Ep 143: A Holistic Approach with Fertility Coach Elizabeth King

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A lot of my listeners are already expecting, but I know that some of you are either thinking about getting pregnant or already trying. And just like a holistic approach is important to pregnancy and birth, a holistic approach to fertility that considers emotional and physical health is important. But there’s a lot of information out there in regards to fertility, and it can be overwhelming to wade through it all. A fertility coach may be able to help. 

And that’s exactly what today’s guest, Elizabeth King, does. She’s a fertility coach who’s on a mission to help people of all backgrounds conceive a healthy baby and carry to term in a joyful state of mind. After her own experiences with conception and birth, she was inspired to help others who dream of parenthood. She has now helped hundreds of people become parents in 20+ countries around the world!

In this Episode, You’ll Learn About:

  • How losing a pregnancy inspired Elizabeth to focus on supporting those experiencing fertility struggles
  • What fertility coaching entails
  • Who is a good candidate for fertility coaching
  • Why it is important not to compare your journey to anyone else’s
  • How important it is to connect with and listen to your body
  • What are some things people can do to prepare their body and mind for pregnancy
  • How helpful it can be to find a curated community - not all information is good information
  • What are some common fertility myths

Links Mentioned in the Episode

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Ep 143: A Wholistic Approach with Fertility Coach Elizabeth King

Nicole: In this episode, I have a fantastic conversation with fertility coach Elizabeth King. Welcome to the All About Pregnancy & Birth podcast. I'm Dr. Nicole Calloway Rankins, a board certified OB GYN, who's been in practice for nearly 15 years. I've had the privilege of helping over 1000 babies into this world, and I'm here to help you be calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful pregnancy and birth. Quick note, this podcast is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice. Check out the full disclaimer at Dr. Nicole rankins.com forward slash disclaimer. Now let's get to it.

Nicole: Hello there. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. Thank you. Thank you for being here and spending some of your time with me today. On today's episode, we have Elizabeth King. Elizabeth is a certified fertility health coach, a master certified ICF life coach, a birth and bereavement doula, and a new parent educator. Her mission is to help people of all backgrounds conceive a healthy baby and carry to term with a joyful state of mind after having three children of her own. After the age of 40 Elizabeth came to believe that it was so important to take a more holistic approach when attempting to conceive. In fact, she feels that a more holistic approach is the key to success when attempting to get pregnant. Now, she has helped hundreds of women achieve their dreams of conception and parenthood in over 20 countries around the world. She supports clients through natural fertility, infertility, IVF, miscarriage, loss, early pregnancy PTSD, and new parent support.

Nicole: We have a really informative conversation where she shares with us, how she got into this work, including her experience with how she thought about having children after divorce and freezing her eggs. Um, what fertility coaching entails, things people can do to prepare their mind and body for pregnancy, some fertility myths and much, much more. So many of the lessons that we talk about don't just apply to fertility. They also apply to pregnancy. They also apply to being a parent. They re there really are some just great life lessons in the episode. So I know you are going to enjoy it now, before we get into the episode, let me do a quick listener shout out. This is from a sauce pan zero two, like the named sauce pan zero two. And the title of the review says my favorite birth podcast. And the review says, I can say with confidence that this podcast has been a lifeline through my up and down pregnancy, that included a long IVF process, bad sickness through 20 weeks and gestational diabetes.

Nicole: I will put this podcast on to learn more and always felt more informed and also just love the birth stories. I love the birth stories too. Dr. Rankins is so thoughtful and compassionate with her questions to her guests and is also clearly up on the latest birthing evidence-based data. I also appreciate that she talks about the issues of inequity in our birthing system and how far we need to go. I also downloaded her hospital packing list and it is super handy. Well, thank you. Thank you for that lovely kind review. And I hope everything went well with your birth at the time you wrote it. You said you were about a week away from your due date. So hopefully everything went well. And you had that beautiful birth that you so, so deserve. Now she talked about the resource at my hospital packing lists. Actually I have a ton of other resources as well. Um, I have warning signs to be on the lookout for after birth. Um, a guide to pain management. You can check out all the things that I have on my website, drnicoleankins.com or specifically on the resource page, drnicolerankins.com/resources, tons and tons of free stuff to help you. So do check that out. All right. So let's get into the episode with fertility, coach Elizabeth King.

Nicole: Thank you so much, Elizabeth, for agreeing to come on to the podcast. I'm super excited to have you on because although I am a pregnancy and you know, the podcast is about pregnancy and birth. I have lots of folks who listen to me, who aren't pregnant, who are trying to get pregnant. So this is going to be a great conversation.

Elizabeth: Fantastic. Thanks for having me.

Nicole: So why don't you start off by telling us a bit about yourself, your work and your family, if you'd like.

