Well Connected Twin Cities Podcast

Ep 113 Intro to the Fertility Awareness Method with Brooke Noble

July 27, 2023 Well Connected Twin Cities / Brooke Noble Season 5 Episode 113
Ep 113 Intro to the Fertility Awareness Method with Brooke Noble
Well Connected Twin Cities Podcast
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Well Connected Twin Cities Podcast
Ep 113 Intro to the Fertility Awareness Method with Brooke Noble
Jul 27, 2023 Season 5 Episode 113
Well Connected Twin Cities / Brooke Noble

Send us a Text Message.

Interview with Brooke Noble regarding the basics of the menstruation cycle and how fertility awareness can transform your life.

Topics of Discussion:
-Basics of fertility awareness
-Seasonal representations of menstrual cycle
-Techniques for menstrual cycle tracking
-Female and male involvement in hormonal health

Brooke is a fertility awareness coach in training to become a certified FAMM practitioner. Her background in women's health nursing fueled her desire to help women understand their bodies and become empowered to care for themselves holistically. This led her on a path to become a Board Certified Nurse Coach and study functional medicine. She is thrilled to be focusing on her niche in fertility awareness and she believes that tapping into the wisdom of the cycle can be an enriching experience for menstruating women of all ages and life stages.

Most days, you can find Brooke studying, interacting with clients, planning her next camping trip, spending time outside with friends and family, or reading a book, often with a cup of Sweet & Spicy herbal tea in hand. 

Links:
Website: https://www.coachingfrombrooke.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coachingfrombrooke/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coachingfrombrooke
Additional Information: https://www.factsaboutfertility.org/

Well Connected Twin Cities is connecting you with local health and wellness professionals in your community. Discover what's possible by surfing the directory, taking a class, or attending the next event.

http://wellconnectedtwincities.com/
Follow us on instagram https://instagram.com/wellconnectedtwincities



Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

Interview with Brooke Noble regarding the basics of the menstruation cycle and how fertility awareness can transform your life.

Topics of Discussion:
-Basics of fertility awareness
-Seasonal representations of menstrual cycle
-Techniques for menstrual cycle tracking
-Female and male involvement in hormonal health

Brooke is a fertility awareness coach in training to become a certified FAMM practitioner. Her background in women's health nursing fueled her desire to help women understand their bodies and become empowered to care for themselves holistically. This led her on a path to become a Board Certified Nurse Coach and study functional medicine. She is thrilled to be focusing on her niche in fertility awareness and she believes that tapping into the wisdom of the cycle can be an enriching experience for menstruating women of all ages and life stages.

Most days, you can find Brooke studying, interacting with clients, planning her next camping trip, spending time outside with friends and family, or reading a book, often with a cup of Sweet & Spicy herbal tea in hand. 

Links:
Website: https://www.coachingfrombrooke.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coachingfrombrooke/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coachingfrombrooke
Additional Information: https://www.factsaboutfertility.org/

Well Connected Twin Cities is connecting you with local health and wellness professionals in your community. Discover what's possible by surfing the directory, taking a class, or attending the next event.

http://wellconnectedtwincities.com/
Follow us on instagram https://instagram.com/wellconnectedtwincities



Ep 113 - Intro to the Fertility Awareness Method with Brooke Noble

[00:00:00] Cynthia: You are listening to the Well Connected Twin Cities podcast. I'm your host, Cynthia Shockley, and I'm here to learn alongside you through meaningful conversations with health and wellness practitioners. This is your time to experience some mindset shifts, learn practical tips, and get excited about what is possible.

[00:00:22] We want you to own the power of choice in your personal well being journey. Let's discover what's possible right here in our Twin Cities community.

[00:00:33] Hello, and welcome to the well connected Twin Cities podcast. I'm your host, Cynthia Shockley, and today I get to speak with Brooke Noble. Brooke is a fertility awareness coach in training to become certified as a FAMM practitioner. Her background in women's health nursing fueled her desire to help women understand their bodies and become empowered to care for themselves holistically. This led her on a path to become a board certified nurse coach and study functional medicine. She is thrilled to be focusing on her niche and fertility awareness. And she believes that tapping into the wisdom of the cycle can be an enriching experience for menstruating women of all ages and life stages.

