biggest Loser’s Dr. Huizenga and they tell her “exercise is such an important part of pregnancy.” She also hopes to have more success in losing the weight and maintaing her new-found healthy habits after her pregnancy. “If I can’t get pregnant, then I’ve done my part [losing the weight], and we’ll try other options,” she said.

Listen now to our post-elimination interview with Sarah. She opens up about the perceived retaliation by her black team in sending her home and inadvertently being responsible for Arthur’s elimination in week 10. “I was very surprised at the decision” she says. She’s also working out at the Tapout gym in Las Vegas, with the same trainer who prepped Koli Palau and Mark Pinhasovich for the at-home prize wins. “That’s exactly what I’m shooting for,” she says of her decision to train with Robert McMullen.


Natural Family Planning: a Better Option for Obese Women?

MonthThere are several reasons why overweight and obese women may not want to take  a hormonal birth-control. It may be for health reasons, like furthering the risks of high blood pressure, heart disease, or blood clots.  Many decline to take birth control for religious reasons. Natural Family Planning, or NFP, has recently gained momentum, particularly among Catholics. NFP is the only form of birth control condoned by the Roman Catholic Church other than abstinence.

Further, the birth control pill is much less effective at preventing pregnancies in overweight and obese women. A study conducted in Washington state found that the risk of unwanted pregnancy among women taking the pill to be 60 percent higher among overweight women, and 70 percent higher among obese women. Other studies suggested that the same thing may also be true of hormone-based birth control, such as implants or the patch.

Religious reasons aside, some women who cannot take the pill for weight-related health reasons may consider turning to Natural Family Planning, also known as the rhythm method and fertility awareness. NFP includes knowledge of one’s menstrual cycle(calendar method), tracking one’s basal body temperature (BBT), and observing cervical mucus (Billings method). These are all indicators of when one is ovulating. However, the rhythm method is only about 75 to 87 percent effective (WebMD). That means there’s a one-in-four chance of pregnancy every time you have sex without another form of birth control.