My guess is you have shed many tears before landing on this page. I don't know your story (yet) but I do know that if you are reading this you have a deep desire to be a mother. And my guess is that you also have an inner knowing that it is time to try a different approach.
When I was catapulted onto this journey of Fertility Awareness back in 2006, I never could have imagined the myriad of ways my life would be changed and my eyes would open. Learning to track my cycle in depth (not the way you do with a standard period app but really tracking it) was like learning a new language... one that allowed me to communicate with my body in a way we could both understand. From it I learned to identify certain food sensitivities (a common cause of chronic inflammation that decreases fertility), nutrient deficiencies (which reduce egg quality) hormonal imbalances (like hypothyroidism) and even an auto-immune condition. And in the past ten years I have had the privilege of helping other women do the same. With the proper support, those of us in our late thirties and early forties can enjoy better health than we've ever had. I hope you'll join me on a journey to do just that. Not only will it assist you in getting pregnant, but it will support you to maintain a healthy pregnancy, give birth to a healthy baby, and perhaps most importantly, give you the energy and vitality you need to enjoy the profound gifts of motherhood.
What is the Fertile ground Program?
The Fertile Ground program is a six-month fertility enhancement program that is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of health practitioners throughout North America. It is unique in that it is all delivered virtually (meaning by phone, Skype, email and mail) and thus is available to individuals all over the world. It is exceptional in that it provides a rare combination of holistic practices targeted at addressing fertility at the molecular level to enhance your reproduction from the inside out. Drawing on the latest research on nutritional therapy, egg quality, hormonal balance, inflammation and more, we aim to return your body to a state of optimal balance - physically, emotionally and mentally. We do this by using the methodologies of our ancestors, including a basic whole foods diet, restorative sleep, and aligned movement.
We believe that you cannot manifest a baby through the same approach by which you have found yourself here. The modern day diet, postures, toxins, medications and chronic stress all undermine our body's natural inclination towards reproduction. As such, trying to cajole our bodies into getting pregnant through over-reliance on technology, medications, and mechanical timing of intercourse or insemination is at best stressful and at worst ineffective.
The Fertile Ground program aims to teach a woman how to read her fertility and health symptoms with accuracy and confidence, then to make changes to her diet and digestive health that will restore proper nutritional status, hormonal balance and immune function. Finally, we teach women how to increase blood and nutrient supply to the reproductive organs through restoration of proper ancestral posture and movement patterns as well as uterine massage practices that have been used for generations by the Maya people. We have endeavoured to structure the pricing for the package in such a way as to increase the affordability of the work by breaking it into a six month payment program.
While this program can be undertaken in conjunction with fertility treatments, for optimal results we encourage clients to abstain from hormonal treatments and from trying to conceive for at least the first three months of this program in order to obtain the most accurate assessment of your baseline health (without interference from medications, synthetic hormones, etc.). We also want time for the body to instigate healing and detoxification prior to conception in order to provide the best possible chances for a healthy pregnancy.
Client Success Story
I am so glad I reached out to Amy - I am now 5.5 months pregnant!
I had a copper IUD removed in January of 2014 after which my husband and I hoped we would get pregnant quickly. I met with an OB/GYN around that time who suggested we try having sex every other day from day 7 of my cycle on. She suggested we check back with her if we weren't pregnant in 6 months. That schedule wasn't realistic for us for a number of reasons (like living with my parents!) so we tried to time sex around when I thought I was ovulating. When we weren't pregnant by the summer, I purchased ovulation kits and we adjusted our schedule again. I also saw my naturopath and began taking some supplements. When we still weren't pregnant in the winter - at the urging of friends and my naturopath - we made an appointment with a fertility clinic for an intake. But after speaking with a friend who had been to the same clinic I was booked at, I decided I wasn't ready to be subjected to invasive testing. I wanted to let my own body and cycle work things out for a while longer.
Fortunately, another friend recommended Red Tent Sisters. I felt so empowered learning the Justisse method and finally understanding how my body and fertility worked - all without any invasive tests or turning my body over to anyone else's care! I learned that my body will always prioritize health over conception and that the viruses I had had over the winter, food sensitivities I was discovering, and the stress I was under (my husband lost his job the first month we began working with Red Tent Sisters) were likely impeding my ability to conceive. All of the hopelessness I had been feeling from over a year of trying to conceive started to dissolve and I felt connected to my body and our process in a much more positive way.
