“Baby Maker” is now available now on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Can you change your eating habits and use a holistic nutrition strategy to improve your fertility and health during pregnancy? Yes!
In Baby Maker, Barbara Rodgers shares science-based research and facts that clearly describe the critical role nutrition can play on fertility, the growth of a fetus, and even genetic synthesis in a newborn baby. You’ll get a step-by-step plan for improving fertility (for men and women), strengthening the ability of a pregnant mom to carry to term, as well as a plan to support a mother’s health during pregnancy. Learn how to jumpstart mom’s nutritional health immediately following delivery.
“This book is the most integrative guide to “baby making” that I have reviewed in the past thirty years.”Ann Louise Gittleman
About the Author
Barbara Rodgers NC, BCHN
Barbara is an educator, strategist, and speaker for the holistic nutrition industry. After a 5 ½-year-long battle with MS, Barbara Rodgers used holistic nutrition protocols to heal herself from this devastating disease. She was inspired to return to school to study Holistic Nutrition, and is now a nutrition consultant; board certified in Holistic Nutrition. Barbara helps individuals with chronic disease, unexplained infertility, and autoimmune conditions understand the effect their diet and lifestyle choices have as contributing factors to overall health.
Listen to Barb's interview on "Health Begins With Mom" podcast (July, 2017)
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 – Looking for Baby in All the Wrong Places: Planning for Success
Chapter 2 – How to Find Fertility: Your Pre-conception Strategy
Chapter 3 – You and Your Baby are Bugged: Your Microbiome and How it Affects Fertility
Chapter 4 – The Baby Maker Eating Plan: What to Eat to Have A Healthy Pregnancy
- The Role of Fats in Pregnancy
- The Skinny on Fats
- Food Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Food Sources of Omega-6 Fatty Acids
- Recommended Oils and Fats
- Protein Foods that Contain Carbohydrates
- Vegetables – Starchy and Non-starchy
- Other – herbs, spices, condiments
Foods to Eat / Foods to Avoid
Chapter 5 – The Baby Maker Eating Plan by Trimester: What to Eat to Have A Healthy Pregnancy by Trimester
Chapter 6 – Don’t Mess With Your Hormones: Important Things to Avoid During Pre-conception and Pregnancy
Chapter 7 – Healthy Mom, Happy Baby: Recommendations for Post Pregnancy Diet and HealthChapter 7 – Healthy Mom, Happy Baby: Recommendations for Post Pregnancy Diet and Health
Chapter 8 – Not All Supplements are Created Equal: Choose and Buy Supplements Like a Pro
- Bone Broth
Daily Recommended Food Servings Foods to Eat / Foods to Avoid Chart
What’s in the Book?
Of the estimated one in six American or Canadian couples who struggle with getting pregnant each year, there is compelling evidence that lifestyle, nutrition and environmental factors play a significant part in the couples’ ultimate failure or success. This is encouraging news for anyone who wants to get pregnant because they have some control over their well-being and can make modifications to improve their circumstances.
Unfortunately, traditional medical or healthcare practitioners rarely, if ever, outline a comprehensive, long-term nutrition strategy based on holistic principals to help these men and women.
Dealing with debilitating multiple sclerosis symptoms for several years and eventually recovering from them after following an intense, three-year long nutritional program, left me in awe. How was I able to heal from my symptoms by changing what I ate? I was determined to learn more about how this was possible and decided to enroll in school to study Holistic Nutrition.
While in school I was required to select a life cycle to research and write about that could be positively impacted by nutritional protocols. The area of fertility and pregnancy was of significant interest to me.
I still get a chill down my spine when I recall how horrible my diet was during both of my pregnancies and the 50 pounds I gained during each. About half-way through my curriculum in school I learned that my high-sugar diet prior to and during pregnancy was likely passed onto both of my daughters by way of a genetic pre-disposition to insulin resistance. That’s right. My dreadful eating habits during pregnancy set my daughters up for a lifetime of health hazards. How many women wanting to become pregnant understand that their health status prior to conception, and their diet prior to and during pregnancy, can alter their fertility, impede the growth of their fetus, and change the genetic expression of their child, once born?
As I continued to examine issues with fertility and conception, it became clear that it is one of the many life stages that could benefit from an attainable alteration in diet and nutrition. It is my desire that this information be more “mainstream” and more accessible.