[00:01:16] Most days you can find Brooke studying, interacting with clients, planning her next camping trip, spending time outside with friends and family, or reading a book, often with a cup of sweet and spicy herbal tea in hand.

[00:01:29] And here we are with Brooke. It has been, gosh, I guess like about two ish years since Brooke and I last connected. She came to one of my yoga classes and we got to just take a walk and share where we were in our businesses and we were just talking about how much has changed since then. 

[00:01:52] Brooke: Look where we're now.

[00:01:53] It's awesome. 

[00:01:54] Cynthia: Yeah, cuz I think at the time were you just starting your nurse coaching program or just thinking about it or? 

[00:02:02] Brooke: Yeah, I think it was still in the works. I may have been training still at that point to be a nurse coach and so I was just branching out trying to meet other health coaches and.

[00:02:11] Figure out this whole coaching game here. Yes. 

[00:02:14] Cynthia: And Alex connected us cause she is a connector of all people.

[00:02:18] I wonder lately for you, Brooke, what's been bringing you joy? What's been just fueling your passion lately? 

[00:02:25] Brooke: Yes. It's fun to have the changing of the seasons. I always enjoy summertime and the energy that comes with it can be a little overwhelming definitely with more things going on.

[00:02:36] So I've implemented this practice for myself to not schedule anything until 10 a. m. or later. So I have this like quiet morning at home. And that has been the most restorative and nourishing thing and it's a huge privilege to be able to do. I take some time to get outside, connect my feet to the earth.

[00:02:54] For those of you guys who know what grounding is get some light in my eyes and then yeah, have my beverage and breakfast and a slow morning. So that gives me a lot of joy and kind of sets my day off in a more peaceful way than just starting right out of the gate at 8 AM. 

[00:03:09] Cynthia: That sounds.

[00:03:11] Incredible. And something I now want to implement. Oh as we were saying, it's been a journey for you because I know coaching is something you added on after you had spent years in the nursing world. So I'm curious to hear just what inspired you to start focusing on that holistic approach and ultimately pursuing that nurse coaching training even after you'd been nursing for a while?

[00:03:40] Brooke: Yeah. Yeah. So I knew I wanted to be a nurse from a young age. It was just something that I was always gravitating towards. Science and I really enjoyed learning about our health and I grew up in a crunchy family. So that definitely helped. And then when I was in school, I actually saw my first birth when I was doing a shadowing program and it made me cry.

[00:04:03] It was this beautiful experience. And I thought I want to do midwifery. I want to go into OB and serve moms and babies. And so that was just my track that I was headed towards in nursing. And my first jobs it was at a holistic healthcare office and we did midwifery as well. And so I was introduced to birth in that beautiful space.

[00:04:25] And then I worked as a labor and delivery nurse at a larger hospital after I became an RN. And I think during that time, I saw some of the best of what, some medicine can do. It can save lives and truly doing amazing things. And then I also saw where It's can fall short and where it doesn't address things in a more preventative way.

[00:04:45] And I was just trying to think about how can I use, my knowledge, how can I train in a women in a way that I can help women more upstream and more and connect with them more personally. So that's when I stumbled across nurse coaching and. It was seemed like a great fit for me because it was a way to work with women one on one and help them with those really foundational things that I think are so pivotal to our health, things, a lot of things that we know, like getting good sleep and eating nutritious meals and things, but being able to be a support person and a cheerleader and guide and direct people to good resources.

[00:05:21] That seemed like a great fit for me. So I pursued nurse coaching and I wanted to specialize in on women's health. So I did some training specifically on like hormone health. And that eventually led me into the world of fertility awareness. Which I know we'll talk about here shortly, but. Once I stumbled across that, I was like, yes, this is it.

[00:05:42] This is my niche. And it really is being able to boil down, specifically where I want to go in this field and how I want to serve women. So that's brings me to today where I'm working on training and fertility awareness and building my own business there. 

[00:05:56] Cynthia: Amazing.

