Using yoga to prep for motherhood
Studies show that yoga can help reduce stress, which can affect fertility. Some experts also believe that specific poses can help promote baby-making by increasing blood flow to your pelvis, stimulating hormone-producing glands, and releasing muscle tension.
Meditation to find yourself
Breath relaxes. It also gives you clarity and cool-headedness, because it brings oxygen and nitrogen to the brain cells and pumps spinal fluid to the brain. It prevents the buildup of toxins in the lungs, and as the lung capacity expands, your pituitary gland, regulator of all the hormones in your body, becomes stimulated. My most favorite pregnancy book was written by Gurmukh. She talks all about this in her book, “Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful.”
“A soul chooses the mother in whose womb it will grow and be nurtured,” said Gurmukh.
“Give the soul who chose you the gift of being as great as you can be so you can shepherd him or her through this lifetime. That’s why we need the time during pregnancy to become the kind of mother who has the intuitiveness to see who our babies really are and what they need. The process of parenting is about what the soul brings to you, and what you need to bring to that soul. This is so much more delightful than zeroing in on only the medical aspect of pregnancy.”
Learning to meditate will help you understand what you’re longing for. It will allow you to create a space in your mind amid the tests and technology and all things swirling around you right now. Manage stress by meditating (or, simply concentrate on your breath) for 3 minutes a day.
Breathwork to relieve stress of IVF
The Bee breath instantly relieves the body of tension, anger and anxiety. The chances of conception are better with a more relaxed body and mind. The humming vibrations of bee breath activates the pituitary gland, which is one of the major glands in the body. This is the master gland that controls all major glands in the body, including those that secrete sexual hormones. I found an awesome video explaining how to do this breathing technique. Please, try this at home, kids!
Alternate Nostril Breathing
Alternate Nostril Breathing is a simple technique to calm the mind and body by releasing accumulated stress. It purifies our subtle energy channels, thus enabling smooth flow of prana. By de-stressing the mind and body, this pranayama lets you relax, making the body more fertile and approach the process of conception with freshness. Here, we have Hilary Clinton demonstrating alternate nostril breathing. If you haven’t seen this video, please take 46 seconds and watch her talk about it.
Exercise when you’re trying to conceive
Exercise to keep your body toned and supple. Yoga, swimming, tai chi, qi gong, and hiking are great approaches to exercise because they’re meditative instead of competitive. Aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day 5 days a week for optimal brain function and sleep. Squat daily. Squats strengthens and lessens stiffness in legs, tones and stretches back and hips, takes pressure off spinal discs, aligns pelvis, and helps you poop.
Yoga poses for fertility
Legs up the wall pose increases blood supply to the pelvic area, calms the mind, and relieves tired legs and feet. Focus on expanding your belly with each inhale, as this helps soften muscles of the vaginal wall and pelvic area. Imagine softness in the uterus and ovaries. Allow blood and energy to flow without restriction or tension. It feels good to place a bolster, block, or blanket under the pelvis in this pose.
Child’s pose calms the nervous system, helps reduce blood pressure, and balances the endocrine system. As a resting pose, it calms your mind and body while lengthening your spine and reducing tension in your back and neck. Practice child’s pose with the knees apart to allow space for the belly to drop toward the floor with each inhale. Imagine softness in your uterus and ovaries allowing the flow of blood and energy without restriction or tension.
Forward folds help exercise the hamstrings, lower back, and hips. These asanas even help vitalize the ovaries and uterus, key organs responsible for conception, while also improving your psychological state.
Reclined bound angle pose
Reclined bound angle pose strengthens and lengthens your inner thigh and groin muscles. Psychologically, it helps relieve stress, along with the discomfort of symptoms associated with IVF, menstrual cramps, bloating, and a medicated fertility cycle.
Cobra Pose is one of the best poses for improving fertility. It helps increase the flow of blood flow to the ovaries and the uterus. This blood flow aids creates hormonal balance and increases production of cervical mucus that makes the journey of the sperm to the egg easier.
Bridge pose helps your pelvic region open and expand. It stimulates your thyroid gland by increasing the flow of blood, thus improving its function. It also treats symptoms like anxiety, stress, depression, and fatigue.
Headstand is referred to as the mother of all poses as it is one of the most challenging poses. Invert your body and balance yourself on your head to ease pressure off your heart muscle. The hypothalamus is then encouraged to release more hormones. This pose requires intense concentration.
Shoulder stands require balancing the body weight onto the shoulders. The pose triggers the thyroid gland and increases blood flow to the uterus.
Savasana aids in attaining equilibrium in the body and mind. A simple yet powerful pose, as it uplifts the state of mind. Since mental health is equally important, you’ll find this pose puts you at ease.
I teach pre-conception classes in private sessions for $60 a class. Book a session today!
