For both him and her…
When you decide it’s time to start thinking about starting a family, you can begin preparing your bodies to provide the best possible environment for conception by following some commonsense guidelines for healthy eating and reducing stress. The healthier you are, the healthier your cells are. Our suggestion is to allow at least 3 months for natural preconception care, including improvements for any health, lifestyle and environmental concerns, because sperm and eggs take around 100 days to develop or mature. It’s not just the woman’s health that matters because sperm health is just as important.
Acupuncture may be able to assist with preconception care by helping couples to reduce stress.
The goal of healthy eating is to provide quality nutrients for the body so it is able to produce good quality sperm and eggs. Choose fresh organic and hormone-free foods whenever possible. Drink plenty of water to hydrate the body and help flush out any toxins.
It’s advisable to reduce the following for preconception care:
- Coffee, as it constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure
- Smoking as it ages the ovaries, affecting egg quality and it adversely affects sperm production
- Alcohol as it makes the liver work harder to detoxify the body; can adversely affect sperm production and affects certain Chinese Medicine body types (Damp, Heat and Qi stagnation)
- Junk foods as they contain high amounts of salt, sugar, fats and provide little nutritional value
- Replace with healthy snacks (fresh fruit, nuts, vegetable sticks and dip, yoghurt or home-baked muffins)
- Reduce your exposure to chemical products in skincare and house-cleaning products
- Try organic rosehip oil as a natural moisturiser
- Try baking soda and white vinegar as household cleaning products.
For preconception care, reducing stress helps the body to relax, encouraging the natural processes to flow smoothly. Increasing sleep allows the body to regenerate and relax.
A few easy relaxation tips:
- Soaking your feet in warm water for 10 – 20 minutes at night promotes blood and Qi energy flow to the energy channels in the lower half of body including the reproductive organs.
- Regular physical exercise, 3 times a week, at your fitness level; this acts to provide much needed oxygen and nutrients to the whole body, and gently encourages free-flow of Qi around the body
- Pilates is a strong core muscles strengthening exercise modality. Consider reducing the number of pilates sessions when you are trying to conceive.
- Yoga is fantastic as it relaxes and energises the body simultaneously. This is great for unblocking stagnant energy and stretches the body. If you are a yin deficient body type, it is advisable to avoid bikram yoga as hot yoga can be too warming for this body type, causing further depletion of the yin body fluids.
When combining acupuncture sessions with yoga, it’s advisable to do the yoga first(yoga distributes energy flow throughout the whole body), and then follow with acupuncture because acupuncture directs the Qi energy to areas where it is needed.
A consultation with your Chinese medicine practitioner for preconception care advice can help to bring the body back into balance at a physical and emotional level. And you will feel healthier too!