Many women wait until they get pregnant to make healthy changes in their life. But pre-conception care is just as important, as it is an opportunity to get in the best possible shape physically, emotionally and mentally, not only to boost your fertility but to enable you to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby too.
One way you can begin your preconception care is to act pregnant now – to get pregnant soon.
I often use this approach with my clients in my 3 Month Fertility Programme to help us focus on areas of their health that need attention to help them conceive. One question I ask that helps us uncover what needs to change is: if you found out you were pregnant today, what would you differently right now?
Here are 8 ways women begin to improve their health to increase their fertility.
Demanding jobs, families to care for, a house to manage and juggling long to-do lists can understandably leave women feeling stressed. Stress can have a huge impact on your health as it can affect your hormone balance and in turn your chances of conceiving.
Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone is responsible for the flight or fright response and it rises during stressful times. The problem occurs when you are stressed for prolonged periods and your body has produced an excessive amount of this hormone for too long. While in this stress mode your bodily functions such as digestion, reproduction and immunity go into a peripheral role until the stress has been dealt with.
Would you take your breaks away from your desk, leave on time, take your annual leave or go for a short walk at lunchtime? Exercise is a powerful way to decrease stress levels and even if it is only a brisk walk, the distraction will help boost your energy and clear your mind.
One thing you can do at any time is to try deep breathing. We are inclined to hold our breath when we are stressed or anxious yet one of the most effective ways to relax is to breath. An easy 3-5 minute exercise is to sit up straight in a chair with your feet firmly on the floor. Allow your breath to drop down into your belly and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth for a count of five each way.
If you are struggling with stress in your life and would like to enjoy a better frame of mind to increase your chances of getting pregnant, I would love to help you. Homeopathy provides a holistic and supportive approach to help you stress less in a gentle and supportive way. As well as looking at the impact the stress has on your life, Homeopathy addresses the underlying causes to bring about a long term solution rather than a temporary fix. The women and couples I see are stressed for various reasons such as family worries, social anxieties, work pressures, self-confidence or many are just worriers by nature. Homeopathic remedies are prescribed specific to individual needs and help release the tension in a gentle and powerful way.
With all the changes that will take place in your body when you are pregnant, it makes sense to tackle any niggling health problems beforehand.
Many over the counter medications are unsafe to take during pregnancy so you may need to seek a drug-free alternative. For example, not all antihistamine tablets used for hayfever are suitable to take during pregnancy. * With Homeopathy you don’t need to wait for your hayfever symptoms to start treatment, as the healing process can commence in advance of the season.
As homeopathy treats the person and not the disease, I work with women to help with a wide range of ailments such as balancing hormones, PMS and menstrual complaints, digestive issues, bladder problems, repeated coughs and cold and generally boosting the immune system. If you have a particular area of your health that you would like to improve, feel free to give me a call or email me to see if I can help you.
* It is always advisable to speak to your doctor or pharmacist and seek advice before taking any over medications during pregnancy and do not alter your prescribed medication without discussing with your doctor.
Getting quality sleep is crucial for your physical, emotional and mental well-being – including your fertility outcome. Sleep problems can affect your moods, heighten anxiety, decrease libido and deplete your energy. This, in turn, can increase stress hormones, cause overeating and unwanted weight gain and upset your hormonal rhythm.
Sleep problems differ for each person whether from worry or stress, having difficulty falling asleep or waking at certain times. Sleeping pills while providing temporary relief do not provide a long term solution as they don’t get to the source of the problem. Homeopathy offers a drug-free, non-addictive alternative that aims to treat the root cause of the problem so that normal sleep patterns can be restored. Feel free to contact me if you would like help in this area.
To improve your sleep, avoid caffeine and stimulant foods that can keep you awake such as coffee, tea, coke and chocolate. Instead, try chamomile tea to encourage relaxation. Keep to a sleep routine for the same time each day and write out your to-do list about an hour before bedtime so you are not overthinking when it’s time to relax. Make sure your room is a sleep haven that is clutter-free, well ventilated, not too hot or cold and make sure it is dark. Try to unwind by having a warm bath and practice relaxation techniques such as relaxing music, visualisations or meditation.
Research suggests that smoking negatively impacts reproductive organs, fertility, egg quality, the developing embryo and ultimately a healthy baby. It is also thought to have an impact on hormone balance, affecting FSH levels, plays havoc with your periods and can bring on early menopause.
Similarly, alcohol can affect your fertility, ovulation and menstruation making it more difficult to conceive.
