Your health is more valuable than money, especially when trying to get pregnant. This fact doesn’t erase the reality of how costly trying to be healthy in preparation for conception and pregnancy can be. For couples who struggle to achieve pregnancy, there is the additional cost of handling a fertility health issue that requires specialized support. If you are looking to save yourself from some financial stress while trying to conceive, look no further; we have some great tips to help you not only save some money, but your sanity as well!
From charting your cycle to determining your fertile window and eating healthier, to boosting fertility health with supplements, there ARE cost effective ways to support your body when trying to conceive. Trust me, there are and I want you to know them!
1. Charting Your Cycle to Detect Ovulation
Fertility Charting is just one, but often the most effective way of learning if and when you may be ovulating, which will help you know your fertile window. Your fertile window are days of each menstrual cycle you should try to conceive. Taking your basal body temperature (BBT) each morning upon waking requires the cost of a basal body thermometer which is less than $15.00, a pencil and a BBT chart. We have free ones you can print off. Click here to get your free Fahrenheit or Celsius chart. Another free option is to join an online charting service, like the one at Fertility Friend.
Other cost-effective ways to chart your fertility cycle:
- Smartphone fertility apps (ranging from free to around $10)
- CycleBeads (around $15)
- Ovulation microscopes (a type of saliva test, which allows you to detect ovulation with 97% certainty 74 hours prior to ovulation – around $30)
- OPK – ovulation test strips (around $4 – $8 for a 10 pack)
2. Tips & Tricks for Making The Fertility Diet Affordable
Eating healthy can be affordable! We know diet impacts maternal and fetal health. So, eating as healthy as possible when trying to conceive should be a primary focus. Several tips to make eating healthy affordable include:
- buy in bulk whenever possible
- choose minimally processed foods
- eat seasonally and locally
- clip coupons and shop sales
- grow your own food
- slowly transition to organic
Beyond these eight tips, there are additional ways to make clean eating your “norm” and to fill your plate with real, whole foods…
Buy generic organic – Organic foods are trendy right now, so much so that many stores have created and sell their own organic brands that are often less than name-brand organic foods.
Avoid going grocery shopping when hungry – It’s true, the hungrier we are when surrounded by unending food choices, the more likely that things not on a list, or that aren’t needed, will get added to a cart.
Take a “brown bag lunch” – Cook at home and eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Eat broccoli daily – A vegetable that is not one of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen”, broccoli is inexpensive, packed with nutrients and contains fiber as well as compounds known to bind to excess estrogens, all aiding the body’s natural detoxification process.
Make Meatless Mondays a habit – Organic, grass-fed meat is more expensive than vegetable sources of protein. While it is worth the investment, there is little way around its cost. Not eating meat for just one day a week can save a few dollars. Replace meat for beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, and eggs.
3. The Secret to Saving on Herbs, Supplements & Natural Therapies
Supplement aisles in pharmacies and health food stores nearly overflow with product options that seem endless. It is true that you get what you pay for. Typically, the higher quality supplements come with a higher price tag. Notice, I said typically!
Look for the following identifying statements of quality on nutritional supplement and herbal supplement labels before buying. Make sure you aren’t throwing your money away on poor quality supplements. You will get more bang for your buck.
- GMP certified
- whole food nutrients
- for whole food and herbal supplements – certified organic or ethically wildcrafted ingredients grown and made in small batches to ensure quality
Tips for how to save on supplements:
1. Choose a one-a-day whole food preconception multivitamin – specific to women, formulated to support fertility health.
2. Choose a one-a-day essential fatty acid supplement as well. Many are not one a day. EFAs provide a wealth of fertility and pregnancy health benefits. For preconception health, they support hormonal balance, cervical mucus production, ovulation, and healthy sperm production. In pregnancy, EFAs play a critical role in the proper formation of your baby’s nervous system, brain, eyes and heart, and they may lower the risk of preeclampsia and postpartum depression. An easy-to-take, low-cost way to get an abundance of omega-3 EFAs is by taking Fertilica Cod Liver Oil daily, even throughout pregnancy.
3. Look for deals! Supplement manufacturers and retailers often offer coupons, discounts and weekly or monthly specials (sales).
- Scour your favorite supplement brand’s website for coupons.
- Ask if there is a discount for purchasing more than one bottle at a time. The Natural Fertility Shop, for example, offers a 15% discount when you purchase 3 or more of the same select Fertilica products.
- Watch the aisles of your health food store or co-op, sign up for their emails or talk to the wellness department staff to learn weekly discounts.
4. Make your own fertility teas. While this can take a bit of research, preparation, and time up front, it’s easier to stretch a dollar by making tea yourself. It’s not hard, really! We’ll teach you how to blend a tea and measure “parts” of each herb in this video… Here are several fertility-boosting tea recipes:
There are a number of reputable bulk herb retailers. Co-ops and natural food markets often have a selection of bulk herbs and may be willing to special order for you. I have scoured reviews and visited websites of many shops that sell herbs online. I encourage you to do the same, or reach out to your local herbalist guild to connect with herbalists who may be willing to help you source herbs locally.
5. Scavenge around your backyard for herbs. Let your inner herbalist out for a day. There may be plants to boost fertility health growing all around you. A helpful guide for identifying them is the article Boost Your Fertility with Herbs Found in Your Backyard.
6. Learn fertility massage, which is a very effective, low cost way to naturally boost fertility health, help reduce the effects of fertility issues and stress on the body, and to help support reproductive organ and menstrual cycle health. Self Fertility Massage was created to help women apply fertility massage techniques to themselves in the comfort of their own homes.
4. Exercise & Fitness Without a Gym Membership
Exercising doesn’t have to mean purchasing a monthly gym membership or hiring a personal trainer. While not working with a trainer can take discipline, you can do it. Any movement you can do is better than doing nothing at all. Afterall, moving your body is free.
- Go for a brisk 30 minute walk each day.
- Choose the stairs instead of an elevator.
- Take advantage of free fitness classes or reduced-rate drop-in classes in your area (I think of the YMCA, or thru your church, a civic organization, or employer). Many health insurance companies offer discounted gym memberships, or incentives for belonging to a gym.
- Practice fertility yoga in the comfort of your own home.
- Walk or bike instead of drive when you can.
- Enlist a fitness-minded friend to teach you what they know and exercise with you.
- Research online for exercise routines to do at home, YouTube has thousands.
There may be many more ways you can think of to save money and cut the costs of improving your health while trying to conceive. Feel free to share them with us! It is truly motivating to hear what works for others.