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How to Strengthen Your Mind and Body for a Healthy Pregnancy
Whether you’re trying to conceive (TTC) or are already pregnant, preparing your mind and body for a healthy pregnancy is priority #1.
Even if you’re in the middle of the dreaded two-week wait, you should start prepping for a positive test. Because each stage of pregnancy is crucial for baby’s development.
Infertility and miscarriage are devastating to your mental and physical health. The conflicting recommendations for how to have a healthy pregnancy don’t help. You’re focused on eating the right foods, doing safe exercises, and making it to every doctor’s appointment. But ultimately, your health is still suffering because you’re anxious and you don’t have the tools you need.
Your mind and body need to be working together for you to have a healthy pregnancy and postpartum experience.
Taking care of yourself is a non-negotiable, especially if you’ve had several miscarriages or haven’t been able to get pregnant. If this is your situation, it’s not your fault. You haven’t done anything wrong and it’s not because you aren’t doing enough.
I’ve worked with many women who had already had several miscarriages or hadn’t been able to get pregnant at all. With the help of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) treatments, they were able to get pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy. My background in TCM has helped me educate women on the effectiveness of a mind-body approach.
It is possible to have a healthy pregnancy even if you’ve had issues conceiving or staying pregnant.
Read on for TCM treatments you can do at home to support your baby and yourself throughout your entire pregnancy. First, I’m going to tell you what your doctors don’t tell you about miscarriages.
Where Western Medicine Is Lacking
There are a lot of reasons you might have a miscarriage. They often occur because the fetus isn’t developing properly. Around 50% result from missing or extra chromosomes ¹.
Some risk factors include chronic conditions, drug use during pregnancy, and weight.
Even after you get pregnant, the fear of miscarrying is constantly lingering. You feel powerless and vulnerable. I’m not going to tell you not to worry. You have every right to feel this way.
In Western medicine, most doctors don’t have answers for when you have a miscarriage. You might receive recommendations for fertility treatment or vague advice for prevention. But they don’t typically determine the root cause. This makes it difficult for you to properly care for yourself and carry a baby to term.
Some do get pregnant with Western fertility treatments, but others never get answers.
I’m here to tell you, I’ll help you find an answer. You don’t have to give up hope.
I understand there’s a lot at stake.
You can do this, without spending more time and money on treatments that don’t work. You don’t have to go to a practitioner. You can use these methods at home to take control of your fertility and pregnancy.
Navigating Miscarriage and Preparing for a Healthy Pregnancy
In TCM, miscarriages are linked to dysfunction in the kidney and spleen organ systems².
Your kidneys are like your body’s life force batteries.
The kidney system governs energy flow throughout your body and plays a huge role in your reproductive system.
Your spleen system houses your digestive energy.
This energy, known as your spleen qi, is responsible for keeping your organs in the right place. So when you’re suffering from sinking spleen qi, the embryo and placenta sit too low. This can cause bleeding in your uterus and organ prolapse. Spleen deficiency is closely related to miscarriage.
The health of these two systems is incredibly important for a healthy pregnancy.
It’s important to remember that miscarriage is not your fault. But you can improve your chances of a healthy pregnancy by taking care of yourself.
With a focus on flow and energy, acupressure can contribute to a healthy pregnancy after miscarriage.
Several studies have found that the stimulation of acupoints:
- Supports embryo transfers.
- Contributes to better IVF outcomes.
- Significantly increases live birth rates.
One study of two hundred and twenty-five women undergoing IVF showed that acupuncture more than doubled the rates of conception and ongoing pregnancy³.
My clients have had similar results with my protocols.
My client, Val, had six miscarriages at the age of thirty-six. She did FAM for three months and had a healthy baby girl.
Getting pregnant and having a healthy baby is not a rare result in my programs.
Martina and her partner had been trying for two years and had one miscarriage. She did FAM for five months and got pregnant.
There’s a lot of science behind the efficacy of TCM as a complement to IVF or other healthy lifestyle choices.
Why Is Acupressure Such a Powerful Treatment?
You might be looking at the rest of this blog and be slightly overwhelmed. It’s a lot to have to pay attention to exercise, diet, and mental activity.
Luckily, there’s an effective method for managing your emotional and physical health. It isn’t a substitute for exercise or eating right. But it’ll help you maintain balance and strengthen your qi during pregnancy.
Google searches won’t give you all you need to practice acupressure for a healthy pregnancy.
Resources created by professionals can help you stimulate the best acupoints in the right order to improve flow. The FAM program has helped many of my clients get pregnant with proven acupressure protocols.
Acupressure can benefit your pregnancy in many ways, including:
- Boosting your immune system.
- Decreasing stress.
- Improving sleep.
Acupressure also helps prevent spotting and hemorrhaging by supporting blood and energy flow to the spleen.
Your spleen qi creates a lifting energy in your uterus, which secures the embryo and placenta, making sure they’re in optimal positions. Weak spleen qi can cause spotting and hemorrhaging.
