Fertility Awareness Spotlight: Anna Saucier
It’s hard to think of someone who relates to the many aspects of fertility awareness as much as Anna Saucier. Saucier suffered infertility for 7 years before she became educated in Fertility Awareness-Based Methods and ultimately began working as a Creighton Model practitioner.
Saucier designed a program to help manage her clients, which could be used particularly with the Creighton Model. As she progressed in her career and began to talk to other practitioners and educators, she could tell they shared a passion for the method, but she also realized that there was a significant information void. Many practitioners had difficulty getting clients, managing their time, or managing a scheduling system.
That’s when Saucier made The Profitable FCP: A Business Handbook for FertilityCare Practitioners. She wanted to create a platform to help FABM and NFP educators make a sustainable profit from their hard work. “It kind of became a go-to in our little niche for questions in our business and learning a lot about stuff as you go,” she said. “I’m strong in systems and processes and collating information,” so, as an expert in that area, Saucier wanted to create something that would equip fertility awareness educators to have a thriving business, instead of just a mission with a high potential for burnout.
After this, Saucier continued in her work seeing clients as a FertilityCare practitioner, until she had her second baby. Saucier found herself with a 3-year-old and a 3-month-old as she came back from maternity leave to see clients again. But something wasn’t clicking.
“I’ve always felt that [FABM educating] was my thing; I want to make a big impact in this space,” but she soon realized the current workflow wasn’t working for her anymore. “I felt personally like there was something more out there for me; so I started asking myself questions and brainstorming what I wanted to do, and I came to this idea of helping other practitioners to expand their reach.” She thought that’s an area she could bring her unique skills and still contribute to the fertility awareness industry, even if she wasn’t seeing clients as much herself. “Maybe that’s where I can make a greater impact,” she explains.
The result was another never-before-offered resource for people hoping to spread FABM. “I created a community where I’m essentially bringing in an expert in business marketing because I’m still learning myself. However, I’m good at making those connections, building those relationships, and collating those experts on a regular basis, and I decided to throw it out there without having it put together . . . a business academy for fertility-awareness educators, and the response was pretty incredible.” Saucier sent an email to her contacts in fertility awareness and invited them to respond within 24 hours if they were interested in becoming a founding member of this academy. “I told myself I’d be happy with 10 people,” she said. “I ended up with 22 founding members and when I opened it again for new members in September, it grew to 63 members.” Clearly, these ideas were gaining traction.
Saucier learned along the way that she didn’t need to see hundreds of clients herself to spread fertility awareness. With FCPro offering FertilityCare Practitioners an online logbook to stay organized and more productive, and this latest business academy for FABM educators, she was helping others increase their reach. “I love it, and it allows me to have much greater impact. If these practitioners and educators can have these tools, then they’re more suited to see more clients themselves. They’re also better positioned to take care of themselves and their families.”
“There’s so much burnout in this industry,” Saucier told me. FABM educators are “mothers, they’re wives, and they often do extra ministry on top of that. When something has to go, this is what goes.” This is why Saucier is such a strong advocate for FABM educators who do such an incredible service to get something back for what they put in.”Your family needs money to have food and shelter and do things together, and have that vacation every once in a while. If you can give that to your family, you’re much more likely to continue to do this, and not be stressed and fragmented about it.”
Cycle Power Summit
Saucier’s latest project is the Cycle Power Summit, a free online conference taking place May 2 to 5, 2019. Designed to empower women to manage their health and fertility, the Cycle Power Summit provides four days with more than 30 presentations by educators, researchers, leaders, thinkers, and medical professionals, making it the “largest gathering of people who are passionate about understanding the power of the menstrual cycle.”
The online nature of the conference not only allows more experts to present, it allows more people to attend—as Saucier says, “in your pajamas with your favorite coffee mug, without having to travel, and without having to leave the kids.”
Saucier said that virtual summits have become very popular within the health and wellness industry, and also in the business industry. Saucier said that this new approach allows registrants, “to get the valid information out about fertility awareness in a more grassroots way.” Participants can join in on discussions and listen to conversations and speakers—and it’s all for free between May 2-5.
