Improving Your Success for Conception, Pregnancy & Birth

Tara Angeles, RN, BSN, INHC, Founder of The Fertility Academy, PLLC
Mar – Apr 2024 • Vol 4, No 9

There are three main factors that have led me to where I am today:

  1. My youngest brother being born with a near fatal disease
  2. My experiences as an IVF nurse at a top US fertility clinic
  3. My own pregnancy complications with my first pregnancy

Let’s start at the beginning. When I was ten years old, my baby brother Ray was born with a rare disease caused by black mold exposure in a house my family briefly lived in. He developed rashes all over his body and started to lose weight, but his pediatrician dismissed his symptoms as being from the winter cold.

Eventually, my mother took him to a larger hospital, where a doctor recognized his symptoms and saved his life. After his discharge, nurses would visit our home several times a week to check on him. Witnessing their care and compassion inspired me to become a nurse.

After completing nursing school, I wanted to work in the field of fertility and started my nursing career as an IVF nurse. Patients frequently asked me. “What can I do to improve my chances of conceiving?” This question sparked a new journey for me. I realized there was a huge lack of knowledge and support for couples seeking care while trying to conceive. I started to delve into the research on how to improve fertility naturally.

The third part of my story now comes in as I got pregnant with my first baby. I experienced hyperemesis gravidarum, a complication characterized by severe nausea and vomiting. This lasted for half my pregnancy, and I lost a lot of weight. Halfway through my pregnancy, I finally started gaining weight back, but I had a lot of questions.

I asked the doctors and midwives I was working with lots of questions, but never felt satisfied with their answers: “It’s common to experience these symptoms. Just keep trying to lead a healthy lifestyle.” What exactly did that mean? Why did this happen to me when I thought I had already been following the recommended dietary guidelines for pregnancy and following a healthy lifestyle? Was there anything I could do to prevent this from happening again?

I began expanding my research into what goes into preparing for a healthy pregnancy. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I developed pre-eclampsia, another pregnancy complication that causes high blood pressure and can lead to organ damage, stroke, and both maternal and/or fetal death if not treated quickly. Fortunately, after an emergency C-section, both my baby and I survived, but this was the final experience that inspired me to pivot in my career. I wanted to learn everything there was to know about how to help couples heal their fertility naturally and to prepare for the healthiest pregnancy and baby they could.

I decided to go back to school and became an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, specializing in holistic fertility and hormone health. I had the privilege of learning from many exceptional doctors. What I discovered and learned was incredible and mind-blowing. The body has the incredible innate ability to heal itself with the right support and tools. Even the expression of our genes can be influenced for the better by our behavior and environment. Those changes can then impact the ability to successfully conceive, have a healthy pregnancy, and make “super-babies” (babies that are very healthy due to the preconception healing and healthy lifestyles implemented by their parents before conception).

As I studied, I started to incorporate everything I was learning into my own life. And what happened next was amazing. My husband and I conceived again with our second