Elizabeth: Sure. So I am a international fertility coach. I help men and women navigate their fertility in whatever way that that looks like. So that can be someone who has a same-sex relationship. If they're doing it solo, maybe someone who's been trying for five plus years and they've been doing all the things and they just don't know what to do. Next, my personal journey was I got divorced at age 30 and went to my fertility doctor at that point, or it was my new fertility doctor. I should say, to say, I wanted to freeze my eggs because I had been around many people in my workplace that had said, don't get in the situation that we're in, just get prepared. Um, and at that time he said, come back to me later, you're too young. I was like, what are you even talking about? How is that possible too young?

Elizabeth: Right. Well, mind you, this was now 16 years ago. So the technology is greatly improved as far as freezing eggs. So I don't want to discourage anybody from doing that. Um, so I went back at 36 and knocked on his door again and said, I'm still single. I'd like to freeze my eggs. So we did that. I, um, wasn't somebody who was burning, yearning to have babies. I was building my business and working a lot, but I felt like, okay, I'm checking the box for the 401k and freezing my eggs and doing all the responsible things I thought. And, and when, uh, on, on my way, I had 11 eggs frozen at that time, which I was happy with. I felt like that was a decent number to go with fast forward to 39. And my periods really were off. I was bleeding really, really heavy.

Elizabeth: I'd always had a 24 day cycle. It was still 24 days, but just bleeding and cramping and something wasn't right. So I went to my OB and did an ultrasound and they said you had fibroids, but there's not a problem. Um, don't worry about it. There was something in my gut that felt like, mm, this just doesn't feel right to me. So I went back to that reproductive endocrinologist and said, can you just check this out for me? And he did. And he said, they're small, but the location is why it's preventing you from conceiving. So he referred me to a gynecological oncologist because of the level of technology that they have. So I did this, the myomectomy to remove these fibroids at this point, I'm now 40. And as soon as I healed from that surgery, they said, okay, my, the reproductive endocrinologist had been following me through my healing process and whatnot.

Elizabeth: He said, now you need to try like officially, because you're healed by first time trying I got pregnant. So I thought, okay, that's awesome. That just solves all the problems, right? Like life is good. So had a fairly normal pregnancy, um, of course was considered high risk because I had just had that surgery as well as my age. Um, but really in the big scheme of things, everything was pretty normal. After my first baby, trying for number two wasn't as easy. So that was kind of a wake up call of, oh, okay. I thought it was so easy. Number one. And now we're, it's taking a little bit more time, as well as having this underlying stress of my age. So now I'm, well, I was 41 when I delivered my first baby. So I'm now, I don't know, 41 and a half essentially after that.

Elizabeth: Um, and wasn't so easy, but I did get pregnant. And then I had my first miscarriage and it wasn't until my first loss that I realized that my tenure life coaching business really needed to shift to support the men and women that were going through this. I was in the bed for my DNC and four feet next to me from, with a fabric drape in between us, the couple was doing their, their first egg retrieval for IVF. Yeah. And they were so excited and I was genuinely really excited for them, but it was the most devastating thing for me. I'm sure. And realizing this like huge, you know, literally four feet from you, it couldn't be the bigger differences of where our paths were leading us. Right. Wow. And feeling like there's no support for the people that were going through this. And now I'm happy to say there's a lot of support, but at that time it was like, this is not people don't prepare us for this. As amazing as my doctor is. And as amazing as their clinic is, when we walk out the door, I can't call them and text them and talk to them about my emotions. Right. They're pretty much just telling me this isn't your fault. You know, don't worry, whatever, but that wasn't, that wasn't helping me in the way that I needed. Um, and the significance that was going on. So I really started just to shift my whole practice to focusing on fertility. And that's what leads me to be where I am now.

Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. Life just, wow. You know, it's amazing. So many people I've interviewed a ton on the podcast at this point and it's, um, so interesting to me, how so many of us are called to the work we do based on our life experiences and in a way kind of making, um, making the old expression, you know, making lemonade out of lemons, so to speak and finding like the good thing out of something. Yeah. Yeah. So you started off as a life coach and then, um, so what train, and then you went like what, like dove into it, and a fertility coach, you're a doula, um, new parent educator. So what sort of training and things did you do to kind of shore up and get to where you are now?

Elizabeth: So the life coach, as I mentioned, that was in 2008 when I did that. And that stemmed from yet, my other situation was my divorce at that time, having gone through three years of, um, couples therapy and my ex-husband who, you know, I remember at one time walking out of that office, thinking that he said that was more like divorce therapy rather than marriage therapy. And I was like, you know what, he's right. They never really gave us any tools, so to speak as to what we can do to, to move forward. And I'm a very black and white person tell me to jump on my jump up and down 50 times and turn around and I'll do that. Right. I, I needed something that was tangible. So I wanted to be able to help someone in a way that they could see a difference, right.

