We are thrilled to announce some exciting news on our latest podcast!
Our esteemed founder, Louisa Bakker, is expecting a baby! Her enthusiasm for embarking on this incredible journey is contagious, and she's eager to share her personal experiences along the way. Currently in her fifth month of pregnancy, Louisa joins us in our Funky Fat Podcast episode to provide valuable insights and candidly discuss her journey thus far.
Tune in as Louisa shares her remarkable pregnancy journey, reflecting upon the unique joys and challenges she has encountered during these past months. Her firsthand account promises to be enlightening and relatable, offering listeners a glimpse into the transformative process of becoming a parent.
Join us in celebrating this joyous news and gain invaluable insights from Louisa's heartfelt storytelling on today's podcast!
Hormones, Hormones and More Hormones…
Louisa's journey with birth control began at the age of 14 when she started taking it to regulate her irregular periods. While her friends had started their periods at a younger age, she sought medical advice to address her concerns. Although she wasn't sexually active, she took birth control solely for menstrual regulation. From the ages of 14 to 18, she continued taking birth control but noticed a numbing effect on her emotions.
It was Louisa's mother who first raised questions about the prolonged use of birth control. At 18, when she had a boyfriend and wished to address her emotional well-being, she consulted her doctor who gave only one response: she could discontinue birth control once she wanted to conceive but he didn’t recommend doing it earlier than that. Despite this, Louisa decided to quit taking birth control altogether.
Following this decision, Louisa experienced various changes in her lifestyle and emotional state. She began preparing herself for the journey of motherhood and embarked on a new chapter in her life.
After discontinuing birth control, Louisa experienced a significant change in her menstrual cycle. Her period did not return immediately, which left her feeling uneasy about her decision. Around four months had passed when she decided to consult her doctor once again. The doctor advised her to wait for a total of six months, suggesting that her body might need time to adapt and respond to the absence of birth control hormones. Trusting the professional advice, Louisa patiently waited.
PCOS: the Truth Behind her Diagnosis
It took approximately 8 or 9 months for her period to naturally resume without the aid of birth control. Throughout this journey, Louisa recognized the importance of conducting independent research and being informed about her own health. She discovered that the doctor had diagnosed her with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) without conducting any tests. This raised doubts in her mind, prompting her to consider seeking the opinion of a psychologist to ensure she was making the right choices for her well-being.
Louisa encourages others to take an active role in their healthcare decisions and not hesitate to question medical advice. She questions the practice of prescribing birth control for individuals with PCOS, and her personal experience has motivated her to pursue a holistic approach to her own health.
Louisa decided to visit a healthcare professional to further investigate her condition. After thorough testing, the doctor confirmed her diagnosis of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This news brought upon a wave of sadness as she delved into the extensive information available on the internet, filled with concerns and uncertainties about the implications of PCOS. The thought of her fertility being affected by the condition weighed heavily on her mind.
Drawing from her own experience, Louisa strongly recommends individuals with suspected PCOS to undergo proper testing to determine the specific type of PCOS they have. She emphasizes the importance of conducting additional research to gain a better understanding of the condition and its implications.
In her personal journey, Louisa made a deliberate choice to refrain from using birth control as a means to manage her PCOS. She believed that relying solely on medication would not address the underlying issues she faced. Instead, she opted for a more natural approach, striving to understand and work with her body's natural rhythms.
Keto and PCOS Journey
Louisa's journey took an intriguing turn when she discovered the keto diet. The catalyst for her newfound interest was a book called "Fat For Fuel" by Dr. Mercola, which delved into the significance of fats in hormone stabilization, particularly for women. Exploring the principles of the keto diet, Louisa made a remarkable realization—her menstrual cycle returned.
Louisa's encounter with this positive outcome was undeniably exhilarating. The sheer realization that she had independently discovered this solution filled her with a profound sense of wonder and achievement. Uncovering the direct correlation between her dietary choices and the restoration of her menstrual cycle was an empowering experience that she cherished.
The transformative impact of the keto diet on Louisa's body and hormonal balance served as a remarkable revelation. It left her feeling not only fantastic but also deeply appreciative of the journey she had embarked upon. This personal revelation became a poignant reminder of the immense value in exploring and researching different approaches to find what truly works best for individual health and overall well-being.
The significance of this self-discovery resonated with Louisa, reaffirming her belief in the power of personal exploration and the pursuit of tailored solutions for optimal health.
Around the age of 18 or 19, Louisa embarked on her journey with the Keto diet. Determined to make a change, she made the conscious decision to eliminate sugar and carbohydrates from her diet. While she never added sugar to her food, she had consumed it in products like Starbucks beverages and other typical teenage treats. To fulfill her fat requirements, she relied heavily on avocados, though she didn't initially prioritize her protein intake due to a lack of awareness about its importance. Despite this, she experienced a significant surge in energy levels. In her cooking, she opted for healthy fats like butter or coconut oil.
