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Naturopathic doctor Priscilla Natanson from Seattle, WA, flew off to Mexico with a girlfriend to laze by the swimming pool, eat “amazing food,” dance and drink tequila the week before attempting to conceive for the first time.
According to Dr. Natanson, who, at age 39, successfully conceived during the first month of “trying” with Andres—her live-in partner of 15 years—the vacation was prescribed by her pregnancy agenda.
“Most ‘infertility’ is caused by stress,” says Dr. Natanson, who followed a rigorous health and relaxation program 6 months before attempting to get pregnant and gave birth just 8 days shy of turning 40.
“I stopped eating seafood almost entirely to avoid heavy metal contamination and religiously took my supplements including prenatal, good quality fish oil, extra folic acid, vitamin D and probiotics.”
Dr. Natanson also treated herself to a course of acupuncture, massage and chiropractic before and during pregnancy, although she admits to using chiropractic less once she had conceived.
The Mexican holiday rave was intended to be the icing on the relaxation cake, prior to making whoopee of the baby-producing kind.
“By the time I got back home I was completely relaxed, refreshed, and ready to take on the project of pregnancy,” adds Dr. Natanson.
She also feels that being a naturopathic doctor made her more “familiar with body signs” and able to determine her “more fertile times,” which helped her to get pregnant on the first round.
Dr. Natanson has observed that an increasing number of her patients are attempting to get pregnant later in life and is able to identify with their need to achieve stability first.
“I’ve always known I wanted children,” she says, “but I also wanted a career.”
In fact, Dr. Natanson was actually ‘pushing 40’ by the end of 2008, when she finally felt her practice was “in enough of a groove” that she could take the time off for motherhood, without being at financial risk.
Now, she works with older patients hoping to conceive by ensuring they have a “healthy baseline from which to become pregnant,” which includes proper hormonal balance, diet and dietary supplements (especially clean prenatal fish oils) needed to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy.
“If women are having difficulty conceiving, it is often the case that there is a particular food sensitivity that is affecting their body in a negative way.”
But Conception Enemy #1, argues Dr. Natanson, is stress.
“I recommend things like acupuncture and massage to get their body relaxed and prepared,” she says.
Dr. Natanson also often advises women to learn how to recognize the signs of their body’s readiness to conceive—but not to tell their partner.
“Most women can’t help but obsess a bit, once they make the decision to have a child—but when both partners are obsessing, it creates more stress than necessary in the process.”
“So I often advise them to tell their male partners: ‘let’s just have fun for a few months and see what happens.’”
If that’s not successful, Dr. Natanson says the couple can then “get more serious about the process.”
And, like many over-40 mothers and natural healthcare practitioners, she has observed some of the fear and pressure tactics used by some areas of fertility medicine.
“When you hear those commercials for fertility clinics on the radio, just change the channel,” urges Dr. Natanson.
“Fertility clinics can be helpful when really necessary, but those commercials are designed to make any woman over 35 feel they are too old to conceive naturally—that they are no longer fertile.”
Dr. Natanson—whose son is now 10 months old—says that his conception was very simple and took place in the “old fashioned way.”
“Most women I have known who are having kids in their late 30’s or early 40’s are having no trouble conceiving if they are relaxed and having fun with the process,” she adds.
Dr. Natanson’s prescription for over-40 women hoping to become mothers? It lies somewhere on the shelf between “chilling out” and “relaxing.”
“Chillax!” she coaxes reassuringly. “Really! Try to make the process fun, lighthearted and loving. Take good care of your body and trust it to know what to do.”
Notes for this blog:
Dr. Priscilla Natanson’s website and contact info:
Dr. Priscilla Natanson
Seattle Natural Medicine
1904 3rd Ave., Suite 628
Seattle, WA 98101
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (drnatanson null@null seattlenaturalmedicine NULL.com)
Website: http://www.seattlenaturalmedicine.com/ (http://www NULL.seattlenaturalmedicine NULL.com/)
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