Fertility, and struggles with fertility have been an ongoing topic of conversation this year in the Black community. With prominent figures such as Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, and Serena Williams coming to the forefront about their struggles with fertility, many women are feeling more comfortable opening up about their own struggles with conception.

At the helm of this important conversation is Bri Braggs, founder of Fertile Alchemy, as well as a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Reiki Master.

Braggs recently sat down and spoke with Essence about her approach to fertility, which in many ways differs from conversations being had in the mainstream media.

“When you do hear about fertility, it’s almost always centered around infertility. I hope to shift that narrative by inspiring women to think about their fertility long before they consider getting pregnant, or even if they never want children at all …” Braggs shared with the publication.

Her own personal journey to wellness began when she discovered she had IBS at the age of 15. It was at this point that she eliminated dairy and wheat from her diet and began living a more holistic lifestyle, which eventually led her to the creation of her brand, Fertile Alchemy

Braggs says that self-care is her number one priority, and stresses the importance of self-care for women of color, who are often taught to put others’ needs before their own.

“I really try and prioritize my self-care by making time for it. Like most Black women, I had to really learn to prioritize my self-care,” she explains.

“To stay grounded I take several baths a week, I do yoga, I meditate, I see a therapist. I also practice what is called “cycle syncing” which means my entire life is centered around the current phase of my menstrual cycle. During the follicular phase, I focus on replenishing my body and building my energy. During ovulation, I have the most energy and I am the most social. I go hard in the gym and schedule any important meetings around this time because it is when I feel most confident. During the luteal phase, I slow down, wrap up any open projects, and practice restorative yoga.”

Braggs also mentions diet as a key factor in managing fertility, and says that everything you eat will impact your hormonal health. She suggests staying away from highly processed foods such as sugar, dairy and soy, which could lead to discomfort during your period.

She also says that contrary to popular belief, cramps are not a necessary part of your cycle, and could be due in large part to your diet. Eating a diet that is rich in protein, vegetables and fruit can help alleviate these symptoms and balance out your hormones.

“For a fertility diet, my staples are Salmon, grass-fed pasture raised Eggs, Walnuts, Leafy Greens, Avocado, Sweet Potato, and of course water,” she shared with Essence.

In addition to her work around the topic of fertility, Braggs would like to create more space in the wellness world for women of color. She says that during her time in the industry she has been “tokenized skipped over, and not taken seriously,” and is always speaking up about the lack of diversity she sees.

“I’m always sharing other black women in wellness with my audience, and I invest my money and time into businesses that are owned and supportive of women of color,” she says.

At the end of the day, her primary mission is to assure Black women that they are not alone in their fertility struggles.

“Infertility can be very lonely, and most women are too ashamed and embarrassed to share what they’re going through. But it’s nothing to be ashamed about, your feelings deserve to be validated. Please don’t go through this journey alone.”

To read the rest of Braggs’ conversation with Essence and learn more about her mission, click here.

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