[00:05:57] And how special that you add a Young age were already able to experience a birth and it just set all these different things in motion It was like a domino effect of like boom. Boom. Boom. This just makes sense You know recently being at my first birth, it was yeah definitely lots of tears It's amazing what women are capable of and especially women supporting women in that process.

[00:06:25] There's something so sacred and so supportive about that energy that I just did not even expect, entering the space and never having experienced it before. So yeah, I can definitely understand the pull there. And so now you're really excited about fertility awareness. First for people who aren't aware of fertility awareness, what is that?

[00:06:52] And then what about that really sparked your interest and made you go, yes, this is it. 

[00:06:58] Brooke: I love that question. Okay. What is fertility awareness? A lot of people think it has to do with fertility and it does. But very simply it it breaks down to understanding our bodies, teaching women how to chart and interpret their site cycles, their menstrual cycles and know which days of the cycles they're fertile and which days they are not fertile.

[00:07:19] Because women do not have continuous fertility through the cycle. We have a window of about six days that we actually Are able to conceive a baby. And the rest of the days of our cycle are not fertile. So based on that knowledge of knowing when we're fertile and when we're not, we can make decisions on whether we want to achieve pregnancy or try for pregnancy or avoid it.

[00:07:40] And we can also learn a lot about our hormone health in our cycle. So I think, for me, yeah. Finding this field, like I had tracked my own cycle for a couple of years. And I read the book, the fifth vital sign by Lisa Hendricks and Jack, and that was a fantastic introduction into this world.

[00:07:57] So shout out to Lisa. And. The opportunity came up to go really in depth and being able to train other women. And I know for myself, just being able to see, my own cycle and understand my hormone patterns and be able to make changes to watch the improvement of my cycle from month to month.

[00:08:15] That was extremely empowering to know what's going on. So I think, fertility awareness really. Combines the sciency part of understanding our bodies, the physiology, and I believe all women are more than capable of understanding that and then also, we're dealing with numbers and charts and graphs, but then we're also looking at, the connectedness to our bodies.

[00:08:35] We're looking at getting really grounded and because so many things in our culture can English separate us from our bodies and get us a little bit disconnected. And so this really brings us back into our bodies being able to understand what's going on, getting more connected understanding the cycle instead of really hating it or, getting, not knowing why these bothersome symptoms are coming up.

[00:08:58] So it's a really beautiful way, I think, to empower women to understand more about those processes of what's going inside my body from month to month, why am I , experiencing these shifts in energy, shifts in mood and all of these different things that can happen with the cycle. So that's why it resonates so deeply with me.

[00:09:15] Cynthia: Yeah, because you're living it. You're living it. And now you have the knowledge and the tools to not only. empower yourself in the process of navigating fertility and just your cycles, but you help other women do that and find that power and knowing their cycles. 

[00:09:35] For those who are unfamiliar as well, can you break down the menstrual cycle. And actually you have a blog post about how it's like these seasons. And I love how eloquently you describe the seasons of your menstrual cycle. Do you mind sharing a bit about that and how they affect our bodies? 

[00:09:55] Brooke: Yeah, absolutely. And just as a disclaimer, it's not original to me.

[00:09:59] I got this idea from other brilliant writers in the field, but it did resonate with me a lot when I came to understand the four different phases of the seasons and how they do correlate beautifully with the seasons of our year. Our cycle has four phases. You might see two, but I like to teach it in four.

[00:10:18] So the first cycle is that of menstruation. So this is the phase where we are actively bleeding. That's what we think about when we refer to our period. And what happens during menstruation is the uterus. It has built up this big, beautiful lining called the endometrium. And that's to prepare for pregnancy if that has occurred.

[00:10:38] And then if pregnancy has not occurred, the endometrium will then get shed from the uterine wall and that is the bleeding that comes out. During this phase, we talk about it being correlated to winter because it can be a slower and a softer phase, we might feel less energy in our bodies, we may feel more grounded to the earth and a little bit more in a place of getting connected to our emotions, things that may have been bubbling under the surface may come up and if we, it's a really great time to get introspective and to journal and to think more about what's going on inside of our worlds and our body and outside of that.

