Speaking to Joey Coppedge, Behavior Change Specialist and Founder of Fertility Nutrition Coaching was both super fun and really enlightening. Joey has been working in the wellness industry for nearly a decade, helping couples TTC, expectant mothers, intended parents and gestational carriers develop healthier eating habits. He shared with us (and you!) his expert advice on the ideal dietary approach and how significant your food choices are in terms of fertility and – subsequently – a healthy embryo and pregnancy. Want to learn how core habitual changes in what you eat can help you thrive? Read on…
Founder of Fertility Nutrition Coaching, Joey Coppedge
1. In Fertility Nutrition Coaching you have created a welcoming, supportive and motivational process to help women through their fertility journeys. Can you first tell us about your own journey – what was your path to becoming a nutrition coach and then what inspired you to focus on fertility?
I was a nutrition coach before I added the “fertility” part to my title. But I serendipitously found myself working with a handful of clients who either were pregnant, trying to be, or were going through treatment. At the same time my husband and I were talking more seriously about starting our own family so I dove in to learn as much as I could to empower my clients and myself, taking courses, reading, and absorbing new research. I started developing my own programs, systems, and tools with the mission to improve ovulation & egg quality, reduce the amount of medical treatment needed, and promote thriving pregnancies.
2. We’d love some expert advice! What do you recommend at the most basic level as foods and eating habits to support fertility?
Regardless of personal preference, history, culture, pre-existing medical conditions, etc. the best advice is to aim for a variety of whole, minimally processed foods and eat slowly.
3. When we originally spoke, you talked about making that transition from just surviving to truly thriving – how does your program help people make core, habitual changes to get there?
Making a baby is our desired outcome. But the motivation of that outcome alone isn’t enough to improve fertility and reduce risk.
4. Aside from the majority of your clients who are trying to conceive or already pregnant to build their own families, do you also work with gestational carriers? Is this process any different?
Prenatal development is a delicate process so reducing the chances of adverse outcomes in even the healthiest carriers is important – everyone has room for improvement. While I work with the carrier week to week building on her strengths and helping her plan around barriers of her own, I keep the parents updated after every session and schedule a Zoom call each month to discuss her progress.
5. What advice would you give to intended parents on GoStork, who are just beginning their family building journey?
Don’t wait until an embryo exists to make changes to your diet & lifestyle. What you eat 3 months before fertilization determines things like sperm and egg quality. Dramatic improvement can be made in as little as 6 months to your metabolic health (obesity, blood pressure, hyperglycemia, etc.) to manage things like hormonal imbalances, chronic inflammation, and oxidative stress creating a hostile pregnancy environment. And your relationship with food as a whole is one of the many things you will pass down to your child. Let the tradition and cultural significance of food be celebrated and positive.
Joey – we can’t thank you enough for sharing such helpful insight into how nutrition interacts with fertility. Intended parents, take the first steps towards making healthy changes here and – speaking of habits – join us in making it a habit to follow Joey on Instagram and Facebook for even more thoughtful advice like the above in smaller/daily bite sizes.