Menu
5 Healthy Habits to Boost Fertility

Fertility isn’t just about having sex at the right time with the right person. It’s also about habits -- healthy habits. That’s right, your fertility is an extension of your health, and when all the pillars of mental, emotional and physical health align, many people see a positive shift in their baby-making potential. So if you are having a hard time conceiving, you may just need to kick a couple of bad habits to the curb.

As an acupuncturist specializing in fertility, I have helped thousands of couples on the path to conception and have become acutely aware of what healthy behaviors set a couple up for prime fertility. Want to boost your fertility and start a family? Now is the time to follow the lead of highly fertile people. Here are 5 habits you can adopt today to better your health and rejuvenate your fertility.

1. Sleep enough. Study after study shows us that a lack of sleep affects our health indices on every level. When we don’t sleep enough, our body doesn’t have time to restore, nor does it feel it has the resources or capability to create another life (aka get pregnant). To help your fertility flourish, you need to be sleeping 7 to 8 hours every single night.

2. Have more sex. Recent research has made it clear that when you're trying to conceive, it's not just about sex at your fertile times, it’s about regular sex all month long. Having regular sex, (2 to 3 times a week) primes your body and its immune system for optimal fertility. Not only does it boost your ability get pregnant, but it also help you stay pregnant. Even more, regular sex keeps the love and intimacy alive in your relationship. Even if you're going through fertility treatments like IVF or IUI, regular sex still benefits you from an emotional and physical perspective. So don’t “save up” for ovulation and have sex with your partner whenever you are in the mood.

3. Have fun. That’s right: fun optimizes fertility. Though there’s no hard scientific data linking happiness to better fertility, there is plenty of science linking it to better health. And, I’m a firm believer that optimal health equals optimal fertility. For many people who are struggling with infertility, fun goes out the window: there's no more fun sex, little to no fun dates nights, less adventure and less spontaneity. Life is put on hold. But emotional and mental health is very important in regulating the hormones that are responsible for your fertility. So plan a fun date, get yourself some sexy lingerie or plan a fun trip to rekindle your relationship with fun. Most importantly, try to make finding joy a priority; and think about the present, not what you’re longing for in the future.

4. Eat fat. At some point in the 80s, we got into the idea that fat was bad for us. But that is so not the case. Of course, not all fats are created equal, and there are fats, like hydrogenated vegetable oils and trans fats, that are terribly bad for us. But there are a lot of fats that are good for us and even imperative for optimal fertility. How is that? Fat cells in the body produce estrogen -- a sex hormone that is crucial in regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle and her fertility. Similarly, maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol, which is found in fat, is a must for a healthy menstrual cycle. Bottom line: having too little or too much fat can be detrimental to your fertility. So eat fats -- the right kind of fats, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Olive oil, coconut oil, seeds, nuts and nut butters are all great addition to your diet to try and boost hormonal balance. And, if weight is a concern for your, don’t skip the fat. Rather, skip the sugar and carbs.

5. Chill out. Stress can be healthy and motivating. But chronic stress, on the other hand, is bad for your health and for your fertility. Studies have shown that stress can get in the way of your fertility, deregulating sex hormones that are responsible for ovulation, which can then make it more difficult to know when you are most fertile. So though dealing with infertility issues, along with demanding jobs and other social obligations, can be stressful, try not to let you down and relax. One way you can do that is through meditation. Even a few minutes a day where you allow yourself to sit still and breathe can make a tremendous difference. Alternatively, meditation can be about simply focusing on how your food nourishes you while you are eating it (as opposed to answering emails while you wolf down your lunch), taking ten deep breaths in your morning shower, or listening to something meditative on your morning commute (rather than the stress-inducing news). Though you won’t see positive results overnight, you’ll eventually break the stress cycle and allow your body, and fertility, to thrive.

I understand you can’t do all of these all the time -- we have to live our lives, after all, so flexibility is key. But do your best to implement these tips 70 to 80 percent of the time. And if you want more tips on how to maximize your fertility, tune in to FREE fertility masterclass, The Top Ten Tips To Get Pregnant Faster (available until 4/3/17).

Photo by Ana Gambuto.

One of our main goals as mothers is to encourage our children to learn, grow and play. They start out as our tiny, adorable babies who need us for everything, and somehow, before you know it, they grow into toddlers with ideas and opinions and desires of their own.

You may be hearing a lot more of "I do it!" or maybe they're pushing your hand away as a signal to let you know, I don't need your help, Mama. That's okay. They're just telling you they're ready for more independence. They want to be in charge of their bodies, and any little bit of control their lives and abilities allow.

So, instead of challenging your toddler's desire for autonomy, we found five of our favorite products to help encourage independence—and eliminate frustration in the process.

EKOBO Bamboo 4-piece kid set

EKOBO bamboo 4-piece kid set

This colorful set includes a plate, cup, bowl and spoon and is just right for your child's meal experience. Keep them in an easy-to-reach cabinet so they'll feel encouraged (and excited!) to get their own place setting each time they eat.

$25

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Puj PhillUp hangable kids cups

Before you know it, your little one will be asking (okay, maybe demanding) to fill their own water cups. This amazing 4-pack of cups attaches directly to the fridge (or any glass, metal, tile or fiberglass surface) making it easier for your child to grab a cup themselves. Just be sure a water pitcher or dispenser is nearby, and—boom!—one task off your plate.

$29

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

Wise Elk puzzle tower blocks

These beautiful blocks, made from sustainably-sourced wood and water-based, non-toxic, lead-free paint, will keep your little one focused on their creation while they're also busy working on their fine-motor skills. The puzzle design will encourage patience as your kiddo creates their own building, fitting one block in after the next.

$18

Lorena Canals basket

Lorena Canals Basket

This *gorgeous* braided cotton basket is the perfect, accessible home for their blocks (and whatever else you want to hide away!) so your kiddo can grab them (and clean them up) whenever their heart desires.

$29

BABYBJÖRN step stool

BABYBJ\u00d6RN Step Stool

Your kiddo might be ready to take on the world, but they might need an extra boost to do so—cue, a step stool! An easy-to-move lightweight stool is the must-have confidence-boosting tool you need in your home so your growing tot can reach, well... the world.

$20

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

They say necessity is the mother of invention—and nothing makes you more inventive than motherhood.

Sometimes that means fashioning a diaper out of paper towels and your older child's underpants (true story). Sometimes that means creating an innovative and life-changing weighted baby sleep sack and totally crushing it on Shark Tank. Tara Williams is the latter.

Keep reading Show less
Shop

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play