Thinking of planning a family?
Heres a few suggestion to chart in your cycle when you are considering a baby.
Planning for a family starts with regulating your cycles. Yup it comes right down to mother nature, and acupuncture is a fantastic tool to assist you with that.
First let’s take a look at some of the things you can pay attention to during your monthly cycle.
There are four phases of the menstrual cycle and it represents a beautiful dance between Yin/Yang.
I d like to share an excerpt from Giovanni Maciocia a well respected educator and Dr of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
“The menstrual cycle is like a tide of Yin and Yang: the Water ofthis tide is the substance of the Kidneys in its Yin and Yang aspect. Therefore, it is the ebb and flow of Kidney yin and kidney yang that determines the menstrual cycle. The menstrual cycle goes through two moments of transformation of Yin to Yang and vice versa: the onset of the period marks the maximum of Yang and transformation from Yang to Yin while the onset of ovulation marks the maximum of yin and transformation of Yin to Yang. This transformation, together with the discharge of menstrual blood and the eggs, is under the control of the Heart who’s Qi needs to go down to communicate with the Kidneys.”
Ok what did I just say? I want to start with the last sentence that it is under control of the Heart for all this work. How does that translate into my body and what does that mean.
Well, basically one of the key components to getting pregnant is to be in a relaxed state. When we are stressed two systems really get compromised. One is digestion and the other is fertility. You know that feeling when you are really stressed that your belly goes into knots? Or that feeling that you cannot eat (or eat too much) when you are feeling stress or even burn out. That is cortisol which causes things to break down. In excess it can promote bone loss, contribute to fat accumulation, increase your blood sugar levels. It literally fries brain cells! When we are in the sympathetic state our reproduction axis shuts right down.. In fact you only need to anticipate stress for our reproductive axis to be affected.
Ok Lisa what s the good news?
Good news is that acupuncture can help you get out of that flight or fright stage and help you enter rest and digest and turn on your parasympathetic. Meditation, yoga, breath work, are all tools at your disposal to assist you between your appointments. I like to offer these to my patients and go through some easy techniques for them.
If you are wanting to see your acupuncturist for fertility, here are some things you can do ahead of time to be prepared.
TRACK YOUR CYCLE:
We will want to know Everything about it. So download an app that can help you with tracking here s what we want to know.
How many days in length is it?
Do you spot before your cycle (or mid cycle)
Do you experience cramping, pain, bloating, clots (are they large and dark or small and bright red) are they stringy?
Do you have lower bloating or upper bloating?
Do you experience diarrhoea, or constipation?
How are your emotions?
Do you experience Anxiety, or nervousness?
irritability? depression, grief?
Trust me it looks like a lot but really its not. These are things you usually experience during your cycle but may or may not have paid attention to them. Most women will know the answers to these just by reflecting back at their last month cycle.
WHAT TO TRACK DURING OVULATION
This may be a little tricker to track as some women are not as aware when they ovulate. If you really have a hard time knowing you can get an ovulation strip that can help you detect. Other women (myself included) can experience Mittelschmerz pain during ovulation usually on one side where you can feel which side your are ovulating on. It can be sharp stabbing quick pain with some bloating.
Heres what to look for.
Is your cervical fluid thin and clear. It should be egg white before ovulation and thin white after ovulation. In your 20s the cervical fluid should be 4-5 days
30 s 3 days and 30 Plus around 2 days.
When you come to your acupuncture appointment we will want to know where you are in your cycle at that appointment. Each phase of your cycle as we saw above, gives us a unique opportunity to work with your bodies energies.
Typically we look at days 1-4 as phase 1.
Here we want to help detox old hormones support your liver and help move your blood.
Day 4-14 is phase two. This is the estrogen phase and egg development, eggs mature here so our focus here is to support your blood and yin .
Day 14 (ish) for 3-4 days is phase 3. This is where your body moves from yin to yang, our goal is to aggressively move qi and blood in order to facilitate the release of your egg.
Day 17/18 to day 28 is phase 4. This is your progesterone phase and we want to support that by boosting qi, and nourishing your heart. Remember pregnancy needs to be received, not achieved.
About 5 days after fertilization a blastocyte can form. They spend about 3days floating in your uterus it has a (-) charge so does the endometrium. If you are fortunate enough to be in a warm climate at this time having your bare feet contact the earth is a good way to discharge electrons. Also Histamine is actually very important for implantation so eating foods like bone broth and fermented kraut can help out with that.
These are just a few basics to help you on your journey to parenthood. My biggest take home for you is to always find ways to help with your stress. Getting outside soaking up some sun even in the winter is very beneficial. I also love restorative yoga during stressful times. Anyone can do it, and there are lots of options to participate online. Soak in a hot tub with essential oils of lavender and a good book.
Take a break in your work day and go for a 15 min walk, you will feel refreshed and renewed.
We are here to help you along your parenthood journey, hope you find this information helpful.
Questions or comments are always welcome.
Lisa Greene. R. Ac Ryt