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  • Kassandra Vaughn

10 Must Read Books For Women TTCing After 40

There are so many books on TTCing... and, yet, not so many books that focus specifically on the TTC journey for women over 40. Let's dive into 10 MUST read books for women TTCing after 40.


When I was struggling with secondary infertility in my 20s, I remember one of the very first books I read on TTC- Toni Weschler's Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I also loved reading Dr. Christiane Northrup's Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom. Dr. Northrup's book was the first time I learned about the importance of getting outdoor sunlight exposure as a way of helping to regulate the menstrual cycle and ovulation.


But, my infertility journey was VERY different back then in my early to mid-20s than it is in my mid-40s.


The doctors poo pooed my fertility concerns in my early twenties, saying things like "Oh, you're fine! You're young. Give it some time..." Little did I know then that, in my early 20s, my fertility was compromised due to insulin resistance, PCOS, and a number of autoimmune issues that were affecting my uterus' ability to be receive to implantation and full term pregnancy.


It was not until the last year (at 44!) that I now have a much fuller understanding of what has comprised my fertility for OVER 20 years. It's unacceptable that the medical industry does not give women's reproductive care the utmost level of consideration and evaluation... But, that's neither here nor there.


After years of doing my own research and reading LOTS of books, I've put together a list of what I consider the 10 MUST read books for women TTCing over 40. Let's go over them...


Book #1 - Yes, You Can Get Pregnant by Aimee Raupp

Yes, You Can Get Pregnant: Natural Ways to Improve Your Fertility Now and Into Your 40s by Aimee Raupp is one of the first books I read in my 30s that gave me hope that, at 38, perhaps I wasn't running out of time, perhaps all of my eggs (mind you- at 38) weren't all bad and, perhaps, there was hope that, after four years of secondary infertility in my 20s and have pretty traumatic pregnancy experiences for Babies #2 and #3 at 26 and 28, maybe it was possible for me to get pregnant in my late 30s/early 40s.


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

What I love about Aimee Raupp (and every program she offers- I've done her Fertility Reboot and plan to do coaching with her as well as her e-course) is that she's an acupuncturist, a fertility coach, an author, and she's read through a TON of research. Aimee actually takes the time to do deep dive investigations into women's fertility over 40 and she goes against the grain of what modern medicine is still touting about a woman's ability to conceive, carry and deliver a healthy baby with her own eggs after 40. Aimee has worked with clients who've gotten pregnant (with their own eggs) at 43, 44, 46, and even 47. Check out Aimee's story of hope with a woman who conceived and gave birth to three healthy babies from 43 to 47 (with her own eggs): Story of Hope- THREE Healthy Pregnancies Between 43 and 47.


What This Book is About?

This book provides tips and strategies for optimizing your fertility from a nutritional, hormonal, emotional and exercise perspective. Aimee does a great job of citing research throughout the book. Her tips center around a Paleo diet and it's a great first place to start when you find yourself TTCing in your 40s.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

One of the things Aimee shares in this book is the need to eat protein at every meal (keeping blood sugar balanced). I'd never thought of the importance of eating within an hour of waking up or of eating every 3 hours. I didn't understand how much blood sugar spikes impairs egg quality and ovulation. Reading this book was my first wakeup call to start using a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor).


Book #2 - The Whole Person Fertility Program by Niravi B. Payne

First the disclaimer- this is a hard book to find and purchase because it's so old (published in 1998). But, here's why I love The Whole Person Fertility Program: A Revolutionary Mind-Body Process to Help You Conceive by Niravi Payne: She was a woman before her time- talking about the epidemic of infertility that so many career-driven, overachieving, endlessly busy women find themselves contending with in their 20s- let alone in their 40s. Way back in the 1990s, Niravi had women coming to her who wanted to have babies at 35+ and were having difficulty doing so. She created a mind-body fertility program that produced amazing results... mostly through doing the emotional work contained in the book.


One more disclaimer: Niravi talks about masculine and feminine in ways that we have, in 2023, clearly redefined. Please do not take that personally. Each of us, regardless of gender, have masculine and feminine aspects within us. Read the book and take from it what you can without judging it because it was written and published in a less conscious time than we're in right now.


