June 6, 2024
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June 6, 2024
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Fertility 2.0: Pregaming or the Year of Living Healthy

At my last open house, a young couple came by to ask how acupuncture and Chinese medicine can support pregnancy. They were really interested in the ways alternative medicine could be used to maintain the health of mom and baby. This was SO gratifying for me. I get a lot of questions about fertility and acupuncture, or labor encouragement and acupuncture. People tend to focus on the goal and not the journey. This is understandable. By the time women seek out acupuncture as an aid in conception, they are in the “we will do anything” mode. However, historically, the best and highest use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine is for health improvement and maintenance.

A healthy pregnancy doesn’t begin with conception, but with the months and years before conception. Everything your body encounters leaves some mark, whether environmental, emotional, dietary or spiritual. Don’t get nervous. You have the opportunity to prepare a great foundation for your baby’s health. Whether you are preparing to start a family or to add to your family, here are suggestions based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.

The year before:

  1. Stop the pill. (Be prepared for alternative methods of birth control if you are planning to really use this time to get healthy.)
  2. Cut way back on alcohol. A little won’t hurt, but it’s not part of a healthy diet.
  3. Consult your holistic healthcare practitioner on the best diet for you. Chinese medicine recommends in-season fruit, organic, cooked vegetables of all kinds (sweet potatoes, greens, root vegetables), whole grains, fish and beans. Emphasize warm, cooked foods to nourish and strengthen the digestive system. Traditional Chinese medicine considers a healthy digestive system vital to reproductive health as well as to health in general.
  4. Cut out the sugar. Use those calories for real food. Save the sugar for occasional treats.
  5. Continue, start or power-up your exercise routine.

Regular exercise is great for everyone but especially prospective moms. Most healthcare practitioners encourage exercise during pregnancy but caution women to continue what they have been doing instead of starting new routines. Give yourself the most choice of what you can do when you are pregnant; upgrade your routine now. Evidence shows that exercising during pregnancy generally shortens labor and accelerates recovery.

  1. Get a thorough checkup to head off any possible issues. Anemia? High cholesterol? High blood pressure? Digestive issues? Take care of it now.
  2. Get enough sleep. Sleep is when the body repairs itself. Now is the time to develop or rebuild good sleep habits.
  3. Use this time to resolve those questions about family, gender roles, child care options, etc. You don’t want to wake up the day after the positive pregnancy test and learn your spouse believes women belong in the home, no ifs,ands or buts. (Yes, this is an exaggeration.) But discuss these things ahead of time. Never make assumptions.
  4. Start a meditation practice. This can be incorporated into davening time or practiced separately. Some have said that prayer is when you talk to God, and meditation is when God talks to you. Having that peaceful space available to you will become very important as your family grows.
  5. Reset and relax with regular acupuncture treatments. Acupuncture helps your systems run smoothly while providing optimum circulation and energy flow.

Questions? Just give us a call!

Dr. Sara Youner is the owner of Morning Light Acupuncture in Springfield, NJ. She can be reached at www.morninglightacupuncturenj.com or [email protected]. Call or text (908) 400-2314

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