A NATUROPATHIC APPROACH
Dr. Gabrielle Francis
Have you got Baby on the Brain? It is not uncommon for me to see women come into my practice and say that they want to start trying for a baby only to find that it takes longer than they had expected. There are many factors affecting fertility in both women and men. Now more than ever people are considering having children later in life. As we get older, the reserve and quality of the Eggs and Sperm may decline. This has to do with the increased exposure to toxins in the environment. Environmental toxins certainly are playing a huge roll in decreasing fertility in both women and men. Other factors include: Birth Control Use, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Uterine Fibroids, Hypothyroidism, and other Hormonal Imbalances. Older age and the problems listed above do not necessarily make women infertile. However, they do need to be identified and then treated appropriately.
I encourage my patients that are interested in having children to consider preparing their bodies for conception for at least a year before they are wanting to conceive. This gives us time to prepare their body, mind and spirit for the Archetypal shift that they are going to experience into Motherhood. It allows them time to have optimal health before they make this transition.
There are some important things to consider when prepping your body for Pregnancy. The Health of the Mother and Father at the point of conception is the starting point for the Baby as far as it’s health and genetic destiny. So, I recommend that couples begin the preparation for Pregnancy and Conception about 1 year prior to when they want to begin trying to Conceive. This doesn’t always work out that way. However, when you are considering having a child, the sooner you make changes to your diet and lifestyle and the more time you have to prepare, the better.
The Egg and the Sperm start priming 3 months prior to conception. So, if someone conceived today, the Egg and Sperm that have created this Embryo began priming 3 months ago. Therefore, the health and all the lifestyle choices that they have made in the last 3 months have the potential to affect the genetic destiny of the child.
There are many reasons to consider prepping for Conception in a conscious way. First, the Health of the Mother and Father at the point of Conception is the starting point for the health of the Baby. We now understand through the science of Epigenetics that the Baby’s Health is an extension of the Parents health. Second, getting healthy before conceiving can support good lifestyle habits that you incorporate into your new family. Third, your body is the Garden that little Junior is going to be growing in. You want the garden to be full of organic nutrients, not toxins. This will promote better health for the baby. Fourth, getting healthy and rejuvenated will allow you to enjoy a healthier pregnancy and a healthy pregnancy will most likely lead to healthier new Motherhood, also known as the 4th Trimester.
There are several Vital Stages that I take with my patients (and their partners) to Prepare for and Enhance Fertility Naturally:
We want to start with a clean slate and an organic garden. First, we must eliminate the toxins accumulated in the body. This will improve the quality of both the Egg and the Sperm. I recommend that the Mother and Father follow the Detox protocol to enhance the genetic information being passed from the Egg and Sperm. Second, it creates an Organic Garden for Junior to grow in during the Pregnancy. Third, it preps you for a healthier pregnancy and motherhood. Continue on to learn more about my Detox Program for Fertility!
The Mayan Abdominal Massage is an ancient healing technique practiced in Central America among the Mayan Women. It helps to realign the Uterus and Ovaries. The Proper position of the Uterus and Ovaries allows toxins and waste to be eliminated and nutrients and fresh blood to build up. It improves the mechanical ability of the Egg to make its way through the fallopian tubes to the Uterus. This is the technique that made me a “Fertility Expert”. I learned it from the Midwives and Herbalists of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico.
I do a thorough blood work up of the mother and father anywhere from 3 -12 months prior to conception. During the time of the Detox, I do a laboratory analysis for Nutrient and Vitamin Levels, General Metabolic and Health Factors, and Hormone levels. Once the results come in, I will customize a protocol that helps to Fertilize the Garden with the proper nutrients that she is depleted in. This is also the time that I balance the hormones to support the ability to conceive and maintain a healthy pregnancy. I also test the Thyroid and Adrenal Glands. I see these at the Gas Tank and the Battery. While you are pregnant the Baby will be charging off your battery and gas tank. So, the fuller gas tank and the more charged your battery juice…the better charged junior will be! Also, the fuller your tank and battery are the less likely you are to feel depleted and exhausted post birth and the less likely you are to feel postpartum depression symptoms. Learn more about Naturopathic Approaches to Building and Balancing HERE.
Acupuncture can be a vital tool in prepping for Fertility. It can help to regulate the menstrual cycle and it can also help to reduce and regulate the stress of trying to conceive. It is so effective, that most fertility clinics will recommend it now to their patients. Read more about Acupuncture HERE.
