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Natural Ways to Prepare Body & Mind for Conception

Posted on January 23rd, 2013 by | 8 views

By Marc Sklar, DA, LAc, MSTOM

As the Baby Boomers edge into seniority, much of the subsequent generation has placed a greater focus on developing careers than on creating a family. Many have decided to delay families while getting careers in order, only to discover that when it was finally "the right time" to have children, it was no longer easy or feasible for their bodies.

Infertility is now a major medical condition amongst 30-45 year olds, affecting about one in every four reproductive-aged couples, leaving many with heartache and guilt.

The distress, depression and anxiety which accompany many cases of infertility also can negatively impact a body's physiological reproductive processes and resulting in multiple impediments compounding an existing problem. Concurrently, being infertile leads to more stress and more obstacles to pregnancy - and so the vicious cycle continues.

There is a direct interaction between the body and the mind, making it vital to prepare all aspects of body and mind in any attempt to create the optimum conditions for conception and pregnancy. The following steps are highly recommended to those who want to significantly enhance their chances for a successful pregnancy:

  1. Know your optimum fertility signs and times
    This sounds straight forward, but knowing exactly when you're ovulating, and recognizing the physical signs indicating when you're at the peak time to conceive are sometimes easily confused or missed. For example, as long as your periods are regular, you can calculate that about 14 days after your period starts is the time when you are ovulating. Secondly, and usually around the same time, your cervical mucus becomes very thin, clearer and more stretchy; almost like egg white in quality. (Note antihistamines dry up mucus everywhere, not only in the head and chest). Just paying attention to these two, simple bodily developments will incrementally improve chances of conception.
  2. Participate in a strong social support system
    If you have been diagnosed with infertility are using IVF treatments or you are experiencing difficulty conceiving, you have been saddled with a whole myriad of emotions. The ability to share and express the many emotional peaks and valleys that you may be going through can provide valuable peace of mind and a greater sense of control. Stress and depression disrupt the natural harmony of the body and reduce your chances for a successful pregnancy. A supportive group of like minded people will help reduce the stress which is important to creating a healthy environment for conception.
  3. Get a full medical reproductive evaluation
    The benefits of having a comprehensive female and male reproductive evaluation, including any lab work, imaging and diagnostics will greatly enhance your chances by giving your reproductive healthcare team the most complete and necessary information to deliver the best possible combinations of treatments. Developing a relationship with a reproductive healthcare provider that you trust and feel good with is extremely important. This will also reduce your stress level and further improve your chances for a successful pregnancy. Assuring that your healthcare provider is certified and properly trained in reproductive medicine will not only save you time but also save you money. To locate a certified and trained Reproductive Acupuncturist please visit www.aborm.org.
  4. Explore complimentary therapies with licensed practitioners that have been proven effective for fertility enhancement, such as: Acupuncture, Botanical Medicines, Yoga, Qi-Gong, Deep Tissue Uterine Massage
    Many research studies have shown the fertility enhancing value of complimentary therapies. One clinical Acupuncture study recently demonstrated the ability to optimize endometrial receptivity, resulting in almost double the pregnancy rate than that of IVF or ICSI alone. Complementary therapies can significantly enhance your chance of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby. Additional benefits can also be achieved with the combined use of other complimentary practices that have demonstrated benefits on conditions ranging from fallopian tube obstruction, fibroids, endometriosis, and menstrual irregularities.
  5. Developing a daily relaxation discipline can greatly improve emotional well being
    The benefits of being able to access a consistent and calm personal emotional space, has been demonstrated by the Harvard Medical School Mind Body Institute to measurably improve take home baby rates.
  6. Developing a nutritional plan to improve your fertility chances may take a little time, however this is one of the more important changes you can directly make
    As food and air are the primary means of sustaining life, it is essential that in wanting to create new life that a specific and appropriate nutritional plan be created that include the many essential ingredients that help lay the foundation for optimum maternal and embryonic health. Consulting with a trained professional with experience in the treatment of fertility can further improve your success.
  7. Join a facilitated group that explores cognitive behavioral techniques, enhanced communication skills and emotional expression
    More than 20 years of studies and practice by the Harvard Medical School Mind Body Institute have shown that by participating in facilitated Mind–Body therapy can result in significant and measurably improved take home baby rates in excess of 50%.
  8. Take the time to reconnect with your spiritual practice
    What ever your personal beliefs, set aside time to reconnect with the practice that provides you with a deeper sense of control and belonging. One of the biggest complaints expressed by women suffering with infertility is that they feel out of control. Reconnecting with yourself and your spiritual practice can help you regain control of your fertility journey. Having the tools and knowledge to control and understand your journey can help reduce the stress and anxiety experienced.
  9. Having a balanced exercise program assures that your body is functioning at top capacity
    It is very important that a correct and balanced personal exercise regime be practiced, in most cases this means a consistent light to moderate routine. In others it may actually mean less exercise. Consulting with a trained fertility professional can help balance your exercise program.

  10. Receiving proper pregnancy support
    Achieving conception is just the first step. Receiving the proper support during your pregnancy can help to minimize the possibility of a miscarriage as well as other complications. Preparing for the time when you become pregnant and having the right physical and emotional treatment and support structure will further promote a full term healthy pregnancy. For example research also shows that the use of pre-birth acupuncture can help reduce labor by almost two hours, as well as a reduced rate of medical intervention.

 

Although infertility is affecting more and more couples, in reality very few women (and couples) are actually clinically infertile - most women and their partners are simply not physically and emotionally in full reproductive homeostasis (balance). Some are having difficulty conceiving, others may be suffering from recurrent miscarriage. This is vastly different to true infertility, which is clinically described as sterility. By incorporating some or all of the recommendations listed above women and their partners may have an easier time conceiving, sustaining a full term pregnancy, and delivering a health child.

 

Marc Sklar is one of the founders and clinical directors of Reproductive Wellness, a clinical practice devoted to providing Natural Treatment Therapies for infertility and pregnancy support. Marc is also just one of two practitioners certified by the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine. Marc can be reached at www.reproductivewellness.com

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