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If Not for You, Do it for Your Daughter

This article differs from many of my other articles as this is a more personal one for me. It is something that I have been thinking a lot about and it means the world to me. When I am fighting my carb cravings or feel just too tired to eat properly. When I feel like PCOS has gotten the better of me (there are days when we all feel like that!) this is what I think about to help me find a new level of resolve and to just keep going. I think of my daughter.

I am blessed to have the most beautiful, miraculous 3 year old little girl. She was conceived naturally, in spite of my PCOS (miracle #1). I carried her to term and had a healthy pregnancy (miracle #2). She didn’t breathe for 12 minutes when she was born and we were told she had suffered a severe insult to the brain. She’s now a happy, healthy and on-the-go little girl who has no medical issues at all (miracle #3).

But, by sheer virtue of the fact that I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, she is more likely to have it too as there is a strong genetic component to PCOS (1). It just doesn’t seem fair, does it?

Even as I sit and write this, I can feel myself digging my heels in, my determination grow as I think, “This far and no further…” I feel a little like Sigourney Weaver in Aliens (check it out on YouTube here)

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There is hope

If not for you mom do it for your daughter food heartThe good news is that Gracie’s health is not predetermined and we both have a say in the matter. You see, she may well be predisposed to PCOS but there are environmental and nutritional factors that come into play as well. She may not develop PCOS at all, even though she is at risk of it (2).

We know that obesity is a high risk for the development of PCOS and this is becoming more clear as we have increasing access to an abundant and inexpensive supply of food. (1) We also tend to lead more sedentary lifestyles where we expend less energy than we consume, leading to a tendency towards obesity.

Research has also found that the quality of food we eat is important in the development of PCOS. We should be focusing on unrefined and unprocessed foods.

My Responsibility to my Daughter

So, with all of that in mind, this is what I feel is my responsibility to myself, as well as to my daughter:

  • To make sure that there is always delicious, wholesome, unprocessed food available for her so that her body will be nourished and well-looked after. As a family, we will all eat well to ensure we are all functioning at our best.
  • Teach her the skills that she will one day need to be healthy and independent, making wise food choices. So, I see lots of fun cooking and baking sessions in the future. I hope to instill in her a love of healthy food and all that goes into preparing it.
  • Set a good example of a healthy relationship with food, fighting the cravings and using food to feed my body, not my emotions.
  • Make activity and exercise a part of our every day life with frequent cycle rides, trips to the park, swimming and other fun activities. We will be an active and fit family.
  • Always help her to see how beautiful she is, inside and out. Remind her that her beauty lies in her fierce determination, insatiable curiosity and compassion and quirky sense of humour.
  • Try to set a good example for her, looking after myself and loving myself the way I hope she will one day love herself.

 

If-not-for-you-mom-do-it-for-your-daughter-mom-and-babySometimes, we don’t feel that we are worth the effort of changing our diets and lifestyles. Or we are too stressed or too busy or we just have too much on our plates to mange our PCOS. The way I see it though, is that we have a responsibility, not just to ourselves, but also to our daughters. If you don’t feel that you are worth all of the effort involved, I know you would do ANYTHING to make sure your daughter does not feel the full effects of PCOS.

So, it’s time to look PCOS in the eye and say, “Get away from her (and me), you b*tch!”

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Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton

Tarryn Poulton is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and PCOS expert who has been a leader in the online PCOS space for over 8 years. Tarryn has the support of leading clinicians from around the world who support her scientific approach to understanding and talking about PCOS this includes all medical journals and ongoing research. You can read more about Tarryn and the team here.

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13 Responses

13 Responses

  1. This resonates so much with me. We conceived our 10m baby girl naturally and I was terrified I would lose her and then when we found out she was a girl all I could think was that I hope she doesn’t get this from me. She too didn’t breath right away when she was born (not 12 minutes but it took a few) but so far is developing wonderfully. All I can try to do is raise her to enjoy being active and to try to eat the best she can. Since her difficult birth I do know that she has inherited a genetic mutation from me but I hope and pray it’s not pcos. That just doesn’t seem fair.

  2. Thank you for this! I needed to read it. I have had a serious struggle with it over the past 2 years more than ever (post birth of my daughter). However I can relate to miracle #1 and #2. What a joy and an encouragement to read. She is now 17 months. Every now and then, mom’s with PCOS who have daughter need this extra reminder. Thanks again.