Elizabeth: It's almost like going to a personal trainer. If you do these reps and you, you know, eat this food, then you should be able to gain or lose weight appropriately sort of thing. Um, so that really started the process in that. And that's, you know, that there's many different types of life coach certifications that you can get. Um, there's one regulated one that's called the ICF international coaching Federation. That's the one that I went under. Um, but there's many, many people don't have to have anything like that. And they could just be somebody that can help you along. And as far as the birth and bereavement doula, I started seeing quite a few clients that were having late term losses and stillbirth. And I realized, you know, this is much different than going through and talking to somebody who's had an early loss, not to discount one or the other, but it's, you know, going into the hospitals, working with the hospital to allow them to have the space to grieve and what to do next.

Elizabeth: And all of those things, it's much different again, than dealing with somebody with an early loss. So I really dove into that so that I could serve clients in a way that supported them in what they needed specifically in those areas. And then the new parent education. I realized again, I had aged out of my friends having kids. So I was 41 to 44 with my children. And, you know, my friends had already had, you know, 10 and 15 year olds at that point. So I wasn't having that. I wasn't privy to those conversations about breastfeeding and what to expect, you know, in that third trimester. So I kind of take my clients through the realm of getting prepared and building up that confidence in them before they have baby, just to make sure that they have the appropriate information that they need before they get, get there with baby on the way.

Nicole: Awesome. So you're definitely like seeing the, it sounds like you're helping them by seeing the end goal in mind and like you're prepared to help them not just get there and like, okay, good luck. But like helping them, like, uh, usher in that new journey and that new phase you're providing that support as well as part of your coaching?

Elizabeth: A hundred percent, especially with women that have gone through infertility, they have a generally a higher rate of postpartum depression, um, for several reasons. But studies have shown that because they have identified so long with this infertility, so to speak. And now all of a sudden they have this baby that they're holding. If they don't feel a hundred percent grateful or, you know, madly in love with this baby all the time, they feel a lot of guilt and shame and that's okay. So we want to prepare them for that, those feelings, your world is going to be upside down, having a newborn that doesn't sleep. It doesn't matter if you've wanted it for your whole life or you accidentally got pregnant. It's hard. Right. And so preparing them to, to know that those emotions are okay and you're supported through that and it's normal. It kind of teased them up for success. So they know what to expect. And they know that they don't always have to identify with somebody who has had infertility. They've they've done it now. Right. They can move on to the next chapter. They can feel secure. They can feel safe. They can experience the joy because often that PTSD after loss or infertility takes away from some of that joy. So I help my clients reconnect to that.

Nicole: Gotcha. Gotcha. That makes a lot of sense. And I can see that, you know, you're supposed to be grateful. You have this baby. And I always say like, we all love our children, but sometimes we don't like, especially when they do things that like, ah, you know, so, and it can be hard to reconcile those two things that you're incredibly grateful, but also mad at this, this little human that is testing your patience to no end.

Elizabeth: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.

Nicole: So, so let's talk about what exactly does fertility coaching look like?

Elizabeth: So it's different for everyone. Some people come to me and they haven't yet even tried, but they want to essentially get their body ready for that experience. So what's the nutrition that they should be eating. What is the supplements that are right for their body? And we work as a fertility team with their doctor. So we're not taking a place of a doctor or the, any sort of medical intervention we're there to help them through that and navigate. So sometimes people may have, um, blood sugar issues and they're not sure do they go to an OB for that? Do they go to a regular endocrinologist or a reproductive endocrinologist? So we just help them navigate where it is they need to be and notice any red flags. So, um, is there as a rule of thumb, obviously, you know, this, um, if somebody is under 35 and they've been trying for over a year or over 35 and six months, that's when you technically are, should go see a doctor to see, is there something going on?

Elizabeth: I always say, it's nice to get the lay of the land, right? We can be taking supplements and doing all these things for however long, but if there's something structural going on, that's not going to be helpful if you have blocked tubes or something. So really helping them navigate through that. Again, a lot of them are who are seeing reproductive endocrinologists when they're there. They don't always feel like they are able to advocate for themselves or ask the question. So we work through some of that, um, before and after their appointments, if they're going through a transfer or an egg retrieval, we offer them a little more extra support because it could be a situation where they're overwhelmed or they're feeling a lot of things from the medications that they're taking. And they're not really sure how to, to function with that. Or if they're getting triggered by friends or family members that are having pregnancy announcements and, or like the holidays, when they get pictures of families and friends that have kids and they think, oh, I should've had my child by now, but I miscarried or, you know, we've been trying, when is it going to happen for us?

Elizabeth: We work through tools to reframe their mindset as well as have a strategy plan. So is it a calendar that we work through to say, you know, we're going to try for X amount of time, and then you guys are going to go to this plan. So just having an idea in your mind of, I have some control in a situation that feels like is out of our control, gives them a sense of calm. And with that sense of calm, obviously their adrenal systems are more relaxed. Their cortisol's balanced, all of those things that helps them to conceive a little bit more easier. Yeah.

