Archive for September, 2009

A message I’d like to share

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Enjoy!

Dear Katie,

I am finally writing to you, nearly a year after first reading your wonderful book (the Garden of Fertility). I had been on the pill for about 6 years before having my son (I was one of those weird people who conceives 2 weeks after being off the pill), but during the pregnancy and the process of planning the birth I discovered a more natural way of doing things and felt very opposed to the idea of going back on the pill. Of course, I was also breastfeeding and planning to do so for a while, so
I knew I couldn’t take any type of hormonal medication. My midwife (we planned a home birth) recommended your book to me; I got it when my son was about a month old and never looked back. I have been working with Ilene Richman on occasion over the past 10 months or so now. She is the one who recommended I contact you to tell you how much you have inspired and influenced me.

Not only has fertility awareness changed my daily life (I have been charting regularly since November of last year), it has also taught me so many wonderful things about my body and its functioning. My son just turned one and I am still breastfeeding him frequently; I have yet to return to ovulation, but am finding it so exciting watching my body gearing up for action! I went on the pill when I was about 19 and was basically on it right up until getting pregnant, so I never really had the experience of observing my cycles in a conscious way. Now I look forward to finally being able to do that.

The biggest impact your book had on me, however, was the section on nutrient-dense foods and the Weston Price Foundation. I became a member early this year, and last November we joined our local NYC “raw milk club.” When I read the section in your
book on the WAPF way of eating, something about it just really clicked for me. I pounced on the information and became totally committed to changing our diets and way of eating. I had been mainly vegetarian for the 9 months preceding my pregnancy, but I had strong cravings for steak right after the birth that I couldn’t deny; when I read more about WAPF my cravings finally made sense. My husband had been a junk-food vegetarian for 16 years (for animal rights reasons), but this year he started eating meat again. We go out of our way to put 95% of our food dollars into the local economy, buying grass-fed meat & poultry, raw milk & dairy, whole wheat sourdough bread, fresh local fruits & veggies, and even local organic dry beans; high-vitamin cod liver oil plays a big role in our lives, and sugar plays NO role at all now! I have seen a dramatic improvement in all of the minor health conditions that I accepted as part of life for years. This is all thanks to YOU! I know many people are resistant to the WAPF gospel — they think grain-based diets and soy are the way to go — and many people have a mortal fear of fats, especially those nasty saturated ones, but I wanted you to know that there are readers out here who are desperately hungry for this information, and we greatly appreciate you sharing it. Of course I have now shared this knowledge with everyone I can in my own life, most importantly my two sisters (one of whom has a young child and is pregnant again), and my mom, as well as my husband’s family who are originally from Mexico. [Unfortunately they gave up lard for corn oil when they moved here some 35 years ago, but whenever we go to visit them in Chicago I bring lard along and encourage them to use it!]

I have also made it my mission in life to help other expecting and young moms with finding ways to use nutrient-dense foods to achieve total health for themselves and their little ones. I received my certification as a Health Counselor this year, and
have a small practice here in Brooklyn NY helping women and families with a range of issues, all from a natural, nutrient-dense foods perspective. I recently presented on baby’s first foods at our local La Leche League meeting, and was overwhelmed with inquiries from mothers anxious for information on feeding their babies. I plan to reach out to local pediatricians and OB/GYNs to let them know how my services can help their patients have healthier, better lives. I take local moms to the farmers’ market, I help clients shop for food, I teach to prepare foods properly, and I make it my mission to inspire women to really prioritize their health & well-being. Of course, a discussion of fertility awareness is also a part of my practice. Just as women need some coaching with getting on the right track for FA (and reproductive self-care), they also often need a coach to help with food issues. My practice is truly holistic in that it allows women to address all the reasons why they eat the way they do (emotional, practical, financial, etc.), and helps them learn to observe how foods are affecting their
mood, energy level, and health; I also lead my clients in transitioning gradually to a better way of eating. Learning about nutrient-dense foods from your book has truly impacted my entire life, from my career to my health. [Did I also mention
that our son is absolutely thriving on this diet? He is robust, adorable, and incredibly social and smart.]

Thank you for reading, and THANK YOU for your work! I am more grateful to you than I can say.

A question about HCG injections

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

My answer follows the question below:

I’ve read your book (The Garden of Fertility) and have a question about BBT charting. Can I still use BBT to confirm pregnancy if I am currently taking HCG injections to lengthen my luteal phase and improve my body’s production of estrogen and progesterone? (My luteal phase was too short to support a pregnancy). My husband and I are trying to conceive (I currently chart both cervical mucous and BBT too).

Am I doing the right thing, or do other rules apply now?

—-
I’ve never heard of HCG injections. You might go to your local hospital’s medical library, and ask the librarian to help you answer your question. You might also ask the librarian to help you research your risks in taking this drug. Also, your pharmacist should give you the drug company’s insert for these injections, and it might address these questions.