Amy taught me that I needed to prioritize self-care if I wanted to be healthy, relaxed and able to conceive. The supports and habits I started during my time with Red Tent Sisters are still serving me today and will no doubt continue to serve me as I transition into my new role as mother.
- Annie Gilbert, Toronto
Why this Program, Why now?
Over the past hundred years scientific knowledge about the nature of our fertility has made it possible for us to understand the underlying mechanisms of our fertility with astonishing accuracy. We now know that you can pinpoint the exact day of ovulation using a simple drugstore thermometer and that you can measure your body's pH compatibility with sperm with a quick wipe of toilet paper.
And yet we often rely on fancy technology to tell us when we are most fertile - expensive ovulation predictor kits, blood tests, ulltrasounds and fertility clinics in order to identify our fertile times. Fertility treatments are expensive and highly stressful, and in many cases can be easily avoided. A study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing in 2012 showed that 68% of women attending fertility clinics believed they had been attempting conception during the fertile window, however only 12% of women could accurately identify that window. The first and primary purpose of this program is to bridge that gap.
Unfortunately, something that should be so simple - "reading" our body - is made complicated by many factors, including:
- Not being taught from a young age how our bodies work
- Not being given the proper language to describe our body parts
- Growing up in a society that teaches young women that we can get pregnant anytime and anywhere
- Living in a society that believes popping a pill is the solution to every problem - even though pills rarely fix the underlying problem and almost always cause collateral damage to our bodies
- A cultural distaste for anything inconsistent and unpredictable - thereby relegating women's cyclical changes in mood, libido, and energy to a pathology
- An approach to eating that strains our bodies and our hormones through deprivation, binge-eating, and the constant consumption of anti-nutrients
- A cultural disrespect for the importance of rest to our overall well-being
For all these reasons and more, we believe that teaching women how to accurately identify her days of fertility is the first step to an empowered conception.
The next most important and grossly overlooked cause of infertility is digestive health. Emerging research is demonstrating just how prevalent digestive-related disorders are in our culture, and these digestive disorders have several profound implications for fertility:
- An increase in food sensitivities that lead to chronic inflammation in the body
- A rise in the incidence of "leaky gut syndrome" and the related conditions of auto-immune disease
- Food-induced adrenal fatigue
- Weakened immune systems
- Sub-clinical hypothyroidism
- ... and many more
Your body will always give priority to inflammation over reproduction.
Thus, our program has a huge focus on correcting digestive health, reducing inflammation, and supporting healing of the adrenal and thyroid glands.
Last but not least, we know that lack of movement, poor posture and excessive sitting reduce blood flow to the reproductive organs, leading to stagnation in the uterus and inefficient nutrient delivery to the ovaries. Our program aims to address these issues by:
- Teaching correct posture
- Correcting alignment issues that affect placement of the reproductive organs
- Helping you incorporate more movement into your daily routine
As you can see, this program was aptly named. Through the Fertile Ground program we intend to ground you in your body, but also to ground you to the earth by encouraging more walking, and eating whole foods from the earth.
How is the program delivered?
A Justisse Method of Fertility Management charting kit - mailed to your door. Includes: Manual, 6 charts, stamp set and BBT thermometer.
A private 3-hour introduction to the Justisse Method of Fertility Management with Red Tent Sisters Co-Founder Amy Sedgwick, conducted by phone or Skype.
Three private follow-up consultations with Amy to review your charts and identify markers of hormonal imbalance, inflammation and nutrient deficiencies.
A customized holistic nutrition assessment and private education session from our Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Raeanne Perry. Plus two follow-ups.
Four, hour-long private education and exercise sessions with Marie Wittman, Ph.D, creator of the Movement for Fertility ™ system.
You will receive a sample meal plan that takes into consideration your food sensitivities, blood sugar management, and nutrient needs.
Instruction in the use of self-care abdominal and uterine massage to promote regularity, detoxification, and egg quality.
Every month we will send you a content email on a special topic related to fertility and reproductive health so that you can have a clear understanding of how the lifestyle modifications are improving your fertility.
Plus these bonuses:
25% off professional-grade supplements (within Canada only).
A guided fertility meditation video by Yoga Goddess Zahra Haji.
"Can I customize the program?"
