In last week’s post, Finding My Why – How I Connected My Life’s Passion With My Career, I shared the inspiration for launching my own business with Beautycounter.
My friend, Gina Jones, introduced me to the company, for which I am so thankful. Together, Gina, myself, and 20,000 Beautycounter consultants across the United States and Canada are committed to getting safer products into the hands of everyone, so we all can live healthier lives, and make safer, more informed decisions for ourselves and our families.
Today, I am so excited to welcome Gina to Loved and Nourished, who graciously shares her story of struggling with infertility and ultimately overcoming it. Now the proud mother of her sweet, beautiful daughter, Gina advocates for women experiencing similar struggles through her work with Beautycounter.
This year, I celebrated my very first Mother’s Day. There are no words to describe truly what this day means to me. As I put my daughter to bed, I couldn’t help but to hold her a little longer and really soak in the moment.
You see, I dreamed of becoming a Mother my entire life and for a while there I wasn’t sure if it was going to happen. Infertility affects 7.4 million women and 1 in 8 couples have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy. When you are that one couple, days like Mother’s Day can be so difficult.
When I was diagnosed with infertility due to an ovulation disorder and Endometriosis, I was desperate to try and do anything to increase my chances of getting pregnant. Both my ovulation disorder and endometriosis are not due to genetics but rather hormonal imbalances. In addition to performing a laparoscopy to laser off my existing endometriosis, my infertility doctor gave me a list of things to do to help increase my odds of getting pregnant. This list included eating a healthy organic diet, cutting down on sugar and processed foods, as well as maintaining a healthy exercise routine.
At the time, a close friend of mine (whom I leaned on for infertility support) informed me that what I was putting ON my body was just as important as what I was putting IN my body. She also introduced me to the EWG.org website and their free Healthy Living app to help me navigate identifying clean products to use. Essentially both my doctor and friend were encouraging me to limit my environmental exposure to toxins and unnecessary chemicals that could be contributing to my hormonal imbalance and thus infertility.
Due to my extensive background in healthcare/nursing (Bachelors in Nursing, Pediatric Oncology Nurse, Masters in Nursing Informatics, Pharmaceutical, Medical and Biotech Sales over the last 14 years), the clinical nerd in me LOVES to research and better understand the science behind any health related matter. I learned that my infertility was possibly being caused by Endocrine Disruptors that are found in everyday items such as food (primarily meat, dairy and produce where hormones, pesticides or antibiotics are used), personal care and cleaning products. Endocrine Disruptors can play all kinds of tricks on our bodies; increasing production of certain hormones; decreasing the production of others; imitating hormones; turning one hormone into another; interfering with hormones signaling; telling cells to die prematurely; competing with essential nutrients; binding to essential hormones; accumulating in organs that produce hormones.
I know that this was a lot of science/biology talk, but my point is… If you or someone you know is struggling with infertility or miscarriages, please let them know that what they put IN and ON their bodies does matter and could potentially increase their chances of getting pregnant and staying pregnant. It is especially important to know what you are putting on your skin, because those ingredients are so often assumed to be safe.
Our skin is our largest organ and everything you put on it is directly absorbed into your bloodstream. Unfortunately here in the US, the beauty industry is unregulated, therefore you must be your own advocate and educate yourself on which ingredients to avoid. There are safer alternatives to beauty products available, so please don’t compromise yours or your family’s health.
Personally I used that day of research on Hormone Disruptors to be my catalyst for change because I never want my daughter to face the heart-wrenching journey of infertility. That day I vowed to make slow and steady changes. I choose safer options of personal care products for my family. I buy mostly organic foods (especially for produce and protein). I have even started to make my own cleaning products that are toxin free and safe for my baby girl who is crawling and climbing all over the house these days. I have a long way to go but each day I make baby steps towards living a cleaner, healthier and safer life for my precious family.
My heart goes out to anyone struggling with infertility. It is not easy, but well worth it in the end. I will continue to pray every day for all those who are still battling infertility. Just remember… you are brave, you are strong and you are patient.
To learn more about the link between endocrine disruptors and infertility, check out these articles: