The building blocks of family life

The Alternative Parenting Show talks to Anya Sizer, a Fertility Support Co-ordianator at the London Women’s Clinic about what steps to take when you want to start a family.

The decision to begin a family can be the start of an incredibly exciting adventure, but preparing yourself for conception can also seem a contentious area of opinions and ideas.

Rather than trying to get everything “perfect“, I would recommend using the 80/20 rule. That is, for 80% of the time, put the best nutrition in your body and look at reducing your stress levels. For the other 20%, you can focus on life as it normally is. This is key allow for flexibility and reality.

Fertility treatment doesn’t happen in isolation to the rest of life, so it’s important to try and not put everything else on hold during this time. A cup of tea and slice of cake can actually do an awful lot of good!

So what are some of the ways you can best help yourself in terms of nutrition and stress management?


Think of yourself as an athlete in training (well, sort of!) and where possible, put the best quality nutrition you can in your body.

Low glycaemia Index (G.I.) foods will give good sustained energy release. Eat organic foods where possible and plenty of fruit and vegetables.

One easy and simple tip is to get hold of a juicer and make a juice a day to ensure a range of vitamins and minerals in your diet .

Make sure you are on a good prenatal supplement for 3 months prior to trying to get pregnant. The supplement should include Folic acid Omega oils and Vitamin D.

Finally, reduce caffeine and alcohol and increase water levels. This will help flush out impurities and again raise energy levels.


Stress is an inevitable part of most people’s lives so don’t stress about stress! Many people worry that they aren’t thinking positively enough when trying for a family, but this can ironically actually add to stress levels. Be kind to yourself and especially when actually starting on treatment. Acknowledge that stress is part of life but look proactively at how as an individual you can begin to help yourself. One way to start this process is to look back at a stressful time in the past and to pinpoint the people and things that helped and write up a list of just what and who could help you at this time.

Many people find yoga, swimming or regular walks all help to physically unwind. For some, it may be booking in to see a few friends, whilst for others, allowing yourself time to retreat a little and nurture yourself at home. The key point is that there is no “ right “ way to do this just a way that works best for YOU.

Plan ahead, treat yourself with the utmost care and then go for it ! We hope that the adventure of planning your family will soon then be swapped for the adventure of living as one!

About Anya Sizer

Anya Sizer is the Fertility Support Co-ordinator for the London Women’s Clinic and also the very proud mum of two IVF children; a journey which took six years and odds of one in 125,000 to achieve her goal.  Fertility Support at the LWC includes programme of support designed to steer couples through the stresses of infertility and its treatment. Some published research has shown that the outcome of treatment can be improved with a reduction in stress and that’s a view that we accept here at the LWC. Coaching is provided as individual sessions, support groups, or workshops, with an emphasis on monitoring and dealing with stress and the physical, psychological and practical ways to prepare for treatment.

The London Women’s Clinic provides IVF and fertility treatments to help couples and individuals overcome their difficulties with conception and pregnancy. We have been treating lesbian couples and single women for over a decade with more than 3000 women attending our clinics across the UK for treatment with donor sperm.

Visit their website to speak to a Patient Coordinator, and find out more about how they can help you with counselling and support groups.

Website: | Twitter: LWCFertility | Facebook: TheLondonWomensClinic

Leave a Reply