Nicole: That, because we all know that like, um, you, you, you, you never want to tell anybody who is trying to get pregnant to just like, oh, decrease your stress and try to have less stress. Like that's so irritating and annoying, but at the time you also know that decreasing your stress can help. So it sounds like you're helping to approach it from a, like a big picture perspective and, um, kind of holistic way of approaching everything. In addition with working with like traditional medical practice, is that fair to say,

Elizabeth: Absolutely. I mean, we want to like punch someone in the face if they say that to us, mainly because we don't understand that it is scientifically proven. And there's a reason why they're saying that, right. There's a reason why people say, oh, I went on vacation or I stopped trying, and then I got pregnant. However, that's not the case for everybody that does have something really going on, which is why I always say, don't just assume that, but there is scientific evidence to show that there's Harvard medical school studies that have shown you're 55% more likely to conceive. If you are doing cognitive work alongside of that, that's a big number, not to discount. And that's why I always tell people, not having the tools to know when I'm triggered, I'm going to do X, Y, Z, so that I do stay in a level of calm. And I don't get into this spiral of negativity and feeling like it's never going to happen for me. Cause I always say, if you want to be a mama or a dad, you can, we just got to figure out the right path for you. There's a lot of different opportunities now that we weren't even 10 years ago. And it's really a beautiful thing. It's just a matter of figuring out the best way to get there.

Nicole: Definitely, definitely. So who is an ideal client for fertility coaching?

Elizabeth: Somebody who's struggling emotionally through the process, I think, um, and they just feel overwhelmed with not knowing what to do next and maybe they're going into some conflict with their partner because maybe they're not on the same page. Maybe they're struggling through the monthly oscillation and performance anxiety and things like that. Someone to just feel like I needed that extra support, whether that's, you know, a one off strategy session just to go through again, what's your nutrition? What are your supplements? What's what is your appointments with your doctor look like? Is it time to see an RE rather than your OB, um, those sorts of things and letting them know what the options are? Um, a lot of times clients will get into Facebook groups or Instagram and things like that. And they'll be, you know, getting to a point where it's not necessarily emotionally healthy for them to be in those groups, because let's say somebody who's over 40, they may join the 40 and pregnant group, which is great.

Elizabeth: But I often say you can now say, you know, that there's millions of women getting pregnant over 40, you know, that what we don't need to know, we don't need to know all the ins and outs of everybody else's situation. Cause you can't undo that you can't unread it. You can't unsee it. And you don't want that in your subconscious mind because that will affect you. So really talk, talking to somebody that can help you kind of pull away from it. I call a social media diet and, and get you as I also say, you want to stay in your lane. You're, you're writing your own story. It's really irrelevant to what somebody else is going through because you don't know their medical history. You don't know what's going on with them. You don't know if they have thyroid issues or vitamin D deficiency or, you know, there's a lot of different factors that can come into play.

Elizabeth: So really just having that knowing of, okay, I know someone over 40 can get pregnant, that's all I need to know and I'm going to move forward. So if you feel like you just need that extra support of somebody who can understand and talk the language of where you need to go. I think that's really a benefit of finding a fertility coach to help you through that. Again, it's like having, if you want to lose weight or you're training for a big event, or you're an Olympic athlete, you have a whole team behind you getting to your, your game day. And I see it the same as fertility. If you're struggling, you want all this team. So a fertility acupuncturist, a coach, your doctor, all of these people working together to help support your journey because it is something that we're not prepared for.

Nicole: A hundred percent. This is just all excellent. I absolutely love it. And I love how you mentioned you even say, cause my next question was going to be like, how long do you work with clients? And it sounds like it varies. Like it, it could even be like we can do, uh, I don't know, one hour, two hour strategy session and just kind of talk through things or we can continue to do ongoing work if necessary.

Elizabeth: Yep. So I see both types of clients. I see some where we do that 90 minute strategy session and, and that's really all they need. And I can generally tell in our first 15 minutes of a discovery call where you want to be, but I always say, let's start with that. If you feel like you need more ongoing support through your journey, I'm here. I'm not, I'm not going anywhere. I'm here to support and serve women and men in this community because it is it's so needed. So I also offer packages of three sessions or six sessions. And again, it depends on where you're at. I have clients that have been with me for a long time because of their particular situation. They may have not have known. They had a genetic disorder. So we've worked through that whole process and getting them to the right clinic. Some people transfer clinics and just, you know, have gone through rounds of IVF before we get together. And then we work through following rounds of IVF or transfer or whatever it may be. So it really just depends on where you're at and the support that you feel is needed for where you're at in your journey.

Nicole: Love it, love it, love it. So let's get into some practical advice for folks. Why don't we start with three things that people can do, um, or two or three, you know, whatever you have to prepare their bodies for pregnancy.

Elizabeth: So I think the first part for the first advice for that is just allow yourself some grace. Most of us have been on some sort of contraceptive before we start to conceive for who knows how many years. And we expect our body to come off of that and make it happen. That happens for some people, but that doesn't happen for everybody. So really, really getting into that spot of it's okay and connecting with your body and your cycle, learning your cycle. We're not taught this in school. We don't know what ovulation is. At least I didn't and my clients didn't know. So just having that basic information of learning, what is, what is my period like? Is it normal? We all kind of think it's normal, but is it really normal? Um, it's understanding where you're at and where you're coming from to allow yourself the grace and space to say it's okay, let me just connect with you body. Let me, I'm going to ask something really big of you to create a human being. So let me have that gentle space to just be and figure out where are we right now? Is, is, is this something that I need to seek help with first and foremost? So that's the first thing.

