An original member of Mama's Bump Squad 2.0, Sarah shares why she made to switch to safer products during her struggles with infertility.
Four years ago I kicked off my infertility journey. After a year of trying to get pregnant we were given the green light to try to figure out what was going on and WHY I couldn’t seem to get pregnant.
As many of you know doctors don’t get too concerned unless at least a year has passed by without any luck. Once that time does pass by, they go to the drawing board trying to figure out what might be preventing it. Not only do you get to go through a battery of testing, but so does your significant other. Let’s just say that process is quite expensive and rather humbling to have to hand over so many bodily fluids and blood.
One of the first tests that they will often perform is a blood test looking at your TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). It turned out my TSH was around 13.28. Standard range falls between 0-4. Right away, that was one of the first things they tried to control and fix. I was put on a thyroid medication and while that helped, it didn’t get me preggers. I tried everything. Yoga, acupuncture, supplements, seaweed, you name it I tried it. What I later discovered though, was that I should have been working with an endocrinologist instead of just my PCP so if you are reading this and have not done that make the switch pronto.
The endocrinologist does more in depth testing and can help you manage the disease better. Functional medicine doctors are also wonderful at this as well. They will probably test your T3 and T4 as well as your T3/T4 reverse. This will give insight to an underlying autoimmune disease which is what I had. Hashimoto’s disease to be exact. It was my missing puzzle piece to the problem.
If you do any research about the disease, which of course I did, you will learn that it is best managed with a gluten free/dairy free lifestyle. In addition, you should also be conscious of what chemicals are making their way into your home and into your beauty routines. I wanted a baby in the worst way, so I made it my mission to clean up my act and our home. I did a complete overhaul.
We ditched candles and air plug ins, went organic in our grocery shopping and cleaned up all of our products that were being used in our home. The way that I got good at this was by reading and learning the WHY behind getting rid of these chemicals. I needed to see the research that proved these types of chemicals had an effect on fertility and on my health. Once I saw it in black and white it became much easier to implement. When you know better you do better, I suppose. Trust me, not everyone around me got it, nor do they now. Not everyone cares either, but once you start to look into the effects of the chemicals that most everyday beauty, cleaning and home products have in them, the ingredient list will send you running far, far away.
In order to make the switch more affordable I didn’t do it all at once. I used a phasing method. First I picked the things that were MOST harmful to me and started there. I chose my personal care routine. Shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, body lotions, make up, etc. Things that were going ON me. After I worked through that, I worked to clean up things that were in our home. What I would do is replace things after I ran out of them so that I was not buying everything all at once. If you are on a budget I would suggest this too.
Earth Mama was one of my top picks once I started to do my homework. I especially wanted to use the products during pregnancy knowing that whatever was going on me would eventually also be affecting the baby as well. I have been a huge fan of the brand and used it in my pregnancy with my daughter two years ago and now again in this pregnancy. To be honest, there have not been any products that have not worked for me and no I am not just saying that because of the fact that I am a member of Mama's Bump Squad. If I had to pick a favorite right now it would be the Belly Butter. That orange smell is crazy amazing. You have to try it for yourself. During postpartum I found that Organic Nipple Butter and Organic Perineal Balm to be my top two picks.
If you are working through an infertility journey or just want to have a more chemical free lifestyle, I URGE you to start doing your homework. Read up on the ingredient lists. Compare products. Don’t settle. High quality products will cost you a bit more than the ones that are filled with chemicals, but I promise you it’s worth every penny. You will also find that those high quality products will last you longer as well. You deserve the best and so do your little ones. Make the switch to safer, but only do it because you understand the mission otherwise it will just feel like a fad. Once you know better, I bet you will do better.