Ideally, all couples should start to prepare for a pregnancy at least 3 months prior to conception. Twenty-five years of research by Francesca Naish, a foremost world authority on natural fertility and pre-conception care, has proven that the preparation by both partners for a pregnancy results in a fertility rate of over 90% within a year of starting such a program. Furthermore, all babies born after pre-conception care are healthy, contented, more intelligent than average and without birth defects.
Where do I start?
If you have just decided to try to conceive, then learning about the benefits of pre-conception care is the best insurance for your future children.
At Magnolia Natural Medicine, you will be given a thorough examination in several diagnostic methods.
We also take into account any medical tests of course, so bring all test results to your initial consultation.
At the first visit the following tests will be carried out:
- Zinc status test
- Cellular Health Analysis
- Urine tests
- Iodine patch test and tempersture check
- TCM pulse and tongue analysis.
- Iris analysis
Testing and treating with the INDIGO Biofeedback device can be very useful to detect underlying imbalances and treat them, but is not done in the first consultation as it takes 1 1/2 hours.
You will be shown how to map your basal temperature and mucous to accurately determine how your cycle is working.
If nutritional deficiencies are found, these can be corrected with the appropriate vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids.
The results of the above tests can determine whether further laboratory testing is necessary.
If you have been trying to conceive for some time, medical tests from your gynaecologist are absolutely necessary.
If you have not already had medical tests done, then the following tests are suggested, but your gynaecologist will know what you need.
- Hormone profile
- Thyroid function test
- FBE and iron stores
- Vitamin D levels
- Infection screening
- Immune testing
- Semen analysis
Why Can’t I Conceive or Maintain a Pregnancy?
The main causes of infertility in both males and females are:
- Hormonal imbalances – due to extended periods on the oral contraceptive pill, or progesterone implants, and also due to environmental toxicity and stress.
- Toxicity – from many sources in our toxic world. (see below)
- Immune or auto-immune problems – due to toxicity and past infections
- Stress – upsetd the hypothalamus and thus affects all hormones
If hormonal imbalances are found, these can be corrected with herbs and nutrients
If toxicity is an issue, an integrated detoxification program is essential.
If immunity is compromised, herbs and nutrients and acupuncture can improve this.
If stress is having an impact, this must be dealt with for normal hormone functioning. Acupuncture can greatly reduce the effects of stress on the body.
All the above are achievable with acupuncture and natural medicine and the success rate is excellent if Pre-Conception Care is carried out for at least 4 months.
Why is detoxification recommended before conception?
Environmental toxicity is one of the main causes of infertility.
The sources of toxicity are many and everyone has exposure to toxins. But with awareness and care, we can minimize the exposure and remove some of the toxic load we already have.
Sources of toxicity are:
1. Chemicals on or in food – pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, hormones, antibiotics, food additives (colours, preservatives), absorption of packaging chemicals.
2. Cosmetics – shampoos, body wash, make-up, deodorant, body lotions, fake tan, hair dyes, gels, sprays
3. Cleaning products – all chemical products used in the home or office for cleaning and disinfecting.
4. Packaging – all plastics, polyurethane (PCB’s) are particularly implied in hormone disruption in males and females, and sperm abnormalities. These include glad wrap, water bottles, plastic wraps, plastic food containers.
5. Furniture and carpet off gassing, worse when new.
6. Air pollution – from vehicles, factories, home fires, agricultural spraying, council spraying
7. Garden products – round-up, weed and feed, potting mix, snail bait etc.
8. Water pollution – from industry and agriculture, addition of chemicals to water supply for public “safety”
9. Work related pollution – solvents, dyes, sprays, paint, oils, greases, chemicals, herbicides, concrete dust, animal by products etc.
10. Agricultural/farming – animal drenches, sprays, pesticides, herbicides, soil improvers, animal borne infective agents
11. Auto-toxicity – poor digestion and bad bugs in the gut cause toxins to enter the blood stream and these are one of the highest sources of toxicity
12. Vaccinations, pharmaceutical medicines, anaesthetics and other medical procedures
And the list goes on……….
And this is the world our children are being born into.
It is the reason that currently……….
- 1 in 3 children have allergies,
- 1 in 11 has ADHD and
- 1 in 90 has some form of autism.
20 years ago only 1 in 2500 suffered from autism, so it is clearly not just a genetic link.
You can greatly reduce the chances of your child being one of these statistics with pre-conception care.
The average sample of breast milk contains over 200 chemicals.
This can be greatly reduced by detoxifying your body before you conceive. A minimum of 4 months is recommended, but 1 month is better than not at all. Do not start a detoxification program AFTER you conceive, as the baby will be exposed to the toxins that are released into your bloodstream.
1. Eat a balanced diet, organic where possible, with lots of antioxidant foods (rainbow fruits and veggies), protein, essential fatty acids and moderate levels of whole-grains.
2. Keep wheat to a minimum before and during pregnancy, as it has been shown to be the major cause of food intolerances. Dairy products are also a major cause of allergies.
3. Remove known toxins from your kitchen, laundry and bathroom cupboards and switch to non-toxic products
4. Both parents should take a herbal/nutritional detoxification formula. This should also be continued during pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is not wise to start it when already pregnant though. An excellent one is Detoxification Formula from the NFM range (see below)
Nutritional Requirements for Pre-Conception and Pregnancy
a) Ante-natal Multi-vitamin and mineral – for both parents. This will include adequate amounts of folate, B12, B6 and most of the trace nutrients.
b) Vitamin D3. Blood test should be done to determine if needed.
c) Iodine – extremely important for healthy brain development of baby. Should also be tested to see if additional is need to the multi.
d) Iron – not in multi as too much iron is harmful. But low iron is dangerous for baby’s growth and development.
e) Omega DHA for healthy brain development – very important.
f) Omega EPA for healthy immunity. High in cod liver oil.
g) Pro-Biotic to reduce toxic load from the gut and reduce incidence of allergies in baby – very important.
h) Zinc – for healthy sperm numbers and morphology, and healthy foetal growth. Also prevents stretch marks during pregnancy. A Zinc Tally test will monitor your zinc levels.
i) Selenium – for healthy egg and sperm development, protection against oxidative stress and heavy metal toxicity during pregnancy and breast feeding.
j) Vitamin E – for healthy sperm production, foetal development and prevention of varicose veins in pregnancy.
k) CoQ10 – extremely important for healthy egg and sperm production and morphology. Also a key player in preventing miscarriage.
l) Alpha Lipoic acid – also protects against miscarriage, important for healthy sperm, and regulates blood sugar during pregnancy to protect against gestational diabetes.
m) Vitamin C and antioxidants – to protect against oxidative stress and miscarriage. Important for healthy egg and sperm.
n) Magnesium – very important for foetal development and to protect against cramping in pregnancy and also reduces incidence of toxaemia and pre-eclampsia.
o) Calcium and trace nutrients – for healthy, strong bone development, along with Vitamin D. A deficiency of either can produce a child with rickets.
Note that some of these are rolled into 1 tablet so it is not necessary to take 15 separate supplements!!
What if I am already on an IVF program?
This is all the more reason to improve your nutritional status. A fertile soil produces healthier plants. This is the same for women on IVF. To force a pregnancy onto an unhealthy body is to risk problems with the health of the mother and the baby. Preconception care may eliminate the need for IVF but if it is still necessary, you will have a much higher chance of a healthy pregnancy resulting.
Current research in Australia and overseas is showing that using acupuncture with IVF is statistically much better than with IVF alone.
Reference: With thanks to Vitalis Skiauteris at vitalis.co.nz