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

This book hit home for me so much. When I read, on page 32, "An intense and result-oriented focus in life can affect a woman's receptivity. Dr. Northrup observes that many women who have reproductive problems "are working sixty to eighty hours per week, and are exhausted; then they pursue having a child as though they were writing a Ph.D. dissertation. Conceiving a child is a receptive act, not a marathon event that can be programmed into your Day Timer", I knew the book was for me. To this day, at 45, I'm a woman who loves to work, who works a lot and who's having to figure out how not to make getting pregnant in my 40s yet another project I am trying to "manage."


What This Book is About?

This book is filled with mind/body strategies (journaling, reflection, and mindfulness practices) that are helping me reduce the amount of emotional inflammation I experience on the TTC journey. It's also helping me get get beyond the limiting belief that "it's impossible to get pregnant with my own eggs at my age." Instead, I'm focusing my attention on what's POSSIBLE in my forties, as Dr. Christiane Northrup (an Ob/Gyn) talks about in this video- Pressure to Procreate Before Age 35.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

My favorite exercise in Niravi's book is one where she asks you to keep a Daily Diary of Unexpressed Emotions- a journal where, on a daily basis, you become aware of and track the feelings that you are and have been suppressing. Until I did that exercise, I had no idea how much anger I was suppressing... which does not help fertility one bit. That's just one of the life changing exercises found in the book.


Book #3 - Is Your Body Baby Friendly? by Dr. Alan Beer

In Is Your Body Baby Friendly? Unexplained Infertility, Miscarriage & IVF Failure Successfully Treated with Immunotherapy, Dr. Beer, may he rest in peace, was one of the first doctors to see patients who'd experienced recurrent miscarriages and say "This is NOT normal. Something else (other than poor egg quality and age) is going on here." In the book, Dr. Beer states "Miscarriage is not just a benign process, it usually indicates an underlying health condition associated with autoimmune disease and may even aggravate or cause such problems."


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

If you want to understand if there could be immune issues impacting your ability to conceive, if you want to know what tests (related to reproductive immunology) to ask for, if you want to put together the puzzle of some of your infertility history and how to resolve those issues now, this book is a MUST read.


What This Book is About?

Dr. Beer provides a comprehensive overview of why reproductive immunology is a key component of your reproductive care, what tests to ask for, and signs/symptoms that you definitely need to take certain measures prior to and once in pregnancy.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

On page 47, when Dr. Beer pointed to certain health problems as being indicative that an immunological component may be impacting your fertility, I had a MASSIVE AHA moment when, at 45, I finally made the connection between my history of insulin resistance, family history of heart problems and depression, the unexplained uterine bleeding I had in the first trimester of my second pregnancy and the pre-term labor and delivery I had with that second pregnancy... all indicators that, even after getting pregnant after four years of secondary infertility, immune issues were an issue that needed to be looked... even back then. Dr. Beer provides a list of immune testing he recommends for those trying to conceive. That alone is worth the purchase of the book


Book #4 - Inconceivable by Julia Indichova

I have read Inconceivable: A Woman's Triumph Over Despair and Statistics by Julia Indichova a number of times at this point in my life and, each time, it's renewed my hope and belief that pregnancy, in my 40s, is still possible.


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

This book invites you along Julia's journey as she went to different doctors, tried different techniques and came into a deeper understanding of herself, her body and it's ability, even in her 40s, to create life.


What This Book is About?

Very often, it's challenging to see a woman in her 40s who has a baby because you wonder "Was it easy for her? And if it was easy for her, what does that mean about whether I can do this?" What I love about this book is that she takes you on the long journey wit her. You get to go through the ups and downs with her and you come to realize that there is very little about this journey that's straight forward or short.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

There were things I learned about changing my eating and practicing yoga that shifted the level of importance I gave to those things in my journey. For example, on page 78, Julia talks about seeing a yoga teacher to practice a series of poses and he said to her "Just by standing up straight, you lengthen the spine and give more room to the abdominal organs and the ovaries because they're no longer compressed. You're also working the muscles around the uterus so that they become firm and more vital..." Julia tries another yoga class with another teacher who says "Yoga is probably the only exercise, if you can call it that, which actually targets the hormonal system. The upside down poses are very important because they stimulate the connection between the ovaries and the pituitary gland." When I read that, I now had a better understanding of why yoga for fertility is so critical... and, at 45, I'm finally beginning to make yoga a priority.


