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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.

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Tips For Getting A Better Sleep

Sleep, everybody needs it, but not everyone can seem to get enough of it. People often fill their day with too many tasks and don’t leave enough time for quality shut-eye. But then there are people who have the time to sleep, but still wake up feeling tired and not well rested. This can happen for a number of reasons and it can be frustrating, but the good news is there are steps you can take to provide yourself with a better sleep every night.

Sleep vs.Good Sleep

You might be sleeping, but are you getting a good sleep? Sometimes we don’t sleep as well as we should, for a variety of reasons. A common problem that many people experience is that they are not sleeping deeply enough or are wakeful throughout the night.

There are a number of reasons why a person might not be getting the deep rest they need. Sometimes those problems are biological. Sleep disorders such as sleep apnea may interrupt normal sleep cycles, reducing the quality of sleep and causing the person to still be tired in the morning. Often sleep is restless because of environmental factors. Things such as excess lights and sounds or uncomfortable temperatures can cause wakefulness throughout the night. Anxiety and stress can also reduce sleep quality. If your mind is not relaxed, you may become restless and wakeful throughout the night, which reduces your quality of sleep.

Setting Up a Good Sleep Environment

If your sleep issues are environmental, there are steps you can take to improve your environment for sleeping. For instance, if light bothers you, you might want to consider a blackout shade in your bedroom. The light from a streetlight might seem fairly dim and distant, but it can be enough to compromise your sleep quality.

If noise is the issue, you might want to consider getting heavier curtains to filter out outdoor sounds. A white noise machine may also be effective in covering disruptive noises, providing for a more peaceful sleep.

Dealing with Health Issues

If your inability to get a good night’s sleep is related to physical or mental health, don’t assume those problems will just go away or that you can fix them on your own. Any health issue requires attention from a doctor. By avoiding the doctor, you might actually be worsening the problem as your lack of sleep will be making matters worse.

A Good Sleep Routine

If the problem is that you’re having a hard time getting to sleep, get yourself in a sleep routine. Try turning off the TV or any other screens an hour or two before bed time to let your mind de-stimulate. Try to relax yourself further with mediation or a warm bath. Make sure your bedroom is a clean and peaceful environment that you enjoy being in.

It may take time, but by establishing good sleep habits and taking care of any health issues inhibiting your sleep, you will improve your sleep quality and your overall quality of life.

Meditation, Acupuncture, and Massage Therapy Can Help

If you are having trouble sleeping, meditation is an effective and easy way to set yourself up for a successful night’s sleep. Some techniques for meditation that are proven to be effective in helping people fall asleep include deep breathing, guided visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness exercises.

Further, acupuncture and massage therapy are successful treatment options for many types of sleep disorders and promotes relaxation. Click here to learn more about how acupuncture, massage therapy, and meditation can improve your sleep!

If you have any questions on our mind body medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy and how to improve sleep quality, please do not hesitate to contact us today!

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