Nicole: Yes. And that, oh my God, that is so important. Like you see is sometimes it feels like, especially when you really want to get pregnant, like everybody around you is like, oh my God, I just got my IUD out and I was pregnant three seconds later and it can be frustrating, but you really have to give yourself some grace. And I have, obviously we haven't gone through all of the things, but I have a sense that the things that you're going to tell us, not only apply for when you're trying to get pregnant, they're going to apply when you're pregnant to give yourself some grace and they're going to apply as a parent as well. So this sounds like good life lesson skills, um, yeah,

Elizabeth: A hundred percent, you know, as you said to all of those areas really applied to all the things, but we have this expectation that it's just going to happen. And sometimes that doesn't happen. And part of that is because we haven't allowed our body to function the way that nature's meant it to function by having an IUD or being on the pill or something else. So just having that, you know, realization of like, okay, it hasn't, I haven't enabled it to function the way that it needs to be. And now I'm going to, and I'm going to love my body in going through this process. And you may have some ups and downs as your hormones regulate and just know that that's normal.

Nicole: Yep. So what's the next thing.

Elizabeth: And then the next thing is to, as, as I said before, getting to know your cycle, but also really feeling into what, what do you feel on a deeper sense that there's something happening that may be preventing you? So sometimes people don't even realize that they have blocks. Like I have one client that she didn't think she could have her career and have a baby at the same time, but she didn't even know that she had that as a block, right. Until we unraveled some of that. And she realized, oh my gosh, I can. Somewhere along the line again, she learned that she didn't think that was possible once she realized that it is possible, everything opened up. So sometimes the things that are blocking us from conceiving are things that we're not even aware of. So trying to look at yourself and your life, do I have any limiting beliefs around pregnancy or trying to conceive or how this is going to affect my life? Because sometimes it's as simple as having that realization of like, oh my goodness, what I saw in my family is what I'm taking on. And I don't even realize that that's, what's what it is.

Nicole: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Love it. Love it, love it. So what's, what's the third thing.

Elizabeth: And then nutrition, lifestyle and supplements. And this varies from everybody. So really getting to know your body and what causes inflammation for your body. I have a lot of people that come to me, they're like, I've been eating dairy-free, gluten-free all of these things. Well, if you don't really have a sensitivity to that, that's not necessarily going to be the game changer as to why or why not you're getting pregnant. Right. So it tends to cause people more stress because they're like, I can't go out with my friends cause I can't have pizza or I can't have a glass of wine because you know, I'm trying so hard to get pregnant. And once they let go of that again, guess what happens? They get pregnant. So really learning your body. What is it that matters for your body? My body is highly sensitive to eggs, but if you Google online fertility diets, eggs, it's going to be in that top list.

Elizabeth: So figuring out for you and working with somebody who can help you to manage that, to see where is it that you need to be, because it's not the same for everybody. And that's why I really discourage people going online to non curated groups, because it can sometimes be really inefficient and take you down the wrong rabbit hole, so to speak. So knowing your body, knowing what's good for you, intuitive eating, you know, not being hard on yourself. Again, you don't need to be holding on so tight to things because that's not, what's going to be the game changer for you, unless you have some sort of, you know, auto-immune issue that causes you to have to eat a certain way or do something specific and making sure that your body is yes, taking supplements, but also not too many. There can be a huge laundry list again, that you can find online that that's not necessarily good for your body. Talk to your doctor about that. Talk to, you know, somebody who can really point you in the right direction because too much then your body is trying to detoxify from all these supplements that it doesn't need every day. Right. So, so really knowing where is a good balance for you and working with your doctor to figure that out, I think is kind of my, my biggest thing.

Nicole: Uh, those are all y'all excellent pieces of advice and just a really individualized approach. And like there's not a one size fit all. And it's really important to start learning how to tune into your own body and what is going to work for you and not just, you know, do everything that everybody else said. We all have to kind of individualized things and, and Elizabeth's advice is really, really helping you do that.

Elizabeth: Yeah. And I think also advocate for yourself. If you feel like your doctor is not on the same page as you or kind of blows you off, maybe because of your age or whatever else, find somebody else that can be on your team and support you. I think people are so educated now. And there's so many doctors that are really open that you don't, it's almost like you feel like you're cheating on your doctor. If you go to somebody else like a hairdresser or something. But really, I think it's such an important part in your life for women's wellness, not only through your fertility, but you know, past that, even that finding somebody that you feel super good about, that's not going to make you feel inadequate by asking questions or turn you away. And they're open to having those conversations. It's really with who you want to build that long-term relationship with.

Nicole: Absolutely. Absolutely. So let's transition then into things that people can do to help prepare their mind for pregnancy, because that is also so important.