Natural ways to get pregnant (other than using yoga to conceive).
Diet when you’re trying to make a baby
- Feed yourself and your partner as much organic, fresh foods as possible.
- Increase your intake of foods rich in zinc and B vitamins.
- Cut down on stimulants (coffee, alcohol, sugar).
- Not everyone thrives on the same diet, but everyone would benefit from cutting out gluten.
- Don’t avoid or restrict natural fatty foods, such as eggs, grass-fed meat, cold-water fish, flax oil, macadamia nut oil, nuts and seeds, olive oil, avocado, lard, red palm oil, ghee, dark chocolate, coconut oil.
- Eat fermented foods full of probiotics.
- Meditate on what you’re eating. How it’s nourishing you.
Supplements for TTC
It can be difficult to get all the proper vitamins and minerals needed in a normal diet, so supplementation can be useful during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Take whole food supplements so that the vitamins and minerals are bioavailable to the body so it is better equipped to provide adequate nutrition for both mother and baby. Many synthetic or non-food based supplements are not able to be absorbed by the body and can sometimes cause more harm than good.
- Vitamin b complex that contains folate as 5-methyltetrahydrofolate and b12 as methylcobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, or adenosylcobalamin.
- PABA to increase success of conception.
- Multimineral that contains magnesium, zinc, iodine, and selenium to conceive and maintain pregnancy.
- Vitamin E (500-1500 IU daily) by the male partner for several months prior to conception to help protect against birth defects.
- Fatty acid that contains EPA and DHA and one with GLA (evening primrose oil)
- Adrenal glandular
- Digestive enzymes/pancreatic enzymes
Essential oils help boost fertility
So essential oils aren’t yoga, nor are these fertility formulas. But, I’m low key obsessed with how we can use oils to help us heal and recover our health. This is is designed to be used in conjunction with other general preconceptual care guidelines.
Rose oil: cleanses and regulates the uterus. Good tension reliever and has aphrodisiac qualities. Also increases semen production. Use in an aromatic bath together with your partner to relieve tension: 3-4 drops of rose oil. Mix in bath water well. Soak for 5-10 minutes. Perk: you’ll smell like your beloved grandma so you might as well channel her wisdom and remember her loving words towards you.
Geranium oil: tonic action on the entire body and a hormonal balancing effect on the reproductive system. Excellent oil for any condition caused by anxiety.
Sandalwood: The heavy, lingering aroma is prized for its effect on male impotence. Highly relaxing and works well where depression or anxiety had led to sexual problems.
Ylang-Ylang: relaxing for massage and bath blends. Gives a romantic smell to skin. Use in cases of nervous tension, anxiety, and impotence.
Herbs to relieve infertility
Encourage a health start to your pregnancy with herbs that do the following:
- Nourish and tonify the uterus
- Nourish the entire body
- Relax the nervous system
- Establish and balance normal functioning of the hormonal system
- Balance sexual desire
Miscarriage prevention herbs
One ounce Wild Yam, one ounce Squaw Vine, one ounce False Unicorn root, one ounce Cramp Bark. Simmer for 20 minutes in one quart water. Take one wine-glassful every four hours until symptoms of miscarriage cease. (Book: Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year by Susan S. Weed)
Herbs to promote fertility
Red Clover flowers, Nettle leaves, Red Raspberry leaves, Dong Quai root, False Unicorn root.
Lunaception is when you sleep with a light on for three nights while you’re ovulating. All other nights keep the room in darkness. Have sex during the three light nights to conceive.
Learn to be more, not do more.
Overall, let the lesson here to be that now is the time to begin to learn the balancing act between strengthening yourself and nurturing yourself. The well-being of your family and even society as a whole depends on mothers becoming and remaining healthy. So, nourish yourself. When a mother elevates her life for the better, her entire family benefits because she sets a new level of awareness and clarity in the home.
“Self-knowledge and self-care are central principles of Ayurveda and are key to real, deep, and lasting healing and health.” -Yoga mama Yoga baby by Margo Shapiro Bachman
Preconception planning starts 6 months prior to TTC
Learn preconception awareness and find clarity at home
- Bring a plant inside your home. A real one with roots, stems, and leaves. Practice nurturing and connecting to the physical world. Find out how much sun it needs, what food makes it grow, and how much water it requires. Watch it grow.
- Stop smoking. Avoid drugs, pollutants, and chemicals. Ibuprofen can delay your ovulation 10 days after taking a dose because it reduces the amount of progesterone.
- If you have health concerns, visit a functional medicine doctor, chiropractor, acupuncturist, aromatherapist.
- Research what kind of healthcare provider you want to care for you and your baby throughout your pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. But, don’t stress too much about finding the perfect one immediately. You’re free to change care providers at any time. Midwives are an excellent choice for low risk mothers.