[00:11:15] So that's why we talk about it being winter because there's not a lot. Going on at this point, other than shedding the uterine lining. And it's a really beautiful time to honor our bodies and to slow down, to mimic or mirror the energy of the seasons, which for you guys, fellow Minnesotans out there, it is a doozy sometimes, and we get the long winters.

[00:11:35] But there is this idea of also being able to be cozy and to honor the slowness of the seasons and to take a break and to rest. So that's number one is the menstrual phase. That correlates with winter. Number two is the, so after we've shed that endometrial lining with our period we start that ovulatory process all over again.

[00:11:55] So the next phase is called the follicular phase. This is when a follicle in one of our ovaries, so two ovaries that sit above the uterus, they're about the size of an almond in our abdomen, and that is where an egg can get released, does get released every month with the cycle. With the follicular phase, this matches and mirrors the energy of spring.

[00:12:16] So when we have spring, we have things are starting to wake up and come online again. Things are starting to bud the birds are singing. And in our body we're starting to prepare the egg. For the eventual ovulatory season. So estrogen starting to rise we may start to feel a little bit more of a shift in energy in our bodies.

[00:12:35] For some women, we may feel like this really, I know I can feel some of this scattered energy, like I'm doing a lot or committing to a lot, so I have to remember like energy will shift with time. But we start to feel that energy come back online as we build and prepare for ovulation.

[00:12:53] So the third season is mid summer. This is the ovulatory event. A lot of people think of this as like the pinnacle of the cycle, right? And this correlates with the energy of summer. So we're in summer right now. It's beautiful. It's hot. It's things are happening. We're buzzing off to events and doing all sorts of things.

[00:13:10] And this is when in our body the ovaries actually release that egg. And we are fertile and during that ovulatory season And so we will feel more of our peak energy during this time. You may notice in your body feeling more social and outgoing, more articulate and verbal in conversations. This would be a great time to work on presentations or, connect with friends.

[00:13:36] And I know some women will do what's... It's called cycle syncing, so they are able to sync their social calendar and their calendar of things that they need to do with their cycle and kind of harness the energy and superpower in the ovulatory phase. So that is ovulation. And then the fourth phase is the luteal phase, which is actually my personal favorite phase, which corresponds to my favorite season which is autumn or fall.

[00:14:01] And this is after the egg has been released. And once that egg is released, the follicle that was holding the egg in the ovary actually turns into something called the corpus luteum. It's Latin for yellow body, for those of you who are nerdy like me. And it reduces, it produces something called progesterone.

[00:14:20] So when we have progesterone that increases our basal body temperature and it reinforces the lining of the uterus. So this whole time during the follicular and ovulatory and now luteal phase that endometrium or the lining of the uterus that eventually gets shed during menstruation has been building and is getting nurtured and reinforced should pregnancy occur.

[00:14:42] We want to create a nice hospitable environment in the uterus for that fertilized egg. When we have this luteal phase, we might notice in our bodies age again shifting of energy. So this is a time where things may feel a little bit more we're feeling more in our bodies again, we're feeling more grounded.

[00:15:03] This is also time when PMS symptoms are very common and can actually be disruptive, which, disruptive symptoms are common but not normal and can sometimes be a reflection of hormone imbalances within the cycle. So those are things that we can look at within fertility awareness and work on.

[00:15:20] Addressing but it is also a wonderful time of reflection of contemplation of working on projects and getting things done. And it can be a great time to vocalize and verbalize our needs either to ourself to our partners to those around us and get really in touch with those. So for all of these seasons, with the different energy shifting, it's also important to honor our bodies.

[00:15:42] Capacity for movement even. Some women may feel a huge energy burst at different times in their cycles. Other women may feel like they want to take a nap or do some gentle yoga or go on a walk around the neighborhood. And I always encourage women to get really in tune with their energy levels and that can get really curious about that because oftentimes that can correlate to the cycle.

[00:16:02] So that's an overview of the four seasons. Again, to recap, we have menstruation, follicular, ovulation, and then luteal. And I just want to add with that too, I want to honor every woman's experience of her seasons of the cycle will look different. So as I'm explaining that there's no prescriptive formula for what you should or shouldn't feel the most important thing is really getting in tune with what your body is trying to communicate to you during that time and getting observant about those things.

