The Fertility Warriors Podcast is here to help women survive the rocky road and stress of trying to conceive. In this podcast, Robyn Birkin interviews other fertility warriors, and shares advice and tips on how to conceive, how to navigate the world of fertility treatments and how to be your best and healthiest self. Robyn is the founder of The Fertility Warrior Intensive, a 12 Week Mind Body Fertility Program.
--> Follow Robyn on Instagram at @robynbirkin
--> Download her free PDF of the 3 BIGGEST Game Changers on her journey at bit.ly/fertilitywarriorsgamechangers
Effortless Effort with Michelle Oravitz
I'm so pleased to welcome my fellow fertility podcast friend, Michelle Oravitz to the podcast to talk about a concept I love: effortless effort or Wu Wei. Michelle joins me on the podcast to talk about all things Traditional Chinese Medicine and we talk about how she came to be in this field, what her past life looked like and how we can make our fertility journey easier on ourselves.
The more I learn about both Western New Age concepts and Chinese Concepts, the more I learn that there are synergies between them, but sometimes different ways of expressing them.
For example, yin and yan is so aligned with the concept of feminine and masculine energy.
I also often use the analogy of a leaf in a stream and the leaf at the bottom of the waterfall that is bobbing up and down and generally struggling but staying ultimately still in the water, not moving forward. In contrast, a leaf floating down the stream and going more with the flow of the water, but just how easy and effortless it looks.
This is the same type of concepts we discussed on the podcast with Michelle - tune in and listen to the episode and let me know what you think!
Michelle Oravitz L.Ac, FABORM is an acupuncturist, ayurvedic practitioner, and certified hypnotherapist specializing in fertility health. Michelle was inspired to change her career from architecture to acupuncture after having her own reproductive imbalances resolved by her acupuncturist. Her method of treatment encompasses not only herbs and acupuncture, but also incorporates diet, supplements, essential oils, and most importantly the mind and how it influences conception. She helps women and couples both online and in person, and is the host of The Wholesome Fertility podcast.
Your infertility questions answered!
OMG, this episode of the podcast was SO MUCH FUN. Y'all know that Dr Sasha Hakman (formerly Sasha Mikhael) and I have a mutual love for one another and we wanted to do a super fun quick-fire interview with all of your burning infertility questions answered.
Tune in to find out her answers to all of your infertility questions including:
Why do specialists prescribe the pill?
Are there any circumstances when you'd recommend a woman goes off the pill?
Is there ever a circumstance when a woman would take progesterone during her follicular phase?
Are fertility specialists anti-anyone who isn't a fellow physician/fertility specialist? Thoughts on having a number of people in your team (acupuncturist etc) and how we can work together as a team?
If you have stage 4 or significant endometriosis, should you go straight to IVF?
How accurate is an AMH test?
Soy: good or bad for fertility?
Red meat: Good or bad for fertility?
Dairy: good or bad for fertility?
Exercise: how much is too much?
Uterine lining: what is too thin? what is ideal? what is too thick?
How old is too old or what are some signs that we need to look outside the box?
Does the research suggest (to you) that there is benefit in women going through IVF treatments also undertaking things like regular meditation or yoga, mind body programs or seeing a psychotherapist?
I also want to sign off though and just say that Dr Hakman is a Doctor, but for the vast majority of our listeners, she is not YOUR Doctor. These are quick-fire questions based on research findings that don't take into account your personal circumstances or medical history and that you should consult with your own physician for more thorough and tailored advice before implementing or taking to heart any of the points discussed in today's podcast.
How I'm tracking my ovulation
I haven't had a period in more than four years now.
When I was in my 20s that would have been the dream, and in fact, when I was in my 20s I used to use The Pill to skip 6 - 12 months of bleeds at a time, thinking it was great.
And then.... Trying to conceive hit.
I was the crazy type A person who started tracking my ovulation a few months BEFORE I started TTC and used primarily my Basal Body Temperature thermometer.
