Rates of infertility across the Western world are rising, and rising significantly. In Canada, they rose from 8.5% in 1992 to 15% in 2009-10; one in six couples now have difficulty in conceiving while sperm counts have halved – yes, halved – in the last 50 years.
In Britain, 2% of the babies born each year are born through IVF (In vitro fertilisation) because their parents have failed to conceive naturally. Yet, IVF comes at a massive financial cost (often paid privately by desperate parents who have run out of all other options) and necessitates serious hormonal manipulation of the mother and significant risks to the babies. (Although the long term risks cannot yet be assessed as even the first IVF babies are now only in their 30s, IVF babies certainly do appear to suffer more cardiac and blood pressure problems, birth defects and cancer and there is some evidence that there might be a slightly increased risk of cognitive defects.)
And… Every year the number of children with eczema, asthma, food allergies, FPIES or EGIDS increases – as does the number on the autistic spectrum. We do not know why this is but it seems only logical that the health of the parents must in some way be implicated.
But, does it need to be this way? No, says Nim Barnes and Foresight, the organisation that she founded 30 odd years ago. With the right preparation in terms of nutrition and general de-tox the vast majority of those parents who struggle to conceive, suffer repeated miscarriages or finally have recourse to IVF could have healthy babies quite naturally.
Nim’s journey to Foresight started with a coeliac son and and article by Roger McDougall relating how a gluten and dairy-free diet and nutritional supplementation had enormously improved his MS. Working with the many nutritional pioneers of the 1970s and 80s, Dr Elizabeth Lodge-Rees, Vicky Colquhoun and Sally Bunday, Dr Jean Munro, Dr Stephen Davies and many more, Nim then started to apply nutritional principles to her own particular area of interest – babies.
The Foresight principles are very simple. Before a couple tries to conceive they need to make sure that they are healthy – and have been healthy for, ideally, at least six months. And by ‘healthy’ they mean:
• They need to be free of as many modern toxic substances as possible – such those found in everyday household goods and cosmetics.
• They also need be free of ‘voluntary social poisons’ such as tobacco, alcohol, street and over the counter medicinal drugs and caffeine.
• They need to have avoided the contraceptive pill and copper coil for a significant period of time and to have corrected any mineral or vitamin deficiencies that may have arisen as a result of their use.
• They need to have had their nutritional status assessed and to have corrected any deficiencies.
• And they need to be eating good, organic nourishing food and drinking plenty of clean water.
If they do all this, they should produce health babies with little trouble. And if this all sounds too simplistic and easy, just look at these stats that come from a survey of couples who had consulted Foresight between 2002 and 2009:
General estimates of the success of IVF and IUI (Intrauterine insemination) procedures population wide:
IVF & ICSI: Women under 35 – approximately 33% achieve live births but the success rate drops to 1.9% over 45.
IUI: Women under 35 – approximately 16% achieve live births with the success rate dropping to nil over 45.
Of the 3,411 couples who had tried IVF and subsequently consulted Foresight (between 2002 and 2009), 3,004 had failed and 407 had managed to conceive.
Of the 2,545 couples who had tried IUI and subsequently consulted Foresight (between 2002 and 2009), 2,383 had failed and 162 had managed to conceive.
Of the 1,292 couples who had tried ICSI and subsequently consulted Foresight (between 2002 and 2009), 1,081 had failed and 211 had managed to conceive.
Between them they had suffered 8,939 miscarriages (over one per couple); the national rate for miscarriage is 25%.
Couples who completed the full Foresight programme:
Of the 1,578 couples who completed the full programme , 1,427 (89%) had successful live births including 37 sets of twins and 3 sets of triplets. There were only 42 (2.96%) miscarriages and only 2 babies were premature.
Couples who did part of the Foresight programme but did not complete it:
Of the 518 couples who did part of the programme but did not complete it, 358 (69%) had successful live births including 52 sets of twins. There were 39 (7.53%) miscarriages.
Nim’s book, first published in 2009 and now revised and updated, works its way through what each couple needs to do, encouraging them with masses of case histories, offering endless options for finding out more and very practical suggestions about nutritional analyses, supplementation etc. Her programme is neither onerous nor difficult but it seems to get remarkably positive results.
So why would you not follow it? We know from our long involvement in the area how devastating it can be to have a child with multiple allergies or autism. If you can improve the chances of that not happening by a simple clean living programme and some supplementation for six months before you decide to have a family, how small price is that to pay!!
So, please read Nim’s book and please persuade any couple you know, whatever their age or circumstances, to do so also before they start their family. Doesn’t everyone want to give their kids the best chance in life? Well, start early and make sure that their parents are in good shape. It guarantees nothing but it is in your control and it certainly improves your chances!
How to Conceive Healthy Babies – The Natural Way by Nim Barnes costs £9.99 from Amazon or from any good bookshop.
N.B. The charity Foresight closed in 2017 but on their site is a list of practitioners who follow Foresight’s protocols. Another good source of advice is Dr Marilyn Glenville – this is the fertility page on her site. –