We understand there may be parts of this program that don't resonate for you, or that you may be tight financially and looking for ways to cut back. One thing we've noticed though is that it is often the very parts we assume we don't need end up being the turning points for our success. If there is resistance to doing something, that's usually a pretty good indication that there is a block that doesn't want to be uncovered. It might be a habit we are reluctant to give up, a food we're addicted to that we're afraid we'll be told we can't eat, or a habit we have to add that we fear will impinge on our enjoyment. The only exception to this is that we have created an option between an allergy test and a male fertility enhancement program. This is because some clients may have already done one of these components, so we want you to have the option of opting out of whichever is not relevant to you. But the reality is, if you are reading this program it is because you have stated that making a baby is a priority for you. And if it's a priority, then you need to treat it as such by going all in. The components of this program build on each other, so if you take one out you diminish the impact of the steps. We want you to be successful, and in our experience the components we have put into this program are all required for that to happen.
"HOW MUCH TIME WILL I need TO DEVOTE TO THIS?"
We totally get it. You have a busy life and you may be feeling run down from all the things you've already been doing to try to conceive. The idea of doing anything more may make you want to cry!
But here's the difference. Unlike the other things you are doing in your life - appointments, work, social obligations, caring for loved ones... the things you will be doing in this program will be just for you. They will fill you up rather than deplete you. They will help you destress and get grounded. They will give you more clarity, not more confusion. And we intentionally stagger the components of the program so that you're not having to do everything at once. We have an idea of how to roll it out, but we'll also take our cues from you. If you want to jump in feet first - great. If you want to wade in slowly, that's great too. :)
"I'm working with a fertility clinic. Is this program still appropriate?"
While aspects of this program can complement the work of fertility clinics, almost all of the aspects of the program rely on getting at least a baseline reading of your own fertility and hormonal patterns in order to determine your individualized health plan. Thus, we recommend you ensure that at least the initial two of the six months of this program will be unmedicated with regards to fertility drugs. After that time, you may pursue fertility treatments in tandem with this program. However, please be aware that some fertility drugs will undermine our work together so for optimal results we encourage you to complete the full six months of the program before undertaking treatments. This is in your best interests, as it will optimize the benefits you receive from both your investment in this program as well as your investment in your fertility procedures.
"You have two other similar programs. How do I know which one is right for me?"
We have two similar fertility and pregnancy preparation programs, the Baby-Making Kick-Start Package, and Conception Strategy Secrets.
The Baby-Making Kick-Start Package is designed for women preparing to conceive, or for women who have been actively trying to conceive for 12 months or less. It is ideal for women who have 25-35 day cycles, no known fertility challenges, are 35 or under and/or are under the care of a Functional Medicine, Integrative Medicine, or Naturopathic Doctor.
The Fertile Ground program provides an enhanced level of care for those who have been trying to conceive for longer than 12 months. It is ideal for those who do not currently have a holistic health practitioner on their team or who are limited in their access to health services due to geographical location. It provides enhanced support for individuals who have known hormonal, immune or reproductive health issues and for those who feel that emotional and physical stress are significant factors in their struggle to get pregnant.
The Fertile Ground program includes everything in the Baby-Making Kick-Start Package, but with the following enhanced services:
- Live, one-on-one instruction on using the Justisse Method of Fertility Management (as opposed to pre-recorded audio files)
- Six months of support and program delivery (rather than three in the BMKSP)
- Three private Holistic Reproductive Health consults (instead of two)
- Four live, one-on-one postural and exercise coaching sessions with the creator of Movement for Fertility ™
- A customized meal plan
- Monthly content emails to provide you with evidence-based research on your treatment recommendations
- Instruction in the use of Arvigo self-care uterine massage
- Over $100 worth of bonuses
You'll know this program is right for you if you:
- Have been trying to conceive for over a year
- Know that your diet and lifestyle need some improvement, but need guidance on how to do so
- Are planning to do a round of IUI or IVF in the next 3-12 months and would like to optimize your chances of success through improved egg and uterine quality
- Are over 35 and need to reverse or delay your reproductive aging
- Are willing to take empowered, decisive action toward your own reproductive health
- Suspect an underlying health problem that is preventing you from conceiving but have not had any clear answers from your current medical team
- Understand that in order to have a successful conception and pregnancy you must first have a healthy YOU! :)
- Appreciate that investing in your health now is an investment not only in conceiving a child, but also in your child's future and long-term health, and an investment in your own ability to be a healthy happy parent to your child
Most of all, you will know this program is right for you if you feel a strong intuitive urge to join. Your gut always knows best. If you feel a combination of fear and excitement, this is probably where you need to be!
"What if I get pregnant right away? Can I cancel the remaining months of my program?"