For anyone out there who is using their BBT for tracking, here's a few things you might want to know:
•I have a free chart within my library that you can print and download
•You're supposed to do it as soon as you wake up, without moving and getting up at all, and leave it there for about 10 minutes
•I almost NEVER got that lovely rise and fall - it never looked beautiful like that, even though once I started at a fertility clinic I had confirmation that I basically have a dead-on 27-day cycle with ovulation at day 13 (as I had suspected)
•BBT rise happens AFTER ovulation, so don't use this to check WHEN you should have sex - this can only be of assistance for future cycles and only also if you have a regular cycle
•Checking your cervical mucus (provided you drink enough water regularly) can actually be an incredible mechanism (which can tell you when you're ovulating), especially when combined with BBT tracking
It's also really important to have an understanding of exactly what you're monitoring and why, and what your hormones are doing throughout the month - I also have a free infertility101 book within my library (along with a bunch of other stuff) so make sure you check that out too.
And my thoughts on my period really morphed once I started trying to conceive. Firstly, I realised the power of our cycle (which isn't just our period - it's that whole period of ups and downs, feeling extroverted and introverted - the natural flow of being a woman), but also longing to have that period, because each month it was a chance to create our family.
And then.... Plot twist.
During childbirth to have our second ICSI miracle bubba, my uterus completely lost the plot. Its a long story but I had a hysterectomy.
And while it's great that I can now wear white pants 365 days of the year (wink wink), I no longer get a period. But... I do ovulate because I still have my ovaries (seriously - see my free ebook in the library if you want to understand it all).
And so you may think I don't care about when I ovulate.
But as I grow more in tune with my body, I have begun to notice distinct 'seasons'.
Over the month there are times when I feel so energised and confident. I'm on fire at work and everything is great.
And then, there are times when I feel so introverted. I don't want to go out. I feel less confident and slightly more anxious.
And I feel this is my cycle.
But I don't know.
I was also speaking with my friend, Devon (who has also had a hysterectomy) and she said the same thing. When you don't get a period, it can be quite disempowering because you don't have that intimate knowledge of what is happening in your body.
And so, I've wanted to track my ovulation again.
And since I don't get a period, it hasn't been as easy as just tracking on a calendar.
I need something more concrete than that, and in my life these days, I've just become a convenience freak. I am just not available for things that a...
How to cope with recurring loss
Molly Nichols joins me on the podcast today as she shares some of the most powerful advice for how to cope with recurrent loss and the fear of history repeating itself. This has to be one of my most favourite podcasts and I could have spoken with Molly all day long.
Molly and I are so similar in our approaches except that I'm less on the spiritual side to her and swear a lot more ha!
But she shares so much wisdom here, not just for women who have experienced loss, and not even just fertility warriors but for all of us on our journeys.
Tune in and listen to this episode and then send us a DM on Instagram to let us know what you thought of the episode. I just know you'll love it!
Molly Nichols is a mama of four, business mentor for soulful entrepreneurs, renowned fertility coach, healer, and the queen of guided visualizations.
Her unique approach to using guided visualizations, positive psychology, energy healing and spiritual practices paired with proven sacred fertility and soulful business strategies support her clients worldwide in calling in and receiving all that they desire in life, family and business. You can sign up for Molly's Fertility Affirmations here.
You can find Molly on Instagram here.
Will thinking negative thoughts make them come true?
In the Fertility Warrior Intensive we talk about our thoughts and our brain A LOT, and we have a monthly Q+A and one of the questions that always comes up with warriors who have just started the program is will thinking negative thoughts make them true?
I feel like the movie The Secret kind of popularised the concept of visualisation and manifesting - this is me delving into the slightly woo woo side of things.
But many fertility warriors come into the program absolutely terrified because they have thoughts like
I'm scared that I'll never become a mother
What if I never fall pregnant?
What if I have a miscarriage?
What if there is something wrong with me that hasn't been discovered yet?