Homeopathy offers a huge range of support to people quitting cigarettes and can help with withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, mood changes, irritability, insomnia, headaches, sweating, depression and weight gain. It can also help detox your system by enhancing your body’s natural cleansing ability while minimising detox side effects.
I have been there myself having been a smoker previously so I appreciate all the challenges and struggles of quitting. I would be delighted to help you achieve your goal with Homeopathy as the feeling of accomplishment and achievement is immense. Do let me know if I can help.
A balanced diet is not only important when you are pregnant but also when you are trying to conceive. You should eat a nutrient-rich diet full of fertility-boosting foods including high fibre wholegrain food, fruit and vegetables, quality proteins and avoid eating junk food so that your body has all the essential nutrients necessary to help you get and stay pregnant.
If you have health problems that may be preventing you from eating well, Homeopathy can help address areas of weakness and improve organ function. For example, if your digestion is not in good working order and you are overloaded with toxins, or you have constipation or diarrhoea, left unresolved this can create hormonal imbalances as well as nutritional deficiencies.
Homeopathy can also help with problems such as food allergies and food intolerances which can affect the cervical mucus making it more difficult for sperm to reach the egg.
As well as improving your fitness, strengthening your muscles and bones, and maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise helps decrease your stress levels and is therefore beneficial in regulating your hormones and periods.
It is also a great opportunity to strengthen your body for the changes that will occur during pregnancy, support you through labour and keep you fit for your busy role as a mother.
Aim for at least 30 minutes daily and find ways to make it fun so that you can maintain it long term. Exercise with your partner or friend and vary the routine to keep from getting bored.
If your motivation for exercise is low because of health problems, tiredness or lack of energy, Homeopathy is a great way to resolve underlying issues to help increase your energy and vitality naturally.
Every day you are exposed to a range of potential hormone-disrupting toxins that could upset your delicate hormone balance. These include chemical household cleaning products, pesticides, exhaust fumes, cigarette smoke, additives in our foods and plastics.
While we cannot control our external environment there is a lot we can do within our own home.
Have a look in your cleaning cupboard. Is it full of chemicals – cleaning products, air fresheners and bleach? All these products can be inhaled or absorbed through your skin and may either upset your hormone balance or affect the health of your eggs or sperm.
Choose cleaning products that are organic, non-toxic and made from natural substances. Your health store will have a wide range available and many supermarkets now offer a great variety too. Or go back to the good old fashioned way of using household products such as vinegar in water to clean your windows or bicarbonate of soda sprinkled on bathroom units & rubbed with a wet cloth.
If you do have to continue to use chemicals and toxic cleaners, use them sparingly and ensure you have adequate ventilation while using.
Concern is growing about the use of certain substances that are thought to be ‘hormone disruptors’ that mimic reproductive hormones and cause hormonal imbalance. One of the biggest culprits is plastic.
Many plastic bottles are made for single use so are not designed to be refilled, or left exposed to heat for long periods as they leach chemicals. It is recommended to choose glass over plastic, but if you need to use plastic choose a BPA Free hard plastic.
Never heat food in the microwave in plastic containers. Keep plastic off your food as much as possible. Remove all plastic packaging from your foods when purchased. Avoid using cling film and use paper instead. If you wish to store food in plastic bags in the freezer, wrap in grease-proof paper first and then use a bag.
Whether or not you are struggling with fertility problems, undergoing fertility treatment, have a history of miscarriages, or you are just keen to be in the best possible shape to become pregnant, homeopathy offers a holistic approach to your preconception care that can make a huge difference in optimising your fertility.
Homeopathic remedies can be used to regulate and balance hormones, assist with regulating cycles naturally, help with PCOS, fibroids, infertility, irregular or heavy periods, endometriosis and sperm issues. They can also assist with gentle detoxing, reducing stress and anxiety, healing emotional blocks that may be preventing conception and help with a range of physical ailments that may be affecting your overall health and vitality.
If you are trying to get pregnant and feel you could benefit from a personalised healthcare approach that looks at your specific needs, I offer one to one sessions and a 3 Month Fertility Programme perfect for women or couples who wish to boost their fertility naturally.
Please feel free to get in touch for more details or to set up an appointment today. (Skype consultations are also available). You can call me at 086 089 1037 (International: +353 860891037), email me at [email protected] or Book Your Free from Infertility to Motherhood Discovery Call today.
Consultations available: Dublin, Ireland & Worldwide Via Video Call
Eileen Scullion of Homeopathy-Healing is a Registered Homeopath LicISH ISHom with the Irish Society of Homeopaths (The Regulatory Body for the Homeopathic Profession which is recognized by the Department of Health and Children and works on the National Working Group towards an integrated Health System).