Infertility Guidance Begins with Healthcare Providers

 Infertility can be a difficult topic to understand for couples trying to conceive a child. Many questions arise during the conception journey concerning health, timing, and fertility treatments. So where do most couples go for guidance and support? The Stork ib2C Inc. conducted an online survey among 150 adult consumers under the age of 45 who have been trying to conceive for at least three months and have taken action to improve fertility or would consider taking action in the future. The survey uncovered that healthcare providers are the top resource consulted about fertility at the beginning of many couples’ conception journey and during the time couples began to feel concerned. The results showed that 51 percent of respondents consulted their healthcare provider initially for fertility, and 49 percent for concerns related to fertility.The more-concerned respondent bases most likely consulted resources about fertility from the very beginning, including 92 percent of those who were moderately concerned and 84 percent of those who were highly concerned.The number-one reason for concern, by a ratio of more than 2 to 1, was the number of months the couples spent trying to conceive, in addition to how long these couples thought it would take at the time they started trying to conceive. The level of concern positively correlated to couples who tried certain conception techniques, including over-the-counter (OTC) medical devices and incorporating lifestyle modifications about diet and caffeine.The survey showed that experiences and actions changed as the respondents moved along the levels of concern. The most-concerned segment was eager to try new options. Twenty-six percent of respondents were unaware of the possibility of using an OTC medical device to improve fertility, as only 6 percent of respondents were using one; however, another 25 percent said they were considering it. This is where The Stork OTC can help.The Stork OTC home conception device is a low-cost option that affords couples the opportunity to increase their fertility without engaging in long-term and costly treatments. There are no shots to take, scans to schedule or prescriptions to fill. The FDA-cleared, over-the-counter device provides a way to keep higher sperm score concentration at the cervix compared with natural intercourse by cervical cap insemination.

Get Enough Sleep

It’s important to get enough sleep. Sleep helps keep your mind and body healthy.

How much sleep do I need?
Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep on a regular schedule each night. Make changes to your routine if you can’t find enough time to sleep.

Getting enough sleep isn’t only about total hours of sleep. It’s also important to get good quality sleep on a regular schedule so you feel rested when you wake up.

If you often have trouble sleeping – or if you often still feel tired after sleeping – talk with your doctor.

How much sleep do children need?
Kids need even more sleep than adults.

  • Teens need 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night.
  • School-aged children need 9 to 12 hours of sleep each night.
  • Preschoolers need to sleep between 10 and 13 hours a day (including naps).
  • Toddlers need to sleep between 11 and 14 hours a day (including naps).
  • Babies need to sleep between 12 and 16 hours a day (including naps).

Why is getting enough sleep important?
Getting enough sleep has many benefits. It can help you:

  • Get sick less often
  • Stay at a healthy weight
  • Lower your risk for serious health problems, like diabetes and heart disease 
  • Reduce stress and improve your mood
  • Think more clearly and do better in school and at work
  • Get along better with people
  • Make good decisions and avoid injuries – for example, sleepy drivers cause thousands of car accidents every year

Why can’t I fall asleep?
Many things can make it harder for you to sleep, including:

  • Stress or anxiety
  • Pain
  • Certain health conditions, like heartburn or asthma
  • Some medicines
  • Caffeine (usually from coffee, tea, and soda)
  • Alcohol and other drugs
  • Untreated sleep disorders, like sleep apnea or insomnia

If you are having trouble sleeping, try making changes to your routine to get the sleep you need. You may want to:

  • Change what you do during the day – for example, get your physical activity in the morning instead of at night.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment — and make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet.
  • Set a bedtime routine – and go to bed at the same time every night.

Making small changes to your daily routine can help you get the sleep you need.

Change what you do during the day.

  • Try to spend some time outdoors every day.
  • Plan your physical activity for earlier in the day, not right before you go to bed.
  • Stay away from caffeine (including coffee, tea, and soda) late in the day.
  • If you have trouble sleeping at night, limit daytime naps to 20 minutes or less.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation. This means no more than 1 drink a day for women and no more than 2 drinks a day for men. Alcohol can keep you from sleeping well.
  • Don’t eat a big meal close to bedtime.
  • Quit smoking. The nicotine in cigarettes can make it harder for you to sleep.

Create a good sleep environment.

  • Make sure your bedroom is dark. If there are streetlights near your window, try putting up light-blocking curtains.
  • Keep your bedroom quiet.
  • Consider keeping electronic devices – like TVs, computers, and smart phones – out of the bedroom.

Set a bedtime routine.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Get the same amount of sleep each night.
  • Avoid eating, talking on the phone, or reading in bed.
  • Avoid using computers or smart phones, watching TV, or playing video games at bedtime.
  • If you find yourself up at night worrying about things, use these tips to help manage stress.

If you are still awake after staying in bed for more than 20 minutes, get up. Do something relaxing, like reading or meditating, until you feel sleepy.

If you are concerned about your sleep, see a doctor.

Natural Food: What You Should Know

When you walk down the aisles of your local grocery store, there’s a good chance you’ll see a parent or two scrupulously reading packaging for buzzwords, like healthy, organic and natural — the list goes on. Maybe you’re one of those parents.

When making food decisions for your family, you might be looking for healthy, delicious options that your children will want to eat. Notorious for being picky eaters, however, kids won’t eat something unless it looks good. So, you must add one more element to your shopping criteria: visual appeal — namely coloring.

Yogurt needs to have a pretty pastel hue. Fruit juices need to have sweet shades. And each cereal flake needs to look as inviting as the box promises — like more than, well, just oats. The big question: How can this happen naturally?

“Natural colors are derived from all the active ingredients responsible for colors found in nature, like plants, fruits and vegetables,” says Tammi Higgins, Natural Colors Commercial Development Manager at FMC. “They’re used in food and beverages as an alternative to artificial colors made from coal tar and petroleum. Nature is able to provide bright and vivid colors in every shade of the rainbow.”

Think of grapes and red beets — likely items in your fridge.

Anthocyanins, derived from grapes and other fruits and vegetables, impart vivid pink to red to purple hues in a wide range of foods, including fruit chews and fruit-based beverages. And the beetroot helps intensify the color of tomato paste or achieve that familiar red in red velvet cake.

Annatto is also one of those beautiful color sources found in nature. It is the seed of the tropical bush Bixa Orellana — known as the lipstick tree — which is a plant native to Central and South America. In addition to being used as a spice in traditional cooking, annatto seeds can deliver a bright yellow to orange color, a hallmark of macaroni and cheese — a perennial family favorite.

Foods with natural coloring offer a cleaner label with recognizable, non-chemical ingredients. Natural colors are derived from sustainable sources and adhere to vegan, Halal and Kosher standards. They can even be certified organic.

So, as you comb the grocery aisles for healthy alternatives for your family — or the occasional candy-coated chocolate treat — look for foods enhanced with colors from nature. Remember, anytime something is added to food, like a natural color to enhance its hue or salt, to preserve it, it’s considered an additive. But when that additive comes from Mother

Nature, you can feel confident that you’re making a smart choice.