Interestingly, Louisa never felt the temptation to indulge in pasta or other carb-rich foods, understanding how they could potentially impact her well-being. Reflecting back, she harbored a sense of concern, fearing a recurrence of hormonal imbalances that could disrupt her menstrual cycle once again.
Her journey with the Keto diet instilled a sense of caution, motivating her to be mindful of the potential impact of her dietary choices on her hormonal health.
During her journey with Funky Fat Foods, Louisa deepened her understanding of the importance of protein in her diet, alongside her consistent use of MCT oil and coconut oil. She continued to expand her knowledge in this area, absorbing valuable information along the way. One key lesson she learned was the significance of allowing her body periods of rest, avoiding constant snacking or eating every one or two hours. By attuning herself to her body's signals and listening to its needs, Louisa found guidance in making informed dietary choices.
A Stressful era = Period Loss
Following her decision to discontinue birth control, Louisa opted for the copper spiral as a hormone-free contraceptive method, which she maintained for a few years. However, now in a committed relationship, she and her boyfriend made the joint decision to remove the copper spiral. Despite her concerns about the potential impact of PCOS on her fertility, she remained dedicated to her healthy lifestyle, feeling good about her choices and maintaining a nourishing diet.
Louisa's journey highlights the importance of balancing personal health considerations while being attuned to the body's needs and making informed decisions about contraception and overall well-being.
This happened around two years ago during a particularly stressful period in Louisa's life. Stress had a significant impact on her appetite, causing her to lose weight and, consequently, disrupt her menstrual cycle. However, she learned a valuable lesson through this experience: prioritizing self-care and taking the time to nourish herself properly can help restore her menstrual cycle. It serves as a reminder to be mindful of the importance of maintaining a balanced lifestyle, including adequate eating and rest.
The Power of Protein
Protein has become a focal point in Louisa's diet, especially after discovering its potential benefits for her well-being. During her pregnancy, she ensures she consumes around 1.5 grams of protein per pound of her body weight. Additionally, she encourages others not to fear going out of ketosis when consuming higher amounts of protein. Louisa believes that once she resumes a healthy eating routine, her menstrual cycle will naturally return.
She emphasizes the importance of regularly checking in with oneself, observing how the body responds, and paying attention to signs such as how one feels, how the body reacts, and the condition of the skin. Louisa's journey highlights the significance of maintaining a balanced diet, listening to one's body, and being attuned to its signals to promote overall well-being.
Louisa decided to seek the expertise of a fertility doctor after discontinuing her use of birth control methods and removing the copper spiral. During her consultation, she disclosed her previous diagnosis of PCOS at the age of 18. However, to her surprise, the fertility doctor informed her that she no longer exhibited signs of PCOS. This meant that she and her husband could proceed with their plans to conceive a baby. While irregular cycles could pose challenges, the doctor recommended that she continue with her current diet and lifestyle, as it was working well for her. Her appearance, well-being, and hormonal balance were all positive indicators.
Additionally, the doctor suggested occasionally introducing new or different foods into her diet to provide a small shock to her system. In January 2023, during their time in Miami, Louisa followed this advice, occasionally incorporating strawberries into her meals while ensuring she paired them with fats to avoid sudden sugar spikes. Remarkably, upon returning home in February, she discovered she was already pregnant.
The swiftness of conception caught her by surprise, but she felt immense joy and happiness at the unexpected news.
The Best Advice for Women with PCOS
For individuals with PCOS, Louisa offers some valuable advice based on her own experiences. Firstly, she suggests not fixating on the desire to get pregnant all the time. It can be beneficial to keep your mind occupied with other aspects of life. Louisa found that getting a dog in January provided her with a sense of fulfillment, almost like having her first baby. This diversion allowed her to be happy and not constantly dwell on pregnancy.
Another important recommendation is to get comprehensive check-ups and assessments. Knowing that she had the potential to conceive gave Louisa peace of mind, enabling her to focus on other aspects of her life with a renewed sense of purpose.
In terms of managing PCOS symptoms, Louisa highlights that women with PCOS often have higher testosterone levels and lower master gene activity. In her case, she incorporated inositol, vitamin D supplementation when she lacked sun exposure, cod liver oil as a source of omega-3, and magnesium into her routine. During her pregnancy, she pays extra attention to ensuring she receives adequate levels of these nutrients.
Louisa emphasizes the importance of maintaining a positive mindset despite the challenges that may arise. There are various approaches and interventions that can be undertaken to support overall well-being. Staying positive and proactive is crucial in navigating the journey with PCOS.
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