Alone or in tandem with IVF treatments, fertility acupuncture is a wonderful way to gently boost your chances for a successful pregnancy. However, Eastern medicine treats each patient holistically, ensuring optimum wellness throughout the body. Therefore, treatments are highly individualized to each woman’s needs.
Depending on the results of your initial evaluation, you might also be prescribed Chinese herbs and dietary supplements to further ready your body for pregnancy. In addition, nearly all women should follow these five lifestyle tips to improve your chances of success.
1. Get Some Exercise
As long as you have no underlying medical conditions that would prevent it, exercise is one of the best ways to prepare your body for pregnancy. As little as one hour of vigorous exercise per week can improve your chances of successful conception, while the greatest benefits are associated with five hours per week.
Be careful not to overdo it, though. Exercising too much can stress your body, put you at risk for injuries, and cause your body weight and BMI to drop too low, making your fertility plummet.
2. Eat a Moderate, Healthy Diet
Although it is not a bad idea to shed significant extra pounds before you get pregnant, this is not the time for extreme dieting. Instead, no matter what your starting weight is, focus on eating a nutritionally sound, moderate diet.
Choose natural foods that provide plenty of vitamins and minerals as well as healthy fats. Reduce trans fats and artificial sweeteners, both of which can interfere with your natural ovulatory cycles. Use whole milk and other full fat dairy products, as skim milk can also interfere with proper ovulation.
You do not necessarily have to stop drinking at this stage, but try to curb your alcohol consumption. From sleep quality disturbances to hormonal changes, alcohol can interfere with your body’s readiness for pregnancy.
3. Quit Smoking
You are probably familiar with the high risks of smoking during pregnancy, but nicotine also suppresses fertility. It causes the ovaries to age prematurely, interferes with estrogen production, and increases the risk for genetic abnormalities. You will need to stop smoking after you conceive anyway, so it only makes sense to do it now and give your body the best possible chances for a successful pregnancy.
4. Practice Relaxation
Stress hormones can wreak havoc on the entire body, throwing your cycles out of whack and making it difficult or impossible to become pregnant. Take up meditation, yoga, or another discipline that promotes deep relaxation. Practice mindfulness, or the art of staying in the present moment. Take time out at least twice a week to pamper yourself, whether with a candlelit bath or a night out with your friends.
5. Add Folate
Folate is an important vitamin that occurs naturally in oranges and other fruits and vegetables, but many people do not get enough. Upping your intake is one of the best ways to not only improve your chances of conception, but also to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Ask your doctor for approval, and then consider taking a high quality form supplemental of folate and avoid low quality folic acid folic acid (the synthetic form of folate). Unless you have medical contraindications, a prenatal vitamin can be a great way to increase your folic acid intake and ensure that you have the right nutritional balance to support a healthy pregnancy.
Every woman is different, and your licensed acupuncturist will perform a thorough evaluation during your first appointment. For the vast majority of women, though, these five tips will start you on the road toward preparing your body to become pregnant.
Don’t forget about your partner. Male fertility problems are surprisingly common, and simple lifestyle adjustments can also enhance your partner’s fertility. With so much at stake, it only makes sense for both of you to be as healthy and well-prepared as possible.
Located in Pacific Palisades, with satellite clinics in Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, and Beverly Hills, Thumos Health Center offers patients exceptional personalized care. If you are ready to take the first steps toward a more integrative approach to your health care, we invite you to phone 310-927-2792 to schedule an appointment at any of our Los Angeles locations. Our highly knowledgeable and friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have.