Getting proper exercise and restoring work/life balance are also essential factors in natural fertility preparation. Exercise can strengthen the body, create flexibility, oxygenate the tissues, and reduce stress. The Work/Life balance and reducing stress are important for Balancing the hormones and reducing the stress hormones that can interfere with fertility and conception. For more on Exercise and Lifestyle continue on...
In most cases, this 5 Stage Approach for Fertility Enhancement, with the proper amount of time allows most couples to conceive naturally and in a healthy way. In some cases, a couple may need Medical Options for Fertility. If the natural approach doesn’t work, then I will refer to a Fertility specialist. The Medical Fertility Treatments may be necessary for some couples. But these treatments are not benign and can be toxic and very expensive. The Natural Approaches for Fertility Enhancement can support the Medical treatments to work better and more efficiently. They can also help to reduce the harmful side effects of the Medications. But most importantly, they help the couple get healthy before they become Parents.
I encourage the Mother and Father to do the DETOX together. This is the time to clear the Body, Mind and Spirit of any interferences and things that no longer serve them. There are 4 Stages to The RxStar Remedy DETOX Program.
Stage 1: Detox Diet and Nutrition
The Detox Smoothie is designed to Support the bodies ability to eliminate toxins and absorb nutrients. It is a meal replacement for Breakfast. This is recommended for a minimum of one month. 3 months prior to conception is ideal. See Info about the Detox Smoothie HERE.
The Detox Diet is a clean eating Program that includes eating organic whole foods and eliminating sugar, food additives, alcohol, wheat/gluten and other allergenic foods.
See the info for Detox Food and Nutrition HERE.
You should begin taking a Prenatal Supplement at least one year prior to conception. The prenatal should be a Food Based Vitamin and Mineral formula that is high in Nutrients such as Folic Acid, B12, B6, Iron, Calcium and the full spectrum of Vitamins and Minerals that support a healthy pregnancy.
A few factors to consider when choosing a Prenatal are:
- A Food Based Pre-Natal usually recommends 3-6 pills per day
- Use a Prenatal that has Methylated Folic Acid and B vitamins for easier absorption and improved Egg and Genetic Quality
- Minerals will make the daily dosing of the Pre-Natal higher so you may need extra minerals at night.
- Folic Acid should be at least 800mcg per day
- Vitamin A levels will be lower than in a typical Multivitamin
- Most one-a-day Prenatal formulas are synthetic. All Medically prescribed Prenatal formulas are synthetic and do not include the full spectrum of nutrients necessary for a healthy pregnancy. Read More about Prenatal Supplements HERE.
***For women who use the Birth Control Pill or Hormonal IUDs:
The hormonal types of Birth Control deplete the body of Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6 and Magnesium. All of these are essential nutrients for good health and for Fertility and Pregnancy. When someone is taking hormonal contraceptives, I always recommend that they take a Prenatal vitamin too. The Prenatal Vitamins are important for replenishing these specific nutrients and protecting you from depletion caused by the Birth Control.
Stage 2: Detox Body
During the Detox I recommend that you do exercise and body treatments to support your body’s ability to cleanse and release stress. The best exercise for Detox is aerobics, yoga/stretching, and walking. The body treatments that support detoxification are things such as Sauna, Steam, Massage, Body Scrubs, Dry Brushing, and Acupuncture. Body Treatments support your body while you are releasing toxins and Stress. Read More about Detox Body: Exercise and Treatments HERE.
Stage 3: Detox Mind and Spirit
Detoxing the mind and spirit from stress, negativity and trauma can be very helpful during this time. I tell my patients that you must create energetic space for new energy to come in. This is the time to meditate and practice mindfulness. It is the time to forgive others and yourself. If you have had a loss or trauma this may be the time to explore counselling. It is also a good time to heal any conflicts that you and your partner are experiencing. Create a fresh space for the energy of new life to come in by clearing out the old patterns that no longer serve you. Read more about Detox Mind and Spirit HERE.
Stage 4: Detox Lifestyle and Home
The home is a space of great energy and it is the place that you will be inviting the new energy into your family. Clean the home, recycle unused items, and prepare your living space for a baby. Replace the household and personal care products that you have with organic products that are non-toxic. It is also time to Unplug and Have a little less screen time each day in order to improve your connections to your loved ones and self. Read more about Detox Home and Lifestyle HERE.
The Mayan Abdominal Massage is the treatment that made me a “Fertility Specialist.” I learned it many years ago while travelling in the Belize, Guatemala and Mexico. Here is a link to the story I wrote about that journey and discovering the Mayan Massage. Mayan Massage Journey Here.
