Categories > Fertility Health

My Favorite Resource For Pregnant Mothers To Be

By Christina Pistotnik

The time between that positive pregnancy test and holding your newborn in your hands can be filled with a mixture of emotions. On one hand you are so excited that you are going to be a mother but on the other hand you can’t help but feel anxious because it is hard to know what you can and cannot do. Some of you invested time, energy, and financial contributions in order to get to this place, and of course you want to do everything you can to safely maintain this pregnancy.

One of my favorite resources that I refer to and suggest to newly expectant mothers is called Motherisk. It is a Canadian site and program facilitated by the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children and they provide evidence-based information about what is and is not safe during pregnancy. I really enjoy it because it is easy to use and contains a vast array of information all on one site. Plus they have a toll free number (1-877-439-2744 ) that you can call and speak directly to a nurse that will help you out with any concerns you may have.

Having reliable resources and specialists to support you during pregnancy is important because it can help ease uncertainty surrounding an important time in your life.

What about acupuncture, is it safe during pregnancy?

Since the majority of my patients start seeing me while in the process of trying to conceive, I get this question quite a lot in my practice and the answer is; Yes, acupuncture is a safe and effective form of treatment in pregnancy. This is because it utilizes the body’s own healing process to help maintain pregnancy by keeping the uterus calm and stabilizing progesterone which keeps the lining secure until the placenta takes over. Plus it helps to minimize uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms which include; nausea and vomiting, aches/ pains, insomnia, and energy issues.
Plus, an added bonus when receiving acupuncture treatments is that it has a very calming affect on the body. Therefor, it can help with stress and anxiety that you may be experiencing during this time.

As an acupuncturist specializing in fertility and pregnancy, I am happy to safely treat you for any of your pregnancy concerns. Call Whole Family Health to book your appointment today!

Moving Forward From Pregnancy Loss: 4 Things That Help

October is Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness Month, and in honor of heartbroken parents, blessed little lost ones, and all dear folk touched by this grief, we recognize this all too commonly shared experience.

We all process this kind of loss in our own way, and in our own time. One of life’s humbling mysteries – sometimes there is an explanation, and other times there is not. Either way, we are left to grapple with that which we don’t have control over, and to practice with somehow making peace with it, while sorting out how to move forward.

Often losses can be isolating, held close and private, locked in the silent hope of the first trimester. Hopefully to be spoken of later, perhaps when a little less emotionally raw.

While later term losses or stillbirths may be collectively grieved; empty-armed parents, navigating how to move forward at the mercy of often unpredictable waves of emotion. Moving through a life unchanged and yet forever changed – buoyed or sunken by the community’s varying depth of understanding and expectation.

It is said that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage by age 35, and once we start talking about it, we realize that everyone knows at least one person who has suffered a loss- if they haven’t experienced one themselves.

What does life after loss look like? There is no right or wrong way to grieve, we all do it in our own way and in our own time. Some of us are de-railed for a short time, and others of us never quite ‘get over it.’ Some of us need potato chips, while some of us need long walks, or both. Whatever it may be, allow the time and space to be with it in whatever way works best.

Here are some things that will help in the wake of pregnancy loss:

1. Breathe. Studies show that Mindful breathing exercises shift us out of fight or flight and activate our pre-frontal cortex- which is responsible for higher executive functioning. This supports our recovery from traumatic events and helps us to be present with and to integrate these experiences in a healthy way.

Mindfulness allows us to have the perspective we need to see our way through difficult times, without avoiding or being completely high-jacked by the negative impacts of the associated stress. Accessing resources like a Mindfulness class or a Mindfulness App like Headspace have far-reaching benefits.

2. Nourish and renew. Pregnancy loss and stillbirth can be draining both physically and emotionally. Eat replenishing foods, that are nutrient-rich and tonifying. Try to stay away from refined and processed foods, while gravitating toward a whole foods diet.

Stick to warm and cooked meals, especially in the colder seasons. These are more easily digested, and your body doesn’t have to work as hard to metabolize them. Bone broths, which are rich in amino acids, vitamins and minerals are easily absorbed, rehydrating, and fortifying.

3. Follow up. Follow up with your doctor. Especially if bleeding or pain persists or if your energy levels are slow to recover. Your doctor can run standard blood-work to check on hormone and iron levels after a loss. He or she can also determine if there is any indication for ultrasound imaging to ensure that no pregnancy products remain and/or that healing from any procedure is going smoothly.

If you have had more than one loss, your doctor will likely want to run a Recurrent Pregnancy Loss Panel, to rule out any potential contributing physiological factors.