  3. As i read this i’m literally crying my eyes out. I’ve been desperetly trying to lose weight all year. And i’ve so far lost almost 2 stone, but the last couple of weeks, i’ve lost nothing. And so today i turned to food to get me through. I’m feeling extremely lost and alone with PCOS. I just wanted to start a family with my husband and it’s just not happening for us. Thank you for the post this may just be the motivation i need.

    1. Hi Kirsty. Have you tried Keto? My symptoms have all but vanished, I’ve lost 13kg and my periods are regular. I’ve been lucky enough to have children already (14 & 10) but wish I’d found keto earlier, I believe I would’ve conceived a lot easier. Good luck on your journey.

  4. This post rings loud to me. My 7 year old daughter has just been diagnosed with premature adrenarchy. The paediatric endocrinologist said there was a strong link between this and pcos, which I was diagnosed with at 23 but had symptoms for longer. I have always cooked from scratch and limited sugary foods/ junk etc and 5 a day for myself and my daughter. But after joining your site I have cleaned up my diet even more, and tried to fir our whole family. The problem is the more I limit sugar/white processed carbs the more she craves them, so we are trying to find a balance without gorging. I feel at the moment all she asks for is rubbish and I am constantly saying no, which feels a far cry from helping her develop a good relationship with food. It also reminds me if my own upbringing. We are an active family so that helps and I believe in encouraging a positive body image.
    I really appreciate all your valuable advise tarryn xxx

  5. Thank you so much for this, Tarryn. My daughter is almost 14 and I’ve known for some time that she will more than likely test positive for PCOS – although she’s skinny as a rake and her periods seem to be fairly regular, she has quite significant hirsutism. We try to make sure that we eat plenty of brown rice, lean meat and vegetables and we have very few sugary snack foods in the house but it’s very hard to control what she eats when she’s in the school canteen and I’ve seen from her canteen report that she spends a lot of her lunch money on sugary drinks and flapjacks.
    Although I was diagnosed with PCOS twenty years ago, I’ve only tried sporadically to get it under control but this weekend I’ve had a real breakthrough – I’ve been reading your blog, I’ve made the decision to finally cut dairy completely and ordered my Inositol and this evening, when my daughter returns from her friend’s house, I’ll sit her down and we’ll discuss the meal plans for the week.
    Enough is enough.

  6. This is so true we need to be good role models for our kids. I have a 6 year old daughter and an 8 year old son. My daughter is an extremely fussy eater. She will not eat vegetables and gags on a lot of food. She has no trouble with cake, biscuits and white bread!!!! She has an extreme sweet tooth and has obvious carb cravings. She is not overweight but I know because of my PCOS I need to be careful with her. I have stressed a lot about her nutrition and made many meals that were not eaten. She suffers from cold sores which my husband and I do not. I believe her immune system is compromised by her diet (that she limits herself). I have tried removing all sugar from our house, but somehow it slowly makes its way back in. Since finding this site I have been greatly encouraged. I have started leading by example and looking after myself. Last night I cooked a salmon stir fry with loads of vegetables and brown rice. I would never normally present this to the family because I would get too many complaints and refusals. However I stood firm, “this is dinner and its good and you just need to try it”. My daughter let hers go cold but eventually she tried the peppers and a little of the salmon and the brown rice. I was amazed, she still gagged a little but she tried it. I think the power of the mind is huge, I will not force my children, but I will lead by example. I adore my kids and hate PCOS and its got to stop here. Healthy nutritious meals will be served in our home and become the normal!!!!!!!

  7. Oh my goodness… I LOVE this post. And you are right: there is no better motivation to be healthy and well than your children! Our first has not even arrived yet, and already she has given my life so much more purpose than it had before her. Thank you for this!

  8. I have a lump in my throat reading this. Seems dramatic, but I can relate to this! My 3y/o daughter was conceived naturally and with no issues, before I even knew I had PCOS. I have since being diagnosed after uncuccessfully trying for baby number two. I found this website at the weekend and instantly signed up, it’s an amazing resource, and if nothing else will help me make better choices for her. thank you.

    1. It could be mine as well. I conceived my beautiful three year old girl naturally, before i knew i had pcos. Now trying for number two and have been diagnosed.

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