[00:16:29] And you may notice more of a correlation with what I just shared as well. 

[00:16:34] Cynthia: I always would get confused with follicular and luteal and until I thought of follic, yeah, like you're on the rise, energy's going up and it's 

[00:16:46] Brooke: I love it. Love it. We're on an upward current there. Yup.

[00:16:49] Cynthia: Like follic, yeah. 

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[00:17:51] Cynthia: But I'm actually really fascinated about the comment you made about luteal phase being your favorite and it being a time of really grounding connecting, because I feel like the pervasive stereotype of PMSing is like hormonal rage monster, right? And maybe I sometimes fall into this camp, personally speaking, where there's just like this weird sense of frustration, rage, and you're saying that isn't like a normal process if your hormones are balanced.

[00:18:25] Brooke: Yeah, it's very much getting in tune with our bodies and there's definitely a difference between feeling more of this like introspectiveness and then maybe feeling like things are really off kilter with mood. For me I'm personally an introvert.

[00:18:40] I really love that time of grounding and time alone to be able to journal and to be able to be reflective of my thoughts. And there are not as many spaces built in to our culture to be able to provide that experience. So I really enjoy it. Yeah, the luteal because it I've heard it described as helping to reveal what's inside, so if there's angst, if there's frustration, if there's things that need to be said it's a beautiful time to have those conversations of honesty with people around you, if you think about this is a great time if there's A hard conversation within a relationship or somebody that you love and care about, like it can be a really good time to get really clear and in touch with what are my needs and how can I process those with another person and even within myself.

[00:19:26] A lot about the cycle is, working on yes, rehorm, rebalancing hormones and things, but also honoring the needs that come up with our bodies as they shift and change throughout the cycle. 

[00:19:37] Cynthia: Oh, and that just brings in that tool you mentioned of cycle syncing your personal social work calendar with the cycles that you're going through, because, now that I think about it, it's probably During luteal phase, most people are still working at max capacity and aren't adjusting their social calendars and schedules to accommodate for the lower energy for the introspection.

[00:20:03] And so that totally makes sense that maybe then more frustration or some of these other emotions are going to be the ones that arise because you're exhausted. 

[00:20:15] Brooke: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, a lot of times those things come up because we're so fried and we're pushed to this point of just like you said exhaustion and just overdrive and something needs to give.

[00:20:26] It is interesting because we live in a society where we have a 24 hour. Day and that just repeats itself over and over again. But for women, men have a 24 hour hormone cycle, interestingly, but women have a, roughly 24 to 35 day cycle. And so ours are different.

[00:20:43] Our needs are different and they shift from week to week. And so I think there can be a way. For anyone who wants to try to modify and work on cycle syncing that is, conducive to their lifestyle. So that's another part of fertility awareness that I love is, helping to encourage women to get in touch with what's going on in their bodies.

[00:21:01] And then how can we look at, their lifestyle to make that cycle syncing accessible for them. 

[00:21:06] Cynthia: And because you mentioned. Men and how they just, they have a 24 hour cycle. That's so unfair. Of course, this world was designed by men. It all makes sense now. So is fertility and, just building that fertility awareness, something that is unique to women, or is it something that would benefit men to also learn about?

[00:21:30] And is that, is fertility awareness for men, like whether it's for their personal body or for. women in their life is like, where does that fit in? 

[00:21:38] Brooke: Yeah, love that question. Yes. Cause we're definitely not out to bash the guys here. This is a great opportunity to involve them in that process. I get so excited when guys are interested in this, especially, partners of clients and people who can come alongside and understand fertility awareness too.

[00:21:55] In terms of men's male fertility generally for a healthy male, he's. consistently fertile, right? They, that's just doesn't change from day to day. Unlike women who have that six day fertility window within their cycle. But when it comes to, guys and learning fertility awareness, it really is awesome to have them on the same page with their partners who are learning fertility awareness, because it can really breed confidence in the system and understanding kind of what's.