4. Acupuncture. Acupuncture promotes blood flow, regulates inflammation, supports hormone balance, and decreases stress. It helps with recovery from both spontaneous miscarriage, procedures and stillbirths, as well as supports regulation of your cycle after loss.

Treatment plans are individualized, based on factors relevant to your particular case, and can include regular acupuncture, customized Chinese herbs, and a review of recommended supplements, diet and exercise.

If a Western diagnosis has been identified, and/or Western Medical treatment is necessary, we make modifications to support this process. The primary aim is to help your body re-set. Should you plan to create and carry another healthy pregnancy, then we also help to prepare for this, while supporting the mental-emotional process and doing what we can to prevent another loss.

Pregnancy and infancy loss is not uncommon, and the more we speak to it, the better
we are able to understand and support one another. Bless the hearts of those who know
this kind of loss first-hand and bless the hearts of those who love and support them.

 

Dr. Alda Ngo

For more information on how we can support recovery and prevention of pregnancy
loss, please feel free to contact us for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

How You Can Create a Healthy Baby with Whole Family Health

There is a reason that a baby is referred to as the “miracle of life”. Sometimes, it can seem unbelievable that a little human grows inside of a woman. The idea that at just five weeks into pregnancy, your tiny bun already has a brain, spinal cord, and heart can be even more difficult to imagine.

 

But, it’s true. And even at this very beginning stage of life, health is important.

 

Did you know that an entire blueprint of a child’s future health can be derived from mom’s health during pregnancy? That’s right. A mother’s health (even before conception) influences the health of her fetus.

 

What does this mean? It means that the best way to ensure your child is healthy doesn’t start after they are born, or even during pregnancy. It starts with your preconception preparation!

 

First things first

 

It’s no secret that young adults are experiencing more hectic, stressful lifestyles as workloads double and financial stress increases. Today’s generation are also victims of convenience, able to order fast food to their doors and no longer needing to walk or use a bicycle as much as in days gone by. Not to mention the increased use of pesticides, and more exposure to radiation from appliances and devices.

 

So, what is being done to combat these negative effects? Especially during preparation for pregnancy? Well, it starts with understanding that health starts with you. How you treat your body, what you put into it, and how you relieve stress all play vital roles in the outcome of your child’s health. By taking ownership and putting a process in place to optimize your mind and body for child-bearing, you are taking the first step.

 

How can Whole Family Health help?

 

We combine traditional Chinese medicine and regular acupuncture treatments with nutritional and lifestyle guidance, as well as mind-body stress reduction techniques to increase your fertility naturally.

 

We take a holistic approach to restoring fertility by focusing on your entire health and wellness; we offer fertility acupuncture, fertility massage, nutritional advice and more. The reproductive system is connected to and affected by all the other systems. By treating the entire person, we identify and remove hormonal, physiological, and even emotional issues impacting fertility, bringing you into balance and enhancing your ability to conceive.

 

Interested in how we can work with you to improve your health and increase the likelihood of conception? Contact us today!

 

 

4 Board Certified Fellows of the American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine at Whole Family Health

Congratulations to Christina Pistotnik RAc, DAc, HHP, FABORM and Monica Patt RAc, HHP, FABORM on your recent certification with ABORM! (more…)

Integrative Fertility Symposium 2016 Highlights

Our team just got home from the 2016 Integrative Fertility Symposium and wanted to share some highlights. (more…)

Massage Therapy Improves IVF in Patients Undergoing Blastocyst Transfer in a Cryo-Cycle

Massage Therapy is increasingly used to relieve physical and mental discomfort and is suggested as a safe therapeutic modality, without any significant risks or any known side effects. (more…)

Self-Care Isn’t Selfish – it’s Essential

Self-care is fundamental to physical, mental, and emotional/spiritual health and greatly affects all those around us. (more…)

5 ways to Boost your Immune Health Before the Upcoming Winter Months

For many, the winter months, especially in Edmonton, can be that time of year where the immune system takes a hit. (more…)

Recent Research: Freeze-All Embryo Transfer Policy May Lead to Better IVF Outcomes

A recent study has evaluated the effect of elective cryopreservation (preservation by freezing) with subsequent frozen-thawed embryo transfer (FET) in cycles with elevated progesterone.

(more…)

When Should Couples be Investigated for Infertility?

With an estimated 1 in 6 Canadian couples struggling with fertility challenges, further investigation into ‘why’ is becoming more important. (more…)

Next Page »