A question about breastfeeding

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Another message I thought you might enjoy. My response follows the message below.

Dear Katie,

I read your book, The Garden of Fertility. It’s great! Very helpful. We are loosely following a Weston Price diet, taking our butter and codliver oil every day, eating no sugar or processed foods, eating plenty of grass fed meat and raw butter and eggs and fermented foods and organic vegetables. We don’t have nearly enough organ meats or bone stock. I have 2 children, one is 5 and one is two and a half.

I’m still nursing the youngest a bit. He’s small for his age, though his big brother isn’t, but my husband and I aren’t really that big either, so I expect it’s genes rather than diet related, but who really knows? He’s very healthy and bright and lovely. His teeth are closer together than his brother’s but there are still spaces between them.

We started our version of the WAP diet a few months before getting pregnant with him. Before that we were macrobiotic for many years, although I started eating cheese, yoghurt, lamb and chicken when I became pregnant with my first. I nursed the first right through my second pregnancy and just to go to sleep at night for a couple of months after the second was born. I’ve never really been able to find anything about how long “traditional” people nursed their babies, and if they nursed when pregnant or trying to get pregnant, or if there was a period of time before getting pregnant where they were no longer nursing in order to build up their reserves again. Do you know? I’m just wondering about getting pregnant again and if I should stop nursing entirely and wait a while before I try. Do you have any opinion about this? I just want to make sure I’m doing the best thing particularly as it’s my third. I’m sorry to throw so much information at you. I’m not sure if you can help, but I’d be really interested in anything you had to say. Thanks!

——-

Thank you for your email. I do not know how long people breastfed in traditional cultures. I can recommend two books: “Our Babies, Ourselves: How Biology and Culture Shape the Way We Parent” by Meredith Small. You might also enjoy “Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural Selection” by Sarah Blaffer Herdy.

I will also say that I have questions about how the number of children that a woman has and the space between her children have been affected by the phenomenal changes on our planet in the last 150 years. Quality food is much more difficult to get. We are all experiencing increased population density, and technology can rule the pace of our lives. How do these factors affect creating healthy families and healthy child-spacing? I don’t know! I do know that I do have questions.

Thanks for your thoughtfulness on these matters.

Very best,

Katie Singer

A question about fibroid tumors

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

Greetings!

I received the following question regarding fibroid tumors, and I thought I’d share the information with my readers. My response follows the message below.

——

I found out 1.5 years ago that I have several fibroid tumors and cysts on my right ovary. My doctor suggested surgery for both. I have tried several alternative options with little results. I eat nutrient dense foods but do not take any supplements except cod liver oil. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

——

I can think of four suggestions for you.

1. Read up about estrogen dominance (in earlier FAQs) and in Dr. Tom Cowan’s “Fourfold Path To Healing.” Do what you can to decrease your exposure to estrogenic stuff.

2. Check out Carla Dionne’s website, uterinefibroids.com.

3. Try homeopathy. You’ll need a very experienced homeopath.

4. Try acupuncture and chinese herbs. Again, you’ll need a practitioner whom you connect with and trust.

Meanwhile, continue with your nutrient dense diet, and avoid sugar, soy, white flour, and unsaturated oils and trans fats.

Very best,

Katie Singer

An interesting message regarding Natural Family Planning

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

I thought you might like to read this, along with my response, below:

As I see you are quite the authority on natural family planning and I had a questions. My husband and I both want to begin using NFP to prevent pregnancy now, and help to achieve it later on. I am currently on the pill and would like to change to a healthy method of birth control. However, we are not Catholic, I think I’ve only been in a church 2 times in my life. Both of us are from Jewish families, although we are not very outwardly religious people (in the sence that we do not go to temple or observe holidays). I would like to meet with someone, a NFP councilor of some sort. However, they all seem to be affiliated with churches. I think it is important for us to meet with someone to insure that we are doing things correctly. I don’t mind visiting a church; however, I also don’t know how my religious beliefs and practices would be received. Do you have any suggestions are there any unaffiliated NFP instructors?

Thank you very much for your time.

——

Congratulations on your decision to get off the pill. As a first step, I
recommend that you and your husband read my book, “The Garden of
Fertility.” This explains what happens during a healthy menstrual cycle,
how the pill affects your cycle, and it gives nutritional information and
night-lighting techniques for encouraging your cycles’ return to health. I
also give comprehensive instruction about how to chart your fertility
signs, and how to identify the days you are fertile and infertile.

The book also includes a test that you and your husband can take at home
to determine how well you know the method.

You can also contact the Fertility Awareness Network in New York City to
find a teacher near you. FAM’s number is 800.597.6267. FAM is a secular
organization.

Best of luck,

Katie Singer