What can I Expect from a Fertility Dietitian?

You are trying to conceive and you are thinking that your diet is okay but you aren’t really sure if it’s as good as it can be in order to optimize your fertility and support a healthy pregnancy. You want to be certain that your body has what it needs for ovulation, implantation, and a successful pregnancy. You want more information about what working with a registered dietitian is all about.

Let me start by saying that I am not going to pull out a Canada’s Food Guide and tell you that you need to drink milk, or that you need to eat a certain way.  All bodies are unique. I believe there are as many healthy ways to eat as there are people on this planet. I will work with you to find foods that not only provide you with the nutrients you need, but are tasty and familiar to you.

This is what you can expect from an appointment with me:

  • First, we will discuss your reproductive health, any challenges you have experienced,  and any underlying conditions that could be hampering your body’s absorption and use of nutrients.
  • Then, we’ll review your current way of eating (no judgement, promise!) and talk about any concerns that you may have and any questions that are coming up for you. I ask all of my clients to send me a record of three or four days of eating so that I can get a sense of what is “normal” for you.
  • I do a preliminary assessment of your diet and the supplements you take. I’m looking for things like how much folate, iron, and calcium you are getting in a typical day, what types of fats and oils you use most of the time, and what type of foods contribute most of the carbohydrates in your diet. I also look at the way you like to eat. We talk about how many meals you typically eat in a day, and how often you snack. After a thorough assessment, I come up with a “plan” to make sure you are doing all you can do to provide the best nutrition for your body.
  • The “plan” isn’t prescriptive. It isn’t a meal plan or a menu, although I will provide you with examples of menus and recipes you can try. In essence, the plan is a summary of how your current diet is meeting your nutrition needs, and where it may be falling short. We build the plan around foods you like to eat, your cooking skills, and your affinity for spending time in the kitchen.
  • Then, depending on how many sessions we have together, we will choose the most important elements of the plan and decide upon a few realistic changes that will help move you toward your goal of getting your body optimally nourished to support a healthy pregnancy.
  • These changes are specific things. I am never going to tell you to get more folate in your diet. (Whaaat? How?) I will always discuss with you which folate rich foods you like and together we will brainstorm how you might enjoy eating more of them. We might create a list something like this one:
    • Add sunflower seeds to salads and buy baby spinach and mix it with the other mixed greens.
    • Instead of the ranch style dip, try dipping veggies in hummus  this week.
    • Try adding a can of lentils to the veggie soup you are taking for lunch.
  • At the end of the day, you go home with some practical ideas that are easy to implement, and let me worry about how they translate into the nutrients you need for reproductive health.
  • The next time we get together, we talk about what worked for you, and what you didn’t enjoy. If you didn’t like the garlic taste that hummus leaves in your mouth, or you are tired of veggies and dip for a snack, we take those ideas off the list, and try some other ideas.
  • Each week we check in on the plan and take a few more doable steps toward optimizing your nutrition. This is how we build a plan that truly works for you and provides your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive. You have to enjoy the changes that you are making or you won’t stick with them.

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