by Siobhan O’Connor
Irish Mirror, 27 October 2014
Link to full article – http://www.irishmirror.ie/lifestyle/sex-relationships/hazel-hall-meath-expecting-first-4517067
Hazel Hall from Meath is expecting her first child age 40 and credits the right nutrition for helping her conceive.
Hazel had been trying to conceive for a while and was shocked when she found she was expecting.
She said: “I think when I found out I was pregnant, I was shocked, I am not sure why as I was trying to get pregnant but when you see that little blue line reality, sets in then.”
Being a mother was always a part of Hazel’s life plan. Hazel and her partner found out that she was pregnant a few months before her 40th birthday.
This is a growing trend in Ireland and the CSO puts the average age of a woman having her first child at 30.6 years.
In the western world, Ireland being no exception, the trend of having children later in life is becoming more of the norm.
This decision sadly, bring its own dilemmas, the older we get, the ‘poorer,’ our fertility becomes.
This is a worry for a lot of women and their husbands or partners.
One morning, a sales representative called to Hazel’s store to introduce a new Irish product.
Pillar Healthcare’s pre-Conceive was introduced to Hazel.
Pre-Conceive is designed as a fertility supplement to aid in conception.
Its formula, designed by a Wexford based company, is applicable to any woman who is trying to conceive. Hazel, who was trying to conceive at the time was naturally intrigued by the product.
She said: “I made the decision to take Pre-Conceive for two reasons.
“First, I wanted to ensure that nutritionally, I was getting everything I needed to get pregnant and to support my pregnancy.
“Secondly, when I looked at other fertility supplements on the market I really felt they were inadequate.”
Hazel has been giving out health advice for many years in Virginia and now Navan.
She said: “Yes, I have had a huge interest in health for many years.
“I have been involved in sport at different levels over the years so health goes hand in hand with sporting activities.
“I did think that my age might be a factor in getting pregnant and I also had concerns about foetal abnormalities.
“I am not sure couples value how important diet is in relation to fertility, which Pillar obviously echo.
“I have had a brilliant pregnancy so far. I am on week 26 now. I can say that I have had no morning sickness, the baby is growing at the correct rate and weight so I am very fortunate so far.”
Pillar Healthcare’s MD, Mark Whitney, who has recently just won an award for Wexford’s Best Young Entrepreneur with his Local Enterprise Office said, “It is stories like this that make everything worthwhile.
Adding, “As Hazel mentioned, good nutrition is crucial to your fertility.
Sadly, the demands of our modern lifestyles create an extra demand for nutrients, but our nutritional intake is often sacrificed for more convenient meals when we are on the go.
We are mostly fuelled by caffeine to a large extent and running on cortisol (our stress hormone that keeps us upright).
“We would like to promote the concept of Preparing for Pregnancy,” said Matt Ronan, co-founder and director of Pillar Healthcare.
“What this simply means is, making sure that your body is as healthy as it can possibly be at the time of conception.
“There is overwhelming evidence that the nutritional status of the couple, before the moment of conception can impact the health of the mother, the child and reduce the risk of miscarriage and foetal abnormalities.
“A study from Harvard Medical school involving 18,000 women has shown that taking multi vitamins, particularly folic acid, can improve chances of pregnancy.
“The Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System has stated the importance of prenatal nutrition, even recommending multivitamin supplementation to ensure correct nutrient levels.
“The advice I give to people is always about lifestyle, nutrition and correct supplementation,” Hazel
Hazel said: “I empathise with customers who are struggling and I was very conscious at the beginning talking to women who are struggling, with me standing in front of them pregnant.
Fertility by Numbers in Ireland 1/5 people diagnosed as Infertile within Ireland, this does not include sub-fertility.
€175 million was spent on IVF during 2011 in Ireland. 20 plus clinics operating in Ireland providing fertility services.
30.6 is the average age of women having their first child in Ireland.
1/4 pregnancies end in miscarriage in Ireland. 40% of infertility diagnoses are attributable to female fertility parameters.
40% of infertility causes are related to male fertility parameters.
20% percentage of infertility attributable to unknown factors.
4% of children born in Ireland in 2011 were as a result of IVF procedures, Finland and Denmark have the same statistic.
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