Book #5 - The Egg Quality Diet by Aimee Raupp

First, the disclaimer- I am a HUGE Aimee Raupp fan and client. I have taken her fertility boot camp. I will be coaching with someone on her team. I own most of the books she's written. I'm a believer in her work... period... full stop. And there are those out there who want to dismiss her work because she's not an MD or because she's out in the world saying that, YES, you can get pregnant with your own eggs and bring home a healthy baby at 45, 46, 47, 48 and beyond... People do not like how much she is challenging modern medicine... and... I am also a 45 year old women for whom BOTH my grandmothers had their final babies (naturally) at 50... in a third world country... So I have living proof that it's possible. Now... Aimee Raupp's The Egg Quality Diet is the book that is guiding my fertility nutrition. It is strict. It's hard to do... initially... and I'm about to start it all over again because it is so hard to do. But, I also firmly believe that if I want to conceive and carry my babies, if I want to have my menstrual cycle for as long as I can, if I want to have vitality and longevity and quality of life into old age, eating the way Aimee talks about in her book, is CRITICAL to accomplishing all of the above.


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

The Egg Quality Diet guides you on a 100 day journey to optimizing your fertility through nutrition. There are so many free resources (recipes, meal plans, grocery lists) that accompany this book. It is well worth the investment of time and money.


What This Book is About?

This book gives you an elimination diet that, over 100 days, helps you get crystal clear on what foods agree with you... and what foods need to be banished from your diet forever. This diet helps you solve so many immune issues while also increasing your energy, vitality, and even your libido. If you're ready to get your body (and your energy) back- regardless of whether you get pregnant- this is a MUST read book for you.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

Ddd


Book #6 - The Infertility Cure by Dr. Randine Lewis

I first came across Dr. Randine Lewis after watching a keynote talk she gave about how women's 'egg quality' REALLY works- Mind/Body Balance For Fertility. That led me to read her book, The Infertility Cure. It's a powerful book that provides a lot of tips and strategies that can help improve fertility.


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

Listening to Dr. Randine Lewis' keynote began my journey with understanding how important is to change the pace at which I live my life. Before reading her work, I was obsessed with what I thought were the game changers- supplements and nutrition- and then learned, through Randine's work, that fertility has a lot to do with how we move through life on a daily basis. This book is a MUST read if you're doing all the things and still run into the 'unexplained infertility' piece. There may be some key piece of wisdom that helps you optimize your fertility in a way that doctors are missing.


What This Book is About?

This book provides an understanding of infertility (and how to treat it) from the perspective of eastern medicine. You'll learn about things like acupuncture, acupressure, qi gong and how to allow room and space to give optimizing your fertility your best shot.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

Dr. Randine Lewis provides acupressure and qi gong exercises (and instructions) you can do to help optimize fertility.


Book #7 - Rushing Woman's Syndrome by Dr. Libby Weaver

I first learned about Dr. Libby Weaver from an interview she did with Dr. Mindy called Strategies for Healing Rushing Women's Syndrome. Although not a book directly about infertility, Rushing Woman's Syndrome: The Impact of a Never-Ending To-Do List and How to Stay Healthy in Today's Busy World is a MUST read if you're an overachieving woman (especially a workaholic) who thinks you're constant busyness isn't affecting your fertility.


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

This book points out a lot of symptoms that underlie hormonal problems that have a direct impact on fertility. These are symptoms that a lot of doctors miss. By reading this book, you'll have a solid understanding of your hormones as well as hormonal imbalance signs you can address with your reproductive endocrinologist or Ob/Gyn.


What This Book is About?