Elizabeth: Yes, there's so many things and again, it's individualized, you can tell somebody to do affirmations all day long, but if that doesn't mean anything to them, they're wasting their time because that's not getting into their subconscious mind. It's just their conscious mind saying something every day. So finding what resonates with you is that affirmations, is it, um, meditating, journaling, reading. It can be as simple as for some of my clients, they love cooking and that's what really grounds them. So looking at recipes, that's something that's good for them. So finding what is right for you, but really carving out the time, putting it on your calendar. If you have to, to say, I'm going to allot. I always say, even starting with 60 seconds, because you want to set yourself up for success. We don't want this to be like, oh, I'm such a failure at meditating because I couldn't do it.

Elizabeth: No, that's not what we're doing here. Even dancing, you know, put on a song and dance for 50, 60 seconds, that's going to help release and open your body to the universe that I'm able to create. And I'm doing something I'm having fun. I always say spirit babies want to come to people that are having fun and, and, and having, and having that fun and making that time for yourself. You're really, again, working on your adrenal system, your cortisol levels. There's scientific evidence behind that. When you stop and pause and do something to slow down, your system slows down. You want to ask yourself to every night when I sleep, am I recovering from my day? Or am I resting? Most of us are recovering. We don't even realize it. It's like we're running a marathon every day. And then we hurry up and recover and then run the marathon the next day and hurry up and recover.

Elizabeth: Yeah. So figuring out in your life, like what can I eliminate today? Even if it's one thing a week to say, maybe I don't need to do that this week and I can put it on hold and I can take a nap or I can journal, or I can meditate or I can color in a coloring book. Um, so that you can feel like I'm not rushing so much. And that's a big reason I believe. And this is just my opinion that the fertility rates are at a six year decline globally, even because we are always rush rushing. Even our parents didn't have the lifestyle that we have that we're. So, you know, we're checking our email everywhere we go. We have access to everything all the time. There is no time to leave your job, come home and just rest. So yeah, carving out that time and making, finding what works for you and not feeling pressured to like, to meditate or do any of the things. If that doesn't feel good for you, don't do it. Yeah.

Nicole: Yes. I love that. And we, I mean, I agree although there's not like science or things that we can point to. We definitely don't have like enough quiet space. I call it, you know, just to sorta like decompress sometimes and not always have something going, going on. And I just also love how you're like, if you don't want to do affirmations, don't do it. Like it doesn't have to be complicated or anything. And you have to find what works, what works for you. Um, so what's another thing that people can do to help prepare their mind.

Elizabeth: I think finding somebody to talk to in a community that's curated. So again, I, depending on if that group that you have online has some sort of facilitation that is giving you accurate information, it's fine. But if it's just kind of open, open, I would avoid that. However, finding somebody that you can talk to, whether that's a friend or a coach or a therapist, or your doctor or whoever that is there for you is really going to be grounding for you. Sometimes we feel like it's just our partner, but then that can also cause conflict because your partner doesn't know what to say, or maybe they've heard it too much and that's becoming its own conflict, right? Because they don't want to hear about it anymore. And you don't want to stuff that down. You want to continue to talk about it, but finding somebody that is willing to show up for you and understands what you're going through is really priceless through this journey and preparing your mind for conception and to, to your point parenthood and, and postpartum as well.

Nicole: Yes. Yep. Yep. Love it. The curated community. I think that is like so important because some communities and I think mom, communities can be like this too, where there's like shaming and, um, judging and things like that. Or I can imagine that in the fertility space, their communities are like, you know, if you decide that you don't want to do a gluten-free diet because that doesn't work for you, then somebody is like telling you, oh my God, you're doing everything wrong. You know, those kinds of things. So I, you know, I love that pay attention to the community. It's not just any community. Um, and then what is one more thing that you think folks can do to prepare their mind

Elizabeth: I think be open with your situation. This is not something that you need to be ashamed of. One in eight people are going through infertility in the US, one in six in Canada. So you think that you are on this island of going through this on your own. You're not. And just us having this conversation today is normalizing that conversation. So the more that you're open with it, the more you'll realize you're attracting other people that have gone through it before you, and seeing those experiences to say, this person had success. I can have success too. It gives you a sense of hope to know that you don't have to be hiding this. What you think is this big, deep, dark secret, because it's not a lot of people are in the same situation you are. And the one in four with miscarriage as well.

Elizabeth: You don't have to feel guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed about that. Many, many people are going through this. So having the awareness, not only for yourself, but for others when you're in the Starbucks line and you count the amount of people that are in there, one in eight, or this is happening to one in four, this is happening to, so you're not alone. And just knowing that you can stand up a little taller and you're in your story and, and have conviction. And knowing that there's support out there for you, you will get through this. And this is just a small period of time that I know sometimes feels like forever, but reach out for the support and know that you're not alone. Yeah.