If you’ve had a miscarriage or difficulty getting pregnant, I know how terrifying it can be when you start spotting. Your heart drops and you think “here we go again”. To make matters worse, your doctor can’t do anything and you can’t take any medication to make it stop.
“At about 6 weeks pregnant I started to bleed quite heavily. I immediately started the protocol for bleeding and overnight it had stopped”.
My acupressure protocols are designed to help you resolve these symptoms and give you peace of mind.
While other natural treatments, such as essential oils and herbs, may be harmful while pregnant, acupressure is completely safe. It helps to alleviate physical and mental symptoms associated with infertility and pregnancy.
Healthy Pregnancy Eating
Generic advice for how to have a healthy pregnancy is all you’ll receive during your doctor’s office visits.
The one piece of generic advice that you do need to hear and follow is to slow down. This applies to physical and mental exercises. It’s one of the best things you can do to support your pregnancy.
When it comes to eating, this means:
- Eating slowly and regularly. This helps your digestive system keep up and properly absorb nutrients.
- Eating warm foods. Warm-cooked foods are beneficial for the spleen. Even if you have dietary restrictions, you can find a warm-cooked meal that’s good for you.
I talk more about what and how to eat in my blog on natural fertility.
When you’re dealing with the stress of infertility or getting past the twenty-week mark, you might not want to eat.
But it’s so important to build up your nutrition before and during pregnancy.
Nutritional deficiencies can affect your health and the health of your baby. Low birth weight, which can lead to the development of chronic diseases later in life, is one negative effect of poor nutrition⁴.
On the maternal side, lack of nutrition can lead to low human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) levels. The production of hCG supports pregnancy by thickening the uterine lining. It also gives the signal to stop menstruation⁵.
There aren’t specific foods that directly increase hCG levels. But you can increase progesterone, which indirectly drives higher levels of hCG⁶.
You can do this by:
- Eating whole foods and maintaining a healthy body weight.
- Reducing your stress levels.
- Slowing down with your exercises.
While it’s important to exercise, there are certain exercises you should avoid.
Exercises for a Healthy Pregnancy
Recommendations for healthy pregnancy exercises are slightly different in Western medicine and TCM.
Western medicine recommends keeping exercise at a moderate intensity. TCM takes a more cautious and comprehensive approach. Western medicine doesn’t view exercises like weight-lifting as necessarily harmful to pregnancy.
But there are several reasons you should avoid heavy physical activity.
Did I mention how important it is to slow down?
Weight lifting can strain your uterus. This is a huge problem, especially for women who already have a weaker uterine lining.
Even exercises that are “safe” by Western medicine standards, like pilates, tend to limit blood flow to the uterus.
Exercises that are safe for pregnancy are also beneficial for your fertility. This is because heavy exercise can throw your systems and hormones out of balance.
There are also certain conditions that require slowing down and taking it easy.
Placenta previa is a common condition between eleven and twenty-four weeks. It can cause excessive vaginal bleeding. Low-intensity exercises can decrease the odds of experiencing this⁷.
Similarly, if you have Sinking Spleen Qi caused by nutrient deficiency or stress, mild exercise can prevent further qi depletion.
It’s clear how too much physical exertion can negatively affect your pregnancy.
Limiting your mental exertion is also crucial to maintaining your qi during pregnancy.
The Role Your Mind Plays in a Healthy Pregnancy
Maintaining a positive mindset can be difficult when you’ve experienced fertility issues. But it’s so important to take care of your mental health for your and baby’s sake.
Stress, lack of sleep, and mental exhaustion can:
- Affect embryo growth by draining your kidney energy.
- Impede the transportation of nutrients to your baby’s body by depleting your spleen qi.
- Drain your adrenal glands and cause adrenal exhaustion. When this happens, your body will determine you’re under stress. This takes energy away from your reproductive system.
In addition to harming your physical health, mental and emotional strain can start to have external consequences as well, such as affecting your relationships. Relationship conflicts can cause further stress and anxiety.
The best thing you can do for your mental well-being is, you guessed it, slow down.
Try these exercises to stay present and reduce your stress:
These methods can help you whether you’re TTC or already pregnant.
I’ll say it one more time for the doers out there. You have to slow down if you want your body and mind to be in optimal shape for pregnancy.
There are so many ways to support your body and mind to have a healthy pregnancy. Yet specific advice is hard to come by in a normal doctor’s office.
This is why I’ve created the Total Pregnancy Wellness Program with twelve acupressure protocols proven to improve pregnancy pain and discomfort and support your mental well-being for an overall healthy pregnancy.
In addition to the benefits we talked about earlier, acupressure also helps with:
- Reducing morning sickness and heartburn.
- Keeping blood pressure at a healthy level.
- Preventing fluid retention – especially in your ankles and feet.
It’ll have you feeling better and it’ll contribute to your healthy pregnancy.
Sign up and give your body and mind the attention they need. For you and your baby.
You got this mama.