Preparing for fertility – the role of preconception care
The fertile garden
Imagine if we were about to start to grow our own vegetable garden. We don’t just throw seeds on the ground and hope they will grow. First of all, we dig up the ground, remove the rocks and weeds, nourish the soil with ingredients to help plants grow, ensure they have all the ingredients they need while they grow – compost, fertiliser, water and sunlight. Once we’ve got the garden ready with the right conditions, and ingredients, we plant the seeds.
In many ways, planning a pregnancy can be like planning a garden. There are also many things to consider. And there are things that you can do to start to prepare your body for fertility.
Preconception care is improving our health with the view to plan a pregnancy.
Nourishing our uterine lining
Preconception care involves preparing your endometrium for egg implantation. This includes thickening the lining to ensure the embryo is well nourished before the placenta takes over. Preparing the endometrium includes removing clots in the uterus. Clots are considered the rocks and weeds in a garden. Women often see them in their period.
Acupuncture and acupressure before our period, can help improve the flow of blood during menstruation. There are also herbal teas or medicines that can be prescribed for clearing out old blood to ensure there is fresh new blood for our next cycle. Fresh, new, nutrient-filled blood is what we want for implantation of an embryo.
One myth that needs to be dispelled is that women have a finite number of eggs and that they age as we do. In fact, it may be possible to grow new eggs. In Chinese medicine we actually work on egg quality when we do preconception care. It takes an egg around 150 days from its immature state to maturity. That is 150 days – around 5 months of looking after your health to achieve optimum egg health. Acupuncture, acupressure, abdominal massage and yoga after our period and around ovulation time, are some of the things we can do to improve blood flow to the ovaries.
Conception and emotions
Stress and our emotions are a very important factor in preconception care. Our cycle is about flow and change. Our bodies will become a home to a growing foetus and during pregnancy, our body changes and grows to nourish and carry the growing life inside us.
Like our body, we need that fluidity, change and flow in our emotional life as well. Stress on the body can be very toxic and can stop blood flow to the ovaries. When our muscles are tense, the uterus will not receive nourishment. If we are like a wound rope, pulled too tightly, it will snap and unravel. This is why acupressure and yoga are advantageous tools during our fertility journey. They help to relax and soften the body.
The ebbs and flow of nature are a reality and to be truly at home in our body we need to find peace. Find ways to bring more relaxation into your life and reduce the stress load. This may be through counselling, acupuncture, medicinal herbs, exercise, reflection or meditation.
Every ‘Mama To Be’ Matters! Join our Every Mama Matters Fertility Circle, it is our fertility village.