And what makes them terrified, is that by having these thoughts and fears they'll manifest it into reality.
We literally have an entire module dedicated to healthy ways to manage these fears and the program is centered around understanding why our brains have these thoughts, how to master and overcome them, and essentially how to call BS on our brains sometimes, but what I really want to do right now, is reassure you that, I do not believe you can just 'think' something into reality.
Your mind thinks.
Just the same way as your heart beats.
You literally cannot help your brain stop thinking.
Even when you're meditating (which is a big myth about meditating - you are not a monk, and at every single second of the day your brain is processing millions of messages and determining which teeny number of those make it into your conscious mind vs your sub conscious mind. So even if you think you aren't thinking, you are)
It's also super natural for your brain to recognise fears and think about possible outcomes of future scenarios. If our brains were totally switched off to that, we'd have a huge problem.
If you were in the wild and your brain never told you that
Hold up - there could be snakes or bears up ahead
It may not be the wisest move to climb up a steep rock face without a harness
Yeah sure, keep going to the rocks with the huge waves
If we totally switched off to risks and possible future scenarios - we'd have a huge problem.
So we can't begrudge our brains for thinking that.
The problem is that sometimes they're life or death situations and the problem is that we can end up with these dominant neural pathways that keep us stuck in fight or flight mode and stuck in either the future or the past (i.e. again, what we work through specifically in the Intensive).
But here is what they missed in The Secret, or the part of manifesting that you might have heard.
Things come true because of aligned action. Not just thoughts. And taking non-fear-based action.
It's the action that you take as a result of the thoughts that you have that determines what is manifested or not.
So please rest assured today that it's normal to have fears and negative thoughts around your fertility journey and that nope sister, you are not 'thinking things true'.
Walking away from fertility treatments
Wowsers - I posted about walking away from fertility treatments on my Instagram stories just the other day and IT BLEW UP. I woke up in the morning and switched my phone off airplane mode and it just pinged with all the direct messages I received from fertility warriors who felt heard, who felt like I was reading their inner thoughts and who were so relieved that somebody had FINALLY talked about this.
Do you feel like everyone out there is just constantly spruiking that you need to keep going on your journey until you have a baby, Hell or High water?
But how do you know when it's time to walk away from fertility treatments?
On today's podcast I talk about what the other side might look like for you, and how to determine when it might be time to walk away, and when it might just be time to seek some more help on your journey or try another path.
The answer always lies in fear.
Walking away from fertility treatments is like the ultimate FOMO.
And it can fill you up with regret if you allow it to, or if you are full of a lack of self confidence.
But, you can actually choose to feel really empowered by this choice, confident that you gave it a good shot, and confident that you have now (confidently) chosen to walk another path because your priorities have changed.
And the big point I want to make, is that it's ok to change your mind.
It's not giving up.
It's just changing and shifting our priorities. And that's ok.
You aren't a failure because you decide that you wish to change paths and the only person committing you to a particular path is you.
AND... by that same token, you can decide to change your mind AGAIN if you wish too.
Tune into today's episode and then if it resonated with you, please reach out to me in the DM's to let me know. Your messages on Instagram give me life and I love hearing your feedback on the show.
Customer ReviewsSee All
11/11/20 Episode- fertility questions answered
Really found this episode useful. Lots of proven advice discussing endometriosis, PCOS, AMH levels, diet, myths etc. Very reassuring information during a difficult subject.
Don’t waste your time
Listened to one episode today what I think was named ‘my advice’ or something.
Basically her and a nutritionist having a phone covo about the keeto diet.
What I found most patronising is that she said the nutritionist has been in our shoes as she has had 1 baby and is pregnant again, both pregnancies were conceived quickly.... so nothing like some of us then
Gave totally different advice to all the others o have listened to. She said if you get a period you can pretty much be certain that you ovulated. All the other podcasts I’ve listened to said annovulation can happen all the time and you still get a period. Totally confusing.