- Reduce Stress – Chronic stress shuts down all non essential systems and directly affects the hormones that regulate fertility. Spend time in nature, surround yourself with people you love, meditate, exercise, write in a gratitude journal daily and breathe.
- Sleep – Aim for 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Drink Water – Water helps deliver hormones throughout the body, improves cervical mucous, and detoxifies your body.
- Diet – Strive for a whole food diet, rich in healthy fats, nutrient dense vegetables and fruit, and slow carbs. Limit processed foods and foods high in sugar.
- BMI– A healthy weight is one of the most important factors when addressing infertility. Your Body Mass Index ( BMI) should be between 20 – 25.
- Exercise – Exercise is important to reduce stress and maintain a healthy weight. Do 30 minutes of cardio daily, weight training 2 times per week, and yoga at least once a week.
- Things to Avoid – Smoking, higher levels of alcohol consumption (>2 drinks per day), recreational drugs, and use of most commercially available vaginal lubricants should be dis- couraged for couples trying to conceive.
- Timing of Intercourse – Frequent intercourse (every 1 to 2 days) yields the high- est pregnancy rates, but results achieved with less fre- quent intercourse (two to three times per week) are nearly equivalent. For women having regular menstrual cycles, frequent intercourse beginning soon after cessation of menses can help to maximize conception.
This is such a common question. However, there is a lot of misguided information out there, particularly on the web. Though acupuncture is 100% safe in pregnancy, there is some misunderstanding even amongst our community about its safety. Traditionally acupuncture has been used throughout the entire pregnancy. However, this has not been well documented. Obstetrical acupuncture was mainly an oral tradition used amongst midwives. More recently, it has been discouraged in order to prevent unskilled practitioners from treating pregnant women. I have had extensive training in obstetrics with many of the modern-day masters, and am completely confident in treating pregnant women.
The benefits of acupuncture in early pregnancy are miscarriage prevention, promoting health in mother and baby, and treating any pregnancy symptom. If you are not a client of mine and have concerns if your practitioner is educated in obstetrical acupuncture, ask them what specific courses they have taken, how many hours of continuing education in prenatal care do they have, and how many pregnant clients they have treated. But at the end of the day, follow your instincts and do what you feel comfortable with.
To find a qualified Acupuncturist in your area, go to http://www.caoom.org
According to theory, Qi (chi) is the vital life energy present in all living organisms. It’s the principal force that governs the body’s circulation, metabolism, transportation, elimination, cleansing, purging and healing.
Qi circulates in the body along 14 energy pathways, called meridians. These meridians are linked to specific internal organs and systems. There are more than a thousand points along these pathways that can be stimulated to enhance the flow of Qi.
In the course of a treatment, slender needles, heat, pressure, or a combination of these tools are used to stimulate specific points along the pathways. The idea is to ‘unblock’ those paths so that the body can use its core energy to relieve pain and begin to heal.
Much like the flow of a river, when debris falls in the pathway, the river runs more slowly. If the riverbed is completely blocked, the flow stops. The water turns stagnant.
By opening these pathways of energy, we allow the body’s vital energy to reach and replenish weakened organs, rid itself of toxins, and restore its natural balance.
Acupuncture can be supplemented with other alternative treatments, such as electro-acupuncture, cupping and moxibustion, to restore health.
WHAT A TREATMENT FEELS LIKE
What you’ve heard is true: acupuncture is relatively painless. We use safe, sterile, disposable needles. These very fine needles are inserted under the skin to redirect energy or unblock the pathway.
Sensations during treatment can vary from being hardly noticeable to a tingling or heavy feeling. While you rest in a quiet, comfortable room, listening to music, the needles do their work. You might even fall asleep. In the course of your treatment, we often supplement acupuncture with massage. Patients usually feel a profound sense of rest.
The last few weeks of a pregnancy are such a transformative time. Physically your body is preparing to deliver your baby by releasing hormones, opening your pelvis and softening of your cervix. At the same time, your heart softens and opens. You find that empathy and compassion ooze from your existence, and that the world’s suffering has become your suffering. Love overflows from your heart touching everything you see. Things are brighter and sweeter.
During this opening of your heart, past issues also take this opportunity to to re- surface. For example, mother issues, partner issues, financial issues, past birth trauma. Although you may feel uncomfortable when emotions surface about things you have not thought about in awhile, take the opportunity to look at it. At this time in your pregnancy, your mama warrior is shining through giving you strength and courage. By looking at it and letting go, you will be creating the space in your heart for your baby.
Ideas to help you process past issues:
Speak with a counsellor
Practice mediation and mindfulness
Click here for an exercise on releasing toxic emotions.