Updated: May 6, 2020
I'm launching a book on fertility in the middle of a pandemic. I wrote this book pre-pandemic, but I realize how important this book really is now. It's about how to prepare your body, mind, partner and environment to enhance the conditions for conception. We need this now more than ever because the fertility environment is shifting.
To learn more about the situation, I gathered six other fertility experts together to discuss: Lisa Hendrickson-Jack, Pritam Atma, Chelsey Worth, Dr. Giulietta Octavio, Jennifer Magnano and Sasha Bravin. These women represent so many different fertility journeys - from charting cycles to acupuncture or Ayurveda to medically assisted fertility clinics. You can watch our discussion in the video below.
I knew women were having challenges with conception prior to the pandemic, and now it's really unclear what will happen. When the sheltering-in-place first started in the US, even most of the fertility clinics closed when the American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommended a stoppage of many services, and women who were struggling with infertility and preparing to undergo egg freezing procedures, IVF, IUI, etc. were suddenly left out in the lurch, and damn frustrated by it. I knew that some of the complementary healers who help women improve their fertility naturally - acupuncturists, Ayurvedic practitioners and fertility awareness coaches - and even medical practitioners, had to shift to virtual appointments if they weren't already doing them.
I knew women were concerned about the medicalization of birth before the pandemic, as more and more of us have become "geriatric" maternal patients upon conception and as fertility has declined in general in our population. Now we have pregnant women of all ages afraid to give birth in hospitals even more because their partner can't come to the birth or because they simply don't want to increase their chances of contracting COVID-19.
I knew it wasn't easy to be pregnant, but now it's even scarier for women because we don't yet understand the COVID-19 risks for mother and fetus. We don't want a virus to harm either party, nor do we want to disrupt the connection between mother and newborn baby.
I knew women were hiring doulas for birth and postpartum support, and now they can't see them in person as easily. One of the doulas I spoke with, Chelsey Worth, talked almost comically about the logistics of someone holding a phone near a laboring woman so she could provide virtual support.
The support channels for women and babies are clearly shifting. Women are already pregnant. Women will continue to be pregnant. We need to keep the conversations going about how to continue to support women in preparing for conception, being pregnant, giving birth and caring for their babies, especially now during COVID-19.
Watch this video and then I would love for you to send me a message with your ideas and questions. This could be the perfect time for an online Ayurvedic consultation. You might even see if a preconception cleanse would be beneficial for you and your nesting partner.