The conference isn’t just meant to attract healthcare professionals, however. Saucier’s goal was to create an event that can be used to get information out to women who are unfamiliar with FABMs or in search of more information to discuss with their doctors. But medical professionals can benefit as well. The medical community outreach group FACTS (Fertility Appreciation Collaborative to Teach the Science) “does a great job of getting this out to medical professionals but the more we get this out, the more it validates it,” Saucier said. Ultimately, the conference brings together attendees from all walks of life, including those who are already FABMs practitioners. In this environment, people can come together with different perspectives and angles—all there for the same goal.
In addition to enjoying pre-recorded sessions at the virtual summit, attendees can partake in live components, as well, including a Q&A session, which gives listeners an opportunity to interact with presenters, some of whom include:
- Lisa Hendrickson-Jack, Author of The Fifth Vital Sign
- Dr. Marguerite Duane, MD, MHA, FAAFP Co-Founder and Executive Director of FACTS
- Dr. Lynn Keenan, MD Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco-Fresno and Vice President of International Institute of Restorative Reproductive Medicine
- Anna Halpine, CEO of FEMM
- Dr. Jolene Brighten, Naturopathic Doctor and Author of Beyond the Pill
- Marc Sherman, Founder of Organic Conceptions
- Amy Beckley, Founder & CEO of MFB Fertility
- Many more
Among the topics that will be explored are:
- It’s Not In Your Head: Getting to the root cause of PMS
- Killer Cramps Are Not Normal
- The pharmaceutical and physiological effects of Hormonal Birth Control (HBC) on your body and health
- New health science of Restorative Reproductive Medicine and how it’s revolutionizing women’s healthcare for a myriad of issues like PCOS, PMS, endometriosis, and infertility
- The NaProTechnology approach to infertility and how it’s different from IVF
- The Fast-Growing Femtech Industry
- The root causes of Adrenal Fatigue, its important connection to stress and sleep, and how you can begin healing right now
- How past sexual trauma can affect learning a FABM
- How To Keep Toxins From Destroying Your Fertility
- Why most doctors have never heard of FABMs and how to advocate for yourself and confidently share information with your doctor
Over the four days between May 2 and 5, attendees can enjoy more than 16 hours of content, and anybody who is registered can watch and listen to those sessions for free during the four days of the conference.
For those who want more flexibility and access to the Cycle Power Summit presentations for a full year, they may register for the conference and then purchase an all-access pass for an early bird price of $79. That price increases to $137 on May 2 (the first day of the conference), and to $229 after May 5 (the last day of the conference). The conference sessions remain free for those who want to view them between May 2 and 5 when the presentations are uploaded at 9 am each morning. The full program and registration information is available now at the Cycle Power Summit website.
“I think the more that we can hear each other talking and see where we have valuable ideas—even if you don’t agree with all of what someone is saying . . . we can start the conversation by sharing this information with each other and going from there,” Saucier says. “There is great work and great research and great truth coming out of these different areas of expertise.”
The Future of the FABM Industry
Saucier thinks the fertility-awareness industry needs to take advantage of opportunities like online learning, to connect and learn from each other, now more than ever. While Saucier thinks a component of this involves more access to online learning tools of fertility awareness, she also acknowledges how indispensable it is to have access to a real-life FABM educator. “I think a lot of basic concepts of the cycle can be learned through online learning, and women can be empowered to look at their cycle and say ‘this looks a little off’ or ‘maybe I can get some treatment for this,’ and then they can bring their concerns to a trained professional to look further.” If the woman is seeking FABM for the purposes of family planning, Saucier emphasizes she should interact with a certified FABM practitioner to benefit from the highest rates of efficacy.
Still, Saucier is aware that with the prospects of Femtech (or women’s health technology) growing rapidly, FABM educators should keep plugged in and connected with advances in the industry. “Things are going to continue to change so fast in this industry. There have been some articles in some pretty high profile magazines that say the Femtech / fertility-awareness industry is estimated to be a 50 billion dollar industry by 2025 . . . that is on par with the media industry, the sports nutrition industry; they’re huge. We’re talking about something that is expected to be a part of our daily lives very very quickly.”
In the face of these technological advances, Saucier thinks fertility awareness has a lot of room to grow. “My biggest thought is that we are going to have to keep up. Many NFP educators may come from a religious background, but the world is moving toward this very quickly and so we have an opportunity for whatever background we’re coming from, to hop into the conversation and be a part of this movement.” For Saucier, “the most important thing to do is to just remain in the conversation and listen to people who we don’t recognize or have things we don’t agree with; listen and understand their perspective, and stay engaged in this conversation.”