I started my story by describing my remarkable recovery from multiple sclerosis. You might be wondering what MS has to do with fertility and conception? Actually, everything! There is evidence that chronic disease and other dysfunctions in the body often begin with an imbalance in one or more of the various microbiome environments that exist inside each of us. Furthermore, we are learning that these imbalances and dysfunction can be dramatically improved or reversed by changing the pH in the body, removing toxins and eliminating nutrient deficiencies. In other words, changing what we eat.
“Change what you eat.”
That doesn’t sound impossible, does it? The truth is, making the necessary dietary changes to restore the body to homeostasis is not easy. In fact, for many people it will only happen out of desperation. “Desperation” is exactly the point at which many people with a chronic disease or even infertility find themselves. When working with individual clients in my private practice, I know if a new client has what it takes to be successful with my recommendations because at some point during our initial communication I usually hear “I am desperate and willing to do anything.”
I think many woman will agree, there is no greater passion than that of a woman, like you, who dreams of being a mom one day. The recommendations I lay out in BABY MAKER allow you to channel your passion, desperation and dreams into actionable plans that will help restore your health and dramatically improve your chances of becoming pregnant.
Many of the dietary changes that I recommend in BABY MAKER are based on, although not identical to, my diet during the several years I was fighting multiple sclerosis. This regimen requires more than eliminating the bowl of potato chips and the Diet Coke chaser someone might consume on a daily basis. To recover from MS (yes, I consider myself recovered from an “incurable” disease), I eliminated all dairy, any products that contained gluten, anything that contained sugar (right down to the tablespoon of mayonnaise on a hamburger patty), caffeine, starchy foods (legumes, potatoes, beans), processed foods including deli meats, pork and bacon (basically anything in a package), fast food, alcoholic beverages, and I reduced red meat consumption.
It is not for the faint of heart … but it IS for someone who is desperate to regain his or her life and health. And for many, many people it works.
My goal in writing this book is to help those who are pregnant, or more importantly, those who are thinking of becoming pregnant, to understand that the health status of the man and the woman at the time of conception is critical in predicting a successful conception or ability to carry a baby to full term. Prospective new parents must know they have the power to dramatically improve their odds and their fertility by changing what they eat.
There are many helpful books available today about infertility that describe a variety of topics for either fertility or pregnancy, such as what foods to eat, foods to avoid, toxins to avoid, and even which supplements to take to augment a typical prenatal vitamin.
Although BABY MAKER covers those topics as well, one of the important distinctions I offer is supporting evidence as to how the foods and supplements recommended impact fertility and pregnancy. It is my belief that this critical justification is vital. It will help you realize the importance of changing your diet or behaviors, and doing so early enough in the process and with enough consistency to affect your odds of conceiving or having a healthy pregnancy. In order to change your internal biochemistry you must be encouraged to adopt an “all in” approach to health.
In BABY MAKER, I share clear, easy-to-adopt options for improving fertility (men and women), strengthening the ability of a pregnant mom to carry to term, and a plan to support mom’s health during pregnancy. I lay out supporting evidence as to why advanced planning is critical, specific recommendations and details on what steps need to be taken, as well as food lists and charts to help with meal planning, food selection, and purchasing nutritional supplements. Finally, there is basic information offered on how to help get a new mom off to a good start immediately following delivery.
Thank you for your interest in BABY MAKER. I wish you every success on your journey to parenthood!
Infertility is Not Your Fault
My first recommendation for you if you have already been trying to get pregnant and haven’t yet, is to let go of any confusion, guilt or fear that has crept into your psyche. Issues with fertility are no more your “fault” (or that of your partner) than having poor vision. Some people are genetically pre-disposed to specific health conditions and that includes fertility issues.
What You Eat Matters
Of the estimated 1 in 6 American and Canadian couples who struggle with getting pregnant each year, there is undeniable evidence that lifestyle, nutrition and environmental factors are a major culprit. That means with a little advanced planning, you can make the necessary lifestyle and dietary changes, improve your health status, and in doing so dramatically increase your chances of conceiving.
Taking this into consideration, my second recommendation for you is to start planning for pregnancy early. About six months in advance for those of you who are healthy.
