Couples’ therapist Dr. Laura Berman discusses Obama’s recent revelations regarding IVF and miscarriages
First Lady Michelle Obama just made the shocking revelation that she and President Barack Obama used IVF to become pregnant with Sasha and Malia, and that she suffered a tragic pregnancy loss on her journey to becoming a mom.
“Not only is this the first time in history that a First Lady has ever made such a declaration, but it is a very rare admission for any woman in the public eye to make,” says Dr. Laura Berman, couples’ therapist and television personality. “Her brave admission is of special importance for women of color, as these women suffer infertility at higher rates than the rest of the population, but are also the least likely to seek fertility treatments, perhaps out of shame or fear of being judged.”
The New York Times bestselling author and radio host of “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman” goes on to say, “As a therapist, I have seen firsthand the toll that an infertility battle can take on a marriage, and First Lady Michelle Obama admitted that this was an incredibly difficult time in her relationship.”
Dr. Berman says that secrecy breeds shame as it relates to infertility, saying, “Women are raised to be people-pleasers, to make sure that they don’t make others uncomfortable or that they don’t rock the boat. Hence, it is no surprise that they then feel like they have to hide their miscarriages or inability to become pregnant. They don’t want to make others feel uncomfortable or draw attention to their own perceived ‘failings.’ Sadly, this is a vicious cycle, as refraining from seeking help only makes the infertility battle longer and more painful, and it also puts more of a burden on the relationship itself, as the couple has only each other to vent to.”
But even before seeking medical treatment for infertility, renowned relationship and marriage counselor Dr. Laura Berman says there are many things that a couple can do, such as changing your diet and cutting out fast food.
“Researchers have found that couples who eat seafood frequently are more likely to have active sex lives and more likely to become pregnant,” says the sexual health expert. “Meanwhile, a Greek study has found that women who eat a Mediterranean diet are more likely to be successful on their IVF journey than women who do not. In other words, eating a plant-based diet with lots of healthy fats (such as olive oil and avocados) and lean protein like fish could help you to become pregnant,” says Dr. Berman, national radio show host of “Uncovered with Dr. Laura Berman.”
Dr. Berman also says that when it comes to intimacy, couples should beware of any products they might use in the bedroom.
“Couples know that they need to enjoy lots of love-making in order to increase their chance of conception, but when it comes to making babies, not all lubricants are created equal,” explains Dr. Berman. “There is only one lubricant on the market which has an FDA-cleared formula and is recommended for fertility enhancement, and that is ToConceive.”
ToConceive was created by ob-gyns in conjunction with Callitas Health Inc. The fertility enhancing gel is unlike any other fertility product on the market in that it may help encourage the woman’s body to create more of her own lubrication, which in turn may increase the activation of sperm and the woman’s chances of pregnancy. Unlike every other lubricant on the market, ToConceive doesn’t just add chemical lubricants to a woman’s body, it may encourage her to make more of her own natural lubrication which not only adds to her pleasure, but also may improve her chances of natural conception.
“There are so many things that couples can do to help protect their reproductive health and increase their chances of getting pregnant,” says Dr. Berman. “Using the right lubrication is a simple and cost-effective step to take before heading to the fertility clinic.”
However, says Dr. Berman, most important of all is talking openly and honestly about your fertility struggles and not being afraid to seek support.
“As Former First Lady Michelle Obama proves, great healing can occur when we can share our fears and talk authentically about our private battles,” says the marriage therapist. “Secrecy breeds shame, but honesty can heal us.”