[00:22:24] What's going on and it can really draw couples closer together because it facilitates awesome communication during that time. On, understanding which days are fertile, which days are not. And some guys can really get into the whole science of it. Science piece of, looking at what is going on inside of our bodies.

[00:22:42] What's going on inside my body, what's going on inside of my partners. And yeah, like I said, I think communication is the best. One of the biggest benefits for guys getting on the same pages as women. So I do think and believe that it benefits. 

[00:22:56] Cynthia: And I'd imagine too. So having the men in your life, especially if it's a partner, understanding where you are in your cycle could allow for just, like you said, better communication, more grace during certain periods of time and to be proactive, right?

[00:23:15] So I know if my husband knows I've had a hard day, he might offer to draw me a bath, but I'd imagine it's Oh, they're in luteal phase. They probably want some like quiet introspection time. If some friends want to come over and hang out, he might be like, actually I think you should just take it, take a nice little bath.

[00:23:32] Then there's a little more of that anticipatory capacity when you know the cycle, where your partner's 

[00:23:40] Brooke: at. I love that word anticipatory capacity. Yep. So well said. Yep. Really understanding then and being gentle with ourselves that can really foster better communication and relationships, right?

[00:23:53] Instead of getting into that really angsty like we're yeah, overworked and fried out and don't know what's going on inside. 

[00:24:01] Cynthia: Yeah. Oh, taking notes. I definitely could slow down and pay more attention to where I'm at in my seasons, my personal seasons. 

[00:24:11] So when it does come to tracking your fertility, what are the, some of the ways that people can do that?

[00:24:18] How would you teach someone how to do 

[00:24:19] Brooke: that? Yeah, I love it. Okay. I am trained and I'm training in a method known as the symptom thermal. tracking method. Something I did not know prior to really getting into the weeds with this, is that there's actually a lot of different fertility awareness tracking methods available.

[00:24:36] A really helpful resource is the Facts About Fertility website, and that actually goes through all of the different types, what they are. What women track and resources for getting them started on tracking. So I think there's no one greatest or best tracking method. It's best for women just to find what works for them.

[00:24:55] Most fertility tracking methods will combine a couple of different things. A lot of times we're tracking basal body temperature. And that. Can help us to confirm ovulation happened. If you remember to when I talked earlier about after ovulation, our bodies released progesterone, which increases the temperature of our body.

[00:25:14] So that's a really awesome gauge to be able to determine where we're at in our cycle. So we can track that basal body temperature, either with a thermometer under our tongue. Or there's different wearable devices that make it a lot easier to track. So personally, I use TempDrop and that's this little band that I have on my arm and it will connect with my phone via Bluetooth and it just makes tracking so much easier.

[00:25:38] So there's different ways that can be more customizable for women's various lifestyles. Other thing that most methods will, a lot of methods look at is cervical mucus. And this is something I'm really interested in and passionate about. And as a nurse, mucus used to be like my ick thing, right? But this is a different type of mucus that is, I've heard it referred to as white flow as opposed to our red flow.

[00:26:02] When we have bleeding this is the normal discharge that happens during that fertile ovulatory window of our cycle. So primarily during the follicular and the ovular ovulatory phase and the nature and consistency of that mucus can change from day to day. So we train women to assess what that mucus is and then be able to put it in a category and document that down.

[00:26:24] So we're looking at cervical mucus. Another fun fact is that it's actually our primary sign of fertility. So there are some methods that only use cervical mucus tracking that can be very effective as well. And a couple of other signs that can be used are assessing the position of the cervix. So having women track and be able to feel their own cervix is very fascinating because it can change from week to week throughout our cycle and goes through distinctive changes when we shift into that fertile season.

[00:26:55] So what I teach is symptom thermal, which combines this, the symptom part is the cervical mucus. And then the thermal part obviously is the body basal temperature tracking. So I use those. two signs primarily to help women assess when they're fertile and when they're not. 

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[00:27:55] Cynthia: Okay, so there are all these cool ways to track.

[00:28:00] What's the reality of day to day? How are people keeping track of this? Is it, paper, pen? What are some of the tools out there? 