Nicole: Yes, yes, yes. And I always say I'm embarrassed for my second. For my first one. It took us six months to get pregnant. And everybody who's hearing that, that deals with infertility is like, can you please go sit down in the corner somewhere and shut up? But I was like a nutcase. I was a crazy, you know, I was mad at everybody who was pregnant. It was ridiculous. And that was only six months. So I don't know what It feels like for freaking ever. So, um, love that piece of advice that just, you know, you're, you're not alone when you're going through things. For sure. Yeah. Yeah. So let's have some fun and talk about a couple of myths that you want to bust about fertility or infertility. So what are a couple myths that you've, that you've heard?

Elizabeth: So I think it's not so much a myth anymore, but the fact that women, you know, over 40, if you have a child over 40 are going to have something, your baby won't be healthy.

Nicole: Oh God, please, please say that again.

Elizabeth: Yes, it is. You can have a healthy baby over 40.

Nicole: Healthy pregnancy and healthy baby. You sure can. Yes.

Elizabeth: Yes. And just because we have these medical terms like geriatric or advanced maternal age, which are so

Nicole: Rude, they're so rude, by the way.

Elizabeth: I know I, and there are places that are trying to change that I actually have on my website, an acronym list for things, um, when you're trying to conceive. But part of what I explained there is these are terms that are used on the medical bill side. So that's just what they say for the insurance companies and all of that. But if only we can have everybody just write that down for insurance companies and yet talk to me as a normal person, then everything would be a little bit more, I'm happy in the world, but it is possible. And, and knowing that, you know, people I've had many people who are in my parents' generation, who were like, why are you even trying at this point? It's no wonder you're having losses. Um, but you know, what I would say to myself was there's, I know 25 year olds and 30 year olds that are having losses as well.

Elizabeth: Right? So I'm really just not buying into what society is telling you as well around your age and what that means and whatnot, because yes, of course, I'm not going to say that, you know, your 40 year old eggs or your 40 year old eggs, but we also a myth that we know now that is we have the ability to affect some change to those cells. Um, every 120 to 150 days, which people didn't know that. And I think, and I don't know, but I'm guessing that because we have so much technology now and the whole industry of OB GYN and all of that sort of side of the fence, you know, we have so many more live births and we did before. There's a reason for that too. So, you know, accept and embrace that. And, and, and know that the, I think the medical community in some places get a bad rap when really there's so much, we wouldn't be where we are without that medical community as well.

Elizabeth: So just staying open to that and knowing that again, finding the doctor or the team that's going to support the direction you want to go, but with also keeping you safe, because yes, you can have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, but at the same time, they're all are certain risks that can come along with that. So just making sure that you're open to getting the help with that. Yep. I think another one that I hear a lot is, um, you know, the male factor fertility with the age of men that, you know, doesn't matter what age they are, that they can still have healthy children when in fact their sperm does get affected over the age of 40 as well. And I think we've seen so many, I think like the Hugh Hefner's in the world that were having babies at 50, 60, 70 years old, we kind of assumed that, um, that wasn't a thing when in fact it is a thing and, and male fertility can be also affected by the lifestyle nutrition supplements that they take also. So it's not just the women's deal anymore. It's, uh, you know, 50% of that is the sperm that comes to the table also. So making sure that they're on board with that as well. So if they're smoking and drinking and doing all these things, and you're doing all you possibly can to eat well and have a healthy lifestyle, you know, you really want to make sure that you both are on the same page with that.

Nicole: I love it. Love it. So as we wrap up, what would you say is the most frustrating part of your work?

Elizabeth: Um, the most frustrating part is when I think the people come and they'll say I saw Susie Q a online and she has a natural killer cells. And so I think that's what I have and I'm going to be going on this crazy diet or whatever, because I saw Susie who is doing that. I think that's the most frustrating part is when you see somebody who's adapting very extreme behaviors based on somebody that they don't know, and they don't know their history. And again, really just encouraging people. You're writing your own story. You stay in your own lane. We don't know, you know, what her medical history is versus yours, and really getting grounded in. I'm going to do what I can do for me, regardless of what other people are doing. Of course, it's nice to have that information to know that there's something out there, but you don't want to, you don't want to take on somebody else's stuff, so to speak.

Elizabeth: So that, that becomes a little frustrating because it can derail you, right? If, if you're starting this really extreme paleo diet, because you think you have autoimmunes with issues with natural killer cells, that's a pretty significant thing. And, or I'm having recurring loss because of what this girl has only to come to find out that girl has a severe genetic disorder. And that's why she's not creating healthy embryos. You know, you just wasted a lot of time because you're trying to go down this road of someone else that you saw online. So I think really that's the biggest thing that I feel like.

Nicole: I can totally totally relate to that. On the flip side, what's the most rewarding part of your work?

Elizabeth: Oh my goodness. Getting those calls and text messages with the positive betas and pregnancy tests and the baby anatomy scans and the healthy pregnancies and the babies that are born, those those days are literally the best days ever.

Nicole: I can imagine. I can imagine. So what is your favorite piece of advice that you like to give to someone who's dealing with infertility?