This book discusses the ins and outs of the neurobiology behind women's rushing tendencies in today's modern world. It spends a great deal of time explaining how hormones are affected by rushing and ways to stop the rushing syndrome.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

In the book, Dr. Weaver talks about the common symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Did you know that stiffness is a key symptom of adrenal fatigue? It's the 'wired and tired' aspects of adrenal fatigue that imbalance the hormones necessary for conception (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone). Reading this book will give you a plethora of strategies you can use to bring calm to your life and, by doing so, balance your hormones.


Book #8 - I'm Too Young For This! The Natural Hormone Solution to Enjoy Perimenopause by Suzanne Somers

I'm including Suzanne Somer's book I'm Too Young For This! The Natural Hormone Solution to Enjoy Perimenopause for a very simple reason- Suzanne was one of the very first authors to walk readers through practical, simple strategies they can use to balance their hormones and delay the onset of menopause through nutrition, sleep, and adequate supplementation. Whether those of us TTCing in our 40s wind up having babies or not, there are still clear benefits to prolonging the onset of menopause for as long as we can. Suzanne's book provides a playbook for how to take great care of our bodies during perimenopause.


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

This book points out a lot of research that gives you both the incentive and desire to handle your health and nutrition in a way that balances your hormones, improve your fertility, and reduce the likelihood of cancer. Once you read this book, it'll be hard to not start implementing the strategies contained in it.


What This Book is About?

This book provides you with a number of simple strategies (and the research that backs up using those strategies) to balance your hormones... which is key to optimizing your fertility.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

Two foods that Suzanne spends a lot of time talking about in the book are coconut oil and olive oil. She goes through the research on why these are so critical to women in their 40s and provides ways to get those things into your diet on a regular basis.



Book #9 - It Starts With the Egg by Rebecca Fett

It Starts With the Egg by Rebecca Fett goes into a deep dive on all things supplements, nutrition and sleep as it relates to optimizing fertility.


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

This book goes in the weeds on the research behind every recommendation provided in this book. This book was the first time I learned about endocrine disrupting chemicals... and how bad they are for both male and female fertility. If you want to figure out what habits, substances, or chemicals could be adversely hurting your fertility, this book is a MUST read.


What This Book is About?

This book provides a great deal of research evidence and supplement recommendations that will help you optimize fertility.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

One of the biggest tips I took away from this book (and that I'm still trying to figure out how to fully implement) is no longer touching receipts... I mean not touching them AT ALL... because even touching the receipts hurts fertility. I'm also moving completely away from plastic thanks to the research provided in this book demonstrating how much plastic (which is already in most of our bodies) harms fertility. There's so much to learn in this book about what supplements help... and hurt fertility.


Book #10 - Spirit Babies: How to Communicate with the Child You're Meant to Have by Walter Makichen

Spirit Babies is a life changing read. Even if you don't consider yourself at all spiritual, reading Spirit Babies: How to Communicate with the Child You're Meant to Have will give you an entirely different perspective about the fertility journey you're on.


Why This Book is a MUST Read?

There are meditations in this book that will help calm your nervous system, improve your immune function and, most importantly, connect with your spirit babies.


What This Book is About?

This book provides an understanding of what spirit babies are, why it's important, especially if there's difficulty in conceiving, to be consistent about communicating with the spirit babies that are meant to become your children. In this book, Walter provides a number of meditations and chants that will help you develop a relationship with your spirit babies.


Tip For Applying the Strategies in This Book

In one part of the book, Walter writes "I explained to Robin that the spirits of unconceived children are often very sensitive to emotional tensions in their prospective family. They can become withdrawn and need extra reassurance that they are loved and wanted...In times of stress, spirit babies often need the comforting reassurance of their mothers' attention before they will take that first big step toward their new life." Walter goes on to provide a series of spirit baby meditations that help you connect with your unborn child.


Now you have it- what I consider the 10 MUST read books for women TTCing over 40.


My #1 piece of advice is TAKE YOUR TIME reading, savoring, and reflecting on each of the above books.


This isn't a race and you have time to take the concepts and strategies of each of the books in.


If this post was helpful, please share it with a woman in her 40s who's TTCing.


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