[00:28:09] Brooke: Yeah, great question. And the nice thing about this is that it can be very accessible depending on each person's preference. So we can use good old paper charting so where we are using that pen and paper to track down all of these different signs that I talked about.

[00:28:25] And then there are a lot of really awesome apps out there as well that kind of give us this ability to see at a glance where we're at in our cycle and to document different symptoms might we might be having and what we observe from our fertility awareness observation. So personally, I really love the app called Read Your Body because it's super customizable and easy to use and low cost.

[00:28:48] So that's a great one to start with. I also really like the Kindara app. And those are great apps to get started with one. A helpful feature about both of these apps is that you can actually turn off the predictive setting so that it won't predict to tell you when it may think that you're, your next period will come because the goal with fertility awareness method is to get away from that rhythm method or the prediction and to really trust what we're observing in our day to day observations.

[00:29:17] So Kendara and read your body are great tools to use. And then that gives us a really nice picture to be able to visually see our cycle chart at a glance. 

[00:29:27] Cynthia: Nice. It's good to know that there are apps out there. Cause I know I'm an app person rather than pen and paper, or, I might get fancy and make a huge spreadsheet, but that could get lost in the shuffle.

[00:29:37] Brooke: Absolutely. Yes. 

[00:29:38] Cynthia: So if someone listening did want to get started in fertility awareness, where would they start?

[00:29:45] How do they work with you? Tell us a little more. 

[00:29:48] Brooke: Yeah, absolutely. So getting started in fertility awareness, I think it's really helpful to start with knowing your why. And women come into fertility awareness for a lot of different reasons that might be for natural birth control if they don't want to be on some type of hormonal contraceptive.

[00:30:06] They may want to get into fertility awareness for improving fertility. If they are trying to conceive, it can be a wonderful way to assess and improve our hormone health. Or they may want to just get, really in touch with their body's signs and symptoms. That's a term that we use, body literacy.

[00:30:21] So becoming literate in our bodies signals throughout the cycle can be really helpful. So those are awesome reasons to. get started. But fertility awareness is a pretty in depth process. In the beginning, it takes time to implement these things. So I think it is important to have a strong why before diving headfirst into the beautiful vast world of fertility awareness.

[00:30:44] Secondly, finding a method that works. for you is really important. So I mentioned earlier that website, the facts about fertility, I think it's really helpful to read about different types. Go onto the websites, explore, reach out to different practitioners. Because there is no one method that will be great and perfect for every person.

[00:31:02] So that's a great place to start is just to educate yourself on the different types of fertility awareness methods that are out there. And then the third thing that I. And really passionate about is getting support because this really does go super in depth. And it, in my opinion can be a fairly steep learning curve in the beginning.

[00:31:20] There can be a lot of questions that come up on what's, what is this type of mucus? Or, what should I do in this situation? And I think it can be really beneficial to have the support of an educator or a coach to help walk you through that. Process in a really systematic way.

[00:31:36] Because there are resources out there. A lot of people learn from different books and things, but I think it can be really helpful to just have that streamlined information from somebody that you trust and you know the way I see it is we build that beautiful foundation of fertility awareness for the first couple of months.

[00:31:51] Hopefully that will set you up for, Okay. Months and years ahead of cycle tracking and understanding your own cycle. So that's really my passion. And we're where I come in is to be able to help support women in those key early couple of months with the goal that they will eventually take off and fly and not need me anymore to support them as intensively.

[00:32:13] So those would be my Yeah, recommendations for getting started. 

[00:32:17] Cynthia: And I'd imagine in getting started, it's a learning curve, not only in the methodology, in building comfort with what has become this like socially taboo topic of menstruation and cervical mucus and discharge and all these things that I feel like we've been taught is.

[00:32:38] Disgusting or gross or whatever. And so to be able to then establish a practice where you might be touching that actively, or, getting more curious about your natural cycles and not making it such like a. Like a weird phenomenon that you have to like, avert your eyes. 

[00:32:58] Brooke: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:32:59] That's such a, such an important point too, is find your tribe, find you who are in your nook neck of the woods who are doing the same thing. Or similar things. And, people who are going to cheer you on, be cheerleaders and supportive. Because you're right. Unfortunately, this information, depending on kind of what circles you're in, it can be more taboo or more uncomfortable.