I recommend that Women get the Mayan Massage at least 1-3 months prior to conception. It involves a Massage and Alignment of the Back and Spine. The uterus hangs inside the pelvis by 8 ligaments. Therefore, any misalignment of the low back and spine can affect the alignment of the Uterus and Ovaries. Once I align the spine, I will then massage the abdomen and align the uterus and ovaries. It usually only takes one treatment to do this. There should be at least one or two periods after the Mayan Massage so that the uterus can clean out all the old blood and toxins. Then the new lining will be full of fresh blood and nutrients which is much better for implantation.
To Learn more about the Mayan Massage for Fertility, read my article HERE.
To find a Mayan Massage Practitioner near you: www.arvigotherapy.com
Once you have detoxed the body and you have an organic garden for your fertility it is time to start the rebuilding of nutrients and balancing of hormones.
Here are some of the Things Necessary for Rebuilding;
- Whole Foods Organic Diet high in Protein, Healthy Fats, Vegetables, Fruits and Whole Grains
- A Food Based Prenatal is the most essential part of Rebuilding. You must now fertilize the soil with all the essential vitamins and minerals that are necessary for fertility and a healthy pregnancy.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids from either Fish or Flax oil
- Specific Nutrients based on blood work that are needed such as Iron, Vitamin D, etc.
- Herbs and Bio-Identical Hormones for hormone balancing.
Rebalancing involves Balancing the Hormones that are tested to be deficient. Estrogen is necessary for building the Uterine lining that the baby will be growing in. It also helps to prime the Egg and prepare it for ovulation. Progesterone is the hormone that implants the Fertilized Egg into the wall of the Uterus. Low progesterone is a common cause for Infertility and miscarriage in women over the age of 35. Testosterone helps the sex drive, so that is helpful if you want to have a baby. But if the testosterone is too high there may be underlying PCOS that is stopping ovulation. FSH and LH are indicators of the ovarian reserve and function. Thyroid hormone is like the gas tank and it regulates energy and metabolism. It is very important for fertility and pregnancy. The Adrenal hormones should be balanced and not too high or too low. If too high there may be “fight or flight” and this can interfere with fertility. But if there is adrenal fatigue this can also interfere with fertility and a healthy pregnancy. There is no one size fits all when it comes to Rebalancing. You must treat and balance what is wrong with you individually. And it should be based on the testing. I use a combination of diet, supplements, herbs and bioidentical hormones for this phase depending on what the patient needs.
Learn more about Naturopathic Approaches to Building and Balancing HERE.
Acupuncture is a very helpful treatment for both balancing the hormones and the menstrual cycle and for reducing the stress that can interfere with fertility. There are some women that may not have access to acupuncture, or they may not be able to afford it. But if you do have access, I recommend even monthly sessions with an Acupuncturist who specializes in Fertility or Women’s Health for you. Acupuncture is relaxing and rejuvenating and has thousands of years of Historical use in Women’s Health and Fertility to back it. There are different strategies for acupuncture treatments during different times of the menstrual cycle. Traditional Chinese Acupuncture methods customize the point selection for the specific patient and the energetic imbalances that they present with. If you have access and finances to include Acupuncture, I highly recommend it.
Learn more about Acupuncture HERE.
Exercise and Movement are so important for great health. I recommend that women stay very active and keep moving for enhanced fertility. However, very high impact exercise such as running and heavy weightlifting can actually be hard on the female body. Running can weaken the uterine ligaments and affect the uterine alignment. I recommend a balanced approach to fitness that includes: Aerobic exercise, Yoga or Stretching, and some strengthening. I also feel that we have such limited time in our lives for enjoyment that the fitness that you choose should be something that you like, or better yet, love to do. You are more likely to do it regularly and will get more benefit from it if you enjoy it.
Creating a Lifestyle that with LIVE/WORK balance is essential for Fertility Prep for both you and your partner. You must CREATE SPACE in your lives for the new energy of a child to come in. As much as I may focus on the science and medicine with patients, I really see conception as a miracle and a spiritual gift. You are inviting a soul into your family. Create beauty, joy and love with your partner and restore the magic that brought you together as a couple. Enjoy your time together as a couple and intentionally create the type of family and life you want. Then invite the soul to come in. Read more about Lifestyle on the RxStar Remedy Detox Program HERE.
Fertility Enhancement with Naturopathic Medicine a journey of healing for you and your partner. You are taking this special time to prepare yourselves to move into the space of parenthood. And in doing your own healing work, you are setting the stage for a healthy child in a loving and intentional space. Remember, the child as an extension of your health in body, mind and spirit.
Enjoy the Adventure!
Dr. Gabrielle Francis