Preparing the body, mind and spirit This first phase of preconception planning can last from 3

Close up up a hand planting seeds into dirt

months to one year. It takes a full year for an egg to develop and a minimum of 3 months to impact egg quality and regulate the cycle. During this time both partners should have their reproductive health addressed. It’s a great time to assess hormone levels, nutrition, structural issues and any chronic health issues. For those who have already had a baby there may be unresolved postpartum issues that will need to be treated. For those who are still breast feeding this is especially important. See our section on natural fertility for an explanation of how acupuncture can influence your fertility.

Nurturing the feminine Preparing for conception, pregnancy, and postpartum recovery involves a shift toward nurturing the feminine. As a culture we are cut off from the cycles of the natural world. Here in the city we can’t see the stars, streetlights block the light of the moon, we groom the wild plants into manageable lawns. We suppress the normal functions of our reproductive system with hormonal contraceptives, and IUDs. We rush, stress, and over exercise to the point that our bodies put reproduction on the back burner. Our bodies are geared toward surviving rather than thriving. Many of us have high stress jobs that value  achievement and goal setting. This approach can prove very frustrating when trying to become pregnant. Part of preconception planning involves a return to an awareness of our own physiology. It involves a re-connection to nature and ourselves. By learning to listen to our bodies we can return to a state a vibrant health through which conception comes naturally.

The heart/uterus connection Deciding when to try and become pregnant often involves looking inward and exploring what’s working and not working in our lives. For some there might even be uncertainty that the time is right for a baby. Lifestyle changes and shifting of old emotional patterns may be a part of this as well. It is common for old issues to resurface especially those involving parent/child relationships. In Chinese medicine there is a channel connection between the heart and the uterus. The uterus is even referred to as the lower heart. Any grief, anger or fear that is affection you emotionally can impact your fertility. Acupuncture offers a way to shift these patterns and release them. This impacts your endocrine system and hormones creating a more open and fertile environment.

Try this short auricular (ear) acupressure massage to reduce stress.

Simple steps done consistantly are a great start in preconception planning.