Elizabeth: Rest in the knowing if you want to be a parent, you can be a parent and let it out there to the universe that I am open to whatever way that that's going to come to me and knowing that there are so many different options. Now there's egg donation, embryo adoption, um, donor conception on both sides, egg, and sperm. I have one client that, that did do both in order to have her baby. And she has her little, her little guy. So stay open to the different options, because again, our society has kind of taught us. This is the way that it's going to go. And if there's anything that goes outside of that, it's not normal. Well, that's not really the world we live in anymore. Anything you can create is your normal. So you have the ability to, to build the family, whatever way that you want and, and figuring that out and the way that feels comfortable for you and helping having someone help you guide you down that road. Um, and again, knowing that you're not alone, but no rest in the fact that you can be a parent, we just have to figure out the best way to get you there.

Nicole: Mhm, mhm. Well, thank you so much. This was a super, super informative episode. Please tell everyone where are all the places they can find you.

Elizabeth: You can find me on my website, elizabethking.com on Instagram @ElizabethKing_coaching and my podcasts are Pretty Little Tribe.

Nicole: Okay, awesome. Well again, thank you so much, Elizabeth, for agreeing to come onto the show. This was super helpful information.

Elizabeth: Thank you so much for having me

Nicole: As always wasn't that a delightful conversation with Elizabeth. You can clearly tell that she's serious and passionate about her work and I so, so love it and appreciate her coming on to share what she does with all of us. Now, you know, after every episode, when I have a guest on, I do something called Nicole's Notes where I talk about my top three or four takeaways from the episode, here are my Nicole's Notes from my conversation with Elizabeth. Number one, sometimes you just need guidance to help you through life circumstances. Sometimes they may be in the form of a therapist. Sometimes it may be just talking to a good friend, but sometimes a coach can be what you need. I think coaching is kind of like exploded in the last few years, especially around life coaching. And I actually happened to be a certified integrative health coach.

Nicole: I don't do one-on-one coaching anymore, but I understand the benefits of it. So think about it. And I actually, some insurances are starting to pay for coaching in various forms. So if this is something that you think may be useful to you, then do check it out because sometimes having someone who can help guide you through those life transitions and life moments can be really, really helpful. And the traditional medical system by itself, isn't really set up to provide that type of support. Okay. Number two, I want to emphasize the importance of a couple things she said. One is kind of limiting social media. We all know that there is tons of evidence that social media can be toxic and it's easy to get sucked in. It's designed to be addictive. So just be careful with your time on social media. Sometimes you need a little diet need to come away from it.

Nicole: Um, that's really important for your mental health. Okay. And then number two, one thing I really want to emphasize is she said, or reiterate that she said is the importance of a curated community. If you're going to be on social media, then do it in places that serve you. Okay. Don't follow things, don't look at things that don't serve you. All right. This is one of the things that I really want to, or really is so important to me about the Birth Preparation Course in the community that we have in our private Facebook group is creating a community of like-minded folks who support each other, who are either going through or have been through the same things that you're going through. And just really like a non-judgemental really supportive zone. So think about, or be sure that when you are on social media, that you have curated community, not just any community, because that makes a difference.

Nicole: And even outside of things like Facebook groups, so private groups for communities like even who you follow on Instagram or who you follow on Tik Tok, make sure you're following things that serve you. Okay. And then the final thing she talked about in the process of getting pregnant, taking control in a situation of the things that you can control, even though there's a lot that you don't have control over, and this same thing applies for birth. Birth is an unpredictable process. However, there are some things you can control. One of the biggest things that you can control, or actually there are many things you can control your mind. You can control how you show up to the process. You can control how prepared you are for your birth. And that's where something like childbirth education is critical. I believe every pregnant person should do childbirth education.

Nicole: Of course, I have a great option called the Birth Preparation Course. You can check it out at drnicolerankins.com/enroll. It is my online childbirth class, gets you calm, confident, and empowered to have a beautiful birth specifically in the hospital, because that's what I know. So that's what I teach. And I also take into account that our hospital system isn't always supportive of birth. The history of birth in our country is a paternalistic approach to birth that too often takes away power from women for some is also racist. So I teach you the things within the Birth Preparation Course that will help you advocate for yourself within that system. And again, be prepared or, or be as in control of as much that you can be in control of and how prepared you come to the process. So do check out the Birth Preparation Course drnicolerankins.com/enroll. Even if you don't join the Birth Preparation Course, do some childbirth education because it is so important. All right. So there you have it. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast wherever you're listening to me right now, and I'd love it. If you leave an honest review in Apple Podcast, I like to do shout outs from those reviews. And I just love what you have to say about the show and also check out those resources that I told you about drnicolerankins.com/resources, where you can grab a guide to pain management and labor warning signs to look out for after birth- because 60% of maternal mortality actually happens after birth, that tip sheet of what to pack for the hospital. So that is it for this episode, do come on back next week. And remember you deserve a beautiful pregnancy and birth.