Donielle Baker from Naturally Knocked Up

Hope for a Family

When diagnosed a decade ago with poly-cystic ovary syndrome, a condition that can make conceiving difficult, Donielle Baker didn’t give up on her dream of a family; she started looking for answers. Those answers changed the course of her life. Now the parent of a boy and girl, and a baby in Heaven from a miscarriage last year, she’s completely changed her life because of what she learned.

Donielle had previously eaten “healthy” foods just like many of us – skim milk, whole grain breads and cereals. Through her successful blog – Naturally Knocked Up – and a book by the same name released earlier this year, Donielle shares what she’s learned about natural fertility with key players such as whole foods, stress reduction, and natural living.

She’s also eating gluten-free and agreed to answer some questions about this for Enjoying Gluten-Free Life’s readers.

Q & A:

Q: Since this is a gluten-free blog, with related issues, please share with us when and why you started eating gluten-free. 

A: My family actually started eating gluten free because we found out that much of the health issues that my husband dealt with could be related to a gluten intolerance. Within a few weeks, we had our answer and the rest of our family slowly went gluten free over the next few months. While I still eat wheat products from time to time (every few months), when I’m out of the house, our home is gluten free. (I have gone 6-8 months completely gluten free and have found that for me, gluten isn’t an issue.)

So my blog isn’t entirely gluten free at this point, because I started it a couple of years before we made the switch. Though I often make some of my old recipes, we use gluten free alternatives for them now.

Q: Can dietary and/or lifestyle changes such as going gluten-free help someone who is infertile become fertile?

A: For some people, going gluten free can definitely make a big impact on their fertility. Not only can it cause infertility, but it’s often associated with second trimester losses as well as male factor infertility. The direct cause is sometimes unknown as to why gluten affects fertility, but there are a couple of different theories. One is that the gluten damages the intestines and the body can not absorb the nutrients it needs to function or produce hormones properly. The other is that it could be an auto-immune issue where the body begins attacking new cells. One of my blog friends actually got me researching the link between infertility and loss and gluten intolerance, when she found out (after infertility and multiple losses) that she had celiac. She has now gone on to have two more children.

Q: Is it only important for the woman to change her diet and lifestyle when a couple has been unable to conceive or is it also important for the man to make changes?

A: Whether or not the man also deals with fertility issues doesn’t matter. Half of the DNA comes from the man, so he too should do what is within his power to keep himself healthy to ensure strong sperm and genetic material. There are also ways that a man can naturally increase his fertility if he deals with low sperm count or poor motility/morphology as well. And of course, this goes the other way as well for women if the cause for infertility is due to her husband’s health – she too needs to make sure she eats a nourishing diet!

Thank you, Donielle.

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