If you or your partner are dealing with chronic health conditions such as being significantly overweight (or underweight), chronic infections like sinus or UTI, or dealing with issues such as autoimmunity, irritable bowel syndrome/disease or insulin resistance – you should allow a minimum of 12-18 months to get those conditions and the related nutritional issues under control.
1 out of 6 couples in the U.S. and Canada are affected by infertility
You may be one of the lucky couples who are able to conceive easily, seemingly if you just look at each other the right way. But that is not the good fortune most couples experience. In fact, it is more common for a woman not to get pregnant from her first attempt.
I would like to share some information about infertility in the hope of extinguishing any confusion, guilt, fear or other bad feelings you’re carrying around about this.
Infertility is not your fault or that of your partner.
Issues with fertility are no more your fault than having poor vision. Some people are genetically pre-disposed to specific health conditions. You might be pre-disposed to high blood pressure, migraine headaches or infertility. None of us can control all of the complex, biochemical and metabolic processes going on inside our bodies. However, there are some things we can control that influence those areas. The key is we must know about them to affect change. Let me explain, and it’s good news for those dealing with infertility.
Research scientists are hot on the trail of two fascinating areas of study called nutrigenomics and epigenetics. What they are teaching us is that our genes respond to what we eat. Changing what you eat doesn’t just alter your weight or eliminate heart-burn. It changes how your genetic code reacts during various stages of a person’s life, and even in later generations. You will start hearing more about both of these areas in upcoming years because both will continue to influence food manufacturing and governmental guidelines on nutrition. Eating healthy to minimize or resolve health issues will become the norm instead of being considered nonsense.
The other encouraging trend here is that more and more people, like you, are not just sticking their collective heads in the sand pretending that you are super-human and don’t have any genetic weaknesses or bad eating habits. You are educating yourself and dedicating the necessary time and effort into figuring out what steps you can take to overcome your inherited and biological weaknesses before they manifest.
How Prevalent is Infertility?
Pregnancy rates have fallen to a record low in the U.S. as of 2013 and cases of infertility are on the rise; approximately 7.5 million women are affected. Of those, approximately 40-50% of the issues are due to infertility issues with the male, which includes issues with low sperm concentration, poor sperm motility (movement), and/or abnormal sperm development.
The World Health Organization defines infertility this way:
“Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system defined by failure to achieve the clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”
According to a study published in the Journal of Human Reproduction Science, 38% of women will get pregnant after one month, but the majority of women who were having sex each month during their peak time of fertility took three to six months to conceive. Hardly a “one and done” scenario for most women.
Are You “Infertile”?
Do not be too quick to label yourself infertile, even if you’re in your mid to late 30s and have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences conducted a study and found that the majority of women up to age 39 (whose male partner was under the age of 40) who did not become pregnant in their first year of trying, did become pregnant in their second year – without any medical assistance. Implementing a nutrition and lifestyle strategy may help decrease that time frame, reduce inflammation in the body, help resolve other minor health issues, and increase your odds of a successful conception in spite of age-related declining hormone levels.
Clearly for most couples, getting pregnant takes planning, timing and lots of patience. In my book, Baby Maker, I emphasize that you and your partner must take active roles is adopting a health plan for conception. As a couple, take a close look at what you are putting into your bodies, and allow six to eight months on your plan beforetrying to conceive.
Is Your Current Diet and Lifestyle Enhancing or Damaging Your Fertility?
When we eat food, drink a beverage, inhale a scent, odor or substance or apply chemically-laden lotions, creams, make-up, hair dyes, shampoos, conditioners, etc. to our body — it all gets absorbed or digested, shuttled through the digestive system and eventually broken down into molecules. These molecules then get directed through various metabolic pathways that determine how the body will use them.
As a hopeful future parent, your goal is to deliver nourishing, beneficial, health supportive molecules to your body’s internal systems. You can accomplish this by paying close attention to what is in your diet and what types of things you need to avoid.
If your diet consists of too much junk, the molecules you will send coursing through your body will be toxic, creating havoc in cellular communication, poor absorption in the GI tract, dysfunction in your internal filtration and detoxification processes, impairment of the immune system, and a long list of other possible negative outcomes – all of which can contribute to infertility.
A fertility-boosting nutritional and lifestyle strategy is imperative for a successful conception and the healthy pregnancy and baby you deserve.
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