Our program is designed to support your whole body health. We realize that for you the primary goal is to get pregnant, and that's our primary goal too. But we have several other goals as well. We want you to stay pregnant. We want you to have a healthy labour. We want you to give birth to a healthy baby. And then, we want you to be a happy healthy parent who can give your best self to your child.
For that reason, we do not allow mid-program cancellations. Because everything we teach can be applied while you're pregnant and after you're pregnant. We're not just interested in checking you off as a statistic -"yes, we got her pregnant." We're interested in you, your child and your family. We want to hear how well you are doing for years to come.
As I like to tell my clients - this program is kind of like a bootcamp for becoming a mom. Because you will have less time as a parent than you have now. And you will be more tired then than you are now. But how do you want to show up as a parent? Do you want to be exhausted and stressed and short-tempered with your child? No. You want to be the best parent you can be. You want to be relaxed and patient and loving, and feeling your best at all times. So what you need to do now is establish really kick-ass self-care habits that are going to enable you to step into the kind of person you want to be. Your job has already started, whether you know it or not. Your first act of loving devotion to your child is to take a stand for yourself.
"WHAT IF I DON'T GET PREGNANT?"
Most fertility treatments have success rates well under 50% and actually leave you in a less fertile state than when you came in by filling you with artificial hormones and requiring all sorts of regular monitoring and testing which is highly stressful on the body. Unlike these conventional fertility treatments, this program is guaranteed to help you feel better - both physically and emotionally. So even if you don't conceive, you will lead a healthier, more balanced and peaceful life. And, unlike conventional fertility treatments, the improvements you make through this program are cumulative. If you don't conceive during the program, but continue to implement the new habits we have taught you, you will become more healthy and more fertile with each passing cycle. This means that if you do end up back in a fertility clinic, your body will be more receptive to interventions and you will get more value out of your future investments.
"Can you review exactly what I can expect to receive when I register for this program?"
When you register for the Fertile Ground program, you are investing in over 11 hours of private, one-on-one support.
Over the six months of your program, you will receive:
A physical Justisse kit, mailed to your door, that includes: Justisse Manual, 9 charts, stamp set and thermometer
A private, two and a half hour introductory session to the Justisse Method
Three private, 45-minute consultations to review your charts and build on your knowledge of the method
One private Holistic Nutritional Assessment (1-1.5 hours) to review reproductive and hormone-related symptoms
One private, nutritional educational session (45-60 min)
Two private, Holistic Nutrition follow-up sessions (30-45 min)
A personalized fertility-supporting meal plan
Four Skype Movement for Fertility ™ education and guided exercise sessions
Monthly content emails with supplementary information on fertility-supporting habits
Monthly online accountability journal to monitor your progress
Plus, you will receive over $500 in bonuses:
- Two Harner Shamanic Counselling Sessions (Value $300)
- Access to our popular Confidence-Building Secrets sexuality course (to help make baby-making as pleasurable as possible!) (Value $197)
- A fertility meditation program by Yoga Goddess Zahra Haji (Value $197)
- 25% off professional-grade supplements
"It sounds like exactly what I need. How much does it cost and how can I register?"
Spaces in the Fertile Ground program are limited. We currently accept a maximum of three clients at any given time, in order to ensure the highest level of attention and care. As a result, this program is by application only. Once you submit your application we will review it to ensure you are a good fit for our program, and then we will let you know within one business day whether you have been accepted for registration. If we have any reservations about whether this program is appropriate for you at this junction in your journey, we will call you to discuss options. If the program is a good fit, we will provide you with a private registration link to complete your initial payment and application process. Once registered, we will immediately begin delivering your program components. You will be responsible for six monthly payments of $798 each. This program is a significant investment in you and your health. In response, my team and I will make an equally large commitment of time and energy to ensure your success. Because of the high volume of one-on-one time involved, we regret that we cannot provide refunds on this program. However, the program can be adapted to support optimal prenatal and postnatal health should you become pregnant before the completion of the program.
Congratulations on taking the plunge. I know making this kind of commitment to ourselves as women doesn't come easily, so I want to honour you for having the courage to take this step. And, if you didn't (or haven't yet), that's okay too. Respecting our inner timing is important too. If you have any questions you would like to ask me that would help in making your decision, please don't hesitate to reach out.
I don't take the responsibility of doing this work lightly, and so I am grateful each and every time a woman decides to entrust me with the honour of being her guide.
Blessings and gratitude,