[00:33:19] And so it's really important to have those people who are cheering you on, who can relate and who are supportive of your process. Because it does take time to build comfort. And then in the beginning, it may Feel weird and uncomfortable and I'm not sure. And I'm not confident in my body. And that really beautiful thing is with time, with repetition, with practice, with support and encouragement, this shift happens.

[00:33:41] I know I experienced that for myself, a shift in feeling more confident and in feeling like, okay, I I understand what my body's. And this isn't totally freaking me out anymore. So it does happen and it can and it's really helpful to have that good support from friends and family and hopefully a coach and instructor.

[00:33:58] Cynthia: Yeah. Gosh, I love that. Finding your tribe and being able to, get that external validation and support along the way. And I love how you were able to share your own experience of coming into that comfort and ease with the process and how that. Gosh, I feel like it just helps with general self love and body love and recognizing that your body's a freaking miracle.

[00:34:26] Brooke: Yeah. Yeah. Just know that like your body is beautiful. It's not a mistake. The things that happen are normal and good and should be celebrated. Those are things I would just want to remind women and to just know that value in Yeah. And having a cycle, it can be a really huge gift. It doesn't have to be this terrible thing that happens every month of our cycle.

[00:34:51] Cynthia: Oh, seriously. I know I've talked to my 10 year old niece who got, who's been getting curious, and she asked me about it and she looked terrified as she asked me questions. I'm like, this doesn't have to be scary. This doesn't 

[00:35:04] Brooke: have to be. That's awesome she was able to ask you things though and felt like you were a safe space for her.

[00:35:10] Cynthia: Yeah, that was really nice. She's been wonderful to be a part of her own tribe as she ages and grows. So I think you already shared a beautiful takeaway and just your message about loving your body and, but if there is, if it's not that, is there any other takeaway listeners could walk away with from this conversation, something that you would hope that they really really listen to and remember after we end this conversation?

[00:35:42] Brooke: Yeah. And to that, I would say. I think for whoever's listening to this episode, you tapped on this episode for a reason you're here in this nook listening to this conversation for a reason. And I would venture to guess that there is a spark, if not a flame of curiosity in understanding your body better and understanding, how fertility works and maybe getting dipping a toe or, diving into this body.

[00:36:13] Either way, however you want to start. So I just want to, yeah, honor your curiosity for being here and encourage you to nurture that and listen to that and take steps to learn more if that continues to speak to you because I really believe that following our curiosity can lead to really great things.

[00:36:32] I know that has led me here to exactly where I'm at in this spot, had I suppress that and just continued doing what I was doing at the bedside for years on end, like I would never have ended up in this space. So I'm really grateful. For that curiosity and for listening to that. And yeah, continue to learn.

[00:36:48] I love the book, the fifth vital sign. That's a really awesome starting place. That's low commitment, low cost. The author is Lisa Hendrickson Jack, and she's the one I'm training with now. As well. She also has a podcast called fertility Friday. And then yeah, I have a, if you're interested in learning more and you want to work with me directly, I have a website called coaching from brook.

[00:37:10] com and you can sign up for an intro session with me there. And I'd love to connect with you and get to learn more about your story and what your needs are in fertility awareness. 

[00:37:21] Cynthia: Beautiful. Thank you so much, Brooke, for shedding light and on the topic, but just shedding light always. You're just, you're a ball of light.

[00:37:30] And I'm so grateful we can reconnect and talk about the seasons that we go through as women. And it's just, it's been such a treat. So thank you. 

[00:37:42] Brooke: It's been wonderful being here. Thank you for having me. 

[00:37:45] Cynthia: Thank you so much for listening to the Well Connected Twin Cities podcast. Did you learn something new? Did you feel that spark of hope and excitement for what is possible? Because so much is possible. Tell us about it in a review on Apple podcast. Not only would we absolutely love hearing from you, but these reviews help our ratings and help other curious minds like you find this resource.

[00:38:10] We are always better together. Thank you again and see you next time.

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