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Even when you’ve meticulously planned your journey to pregnancy, arriving at your destination can catch you by surprise. Now that you’re expecting, what’s next?

Nurturing a Healthy Pregnancy

Birth is often likened to a marathon. It’s a big event with big demands on the body. A little training and prep work goes a long way. Here are a few ways you can get your body in the zone for a healthy birth.

Acupuncture

In the first 2 months of pregnancy, weekly acupuncture sessions lay the foundation for the body as it begins this new project of building life from scratch. From 8 – 35 weeks monthly check-ins are recommended to give the nervous, endocrine, and muscular systems a tune-up as they work to keep up with the changes happening as baby grows. At 36 weeks you can start coming 2-3 weekly for labor preparation. During these sessions your acupuncturist will gently invite your body to transition smoothly from latent to active labor.

Massage

Your muscles and tendons will thank you for the bit extra love they’ll get from a good prenatal massage. They’re working hard to keep you and baby supported, but sometimes they can get a little cranky along the way. With the hormone relaxin pumping through your body, allowing it to softly shift as baby grows, it’s easy to overstretch and aggravate muscles during regular activity. Luckily an experienced prenatal massage therapist can soothe those aches, and even stay ahead of any potential strains along the way.

Food

In Traditional Chinese Medicine we always consider food the frontline of medicine. During pregnancy your blood volume increase by about 50% as a human is grown from scratch and an entirely new organ (the placenta!) develops alongside.

Food provides the essential building blocks necessary for all of this to happen. Meal planning and prep can also be a great way for a partner or to take a leading role in supporting the daily development of your baby.

But sometimes the push and pull of morning sickness, cravings, body image, and  conflicting information around weight gain,can make it hard to figure out how to maintain a nourishing diet. Your acupuncturist can help you navigate these challenges by discussing what foods are right for you and your pregnancy, or connecting you with a nutritional coach specializing in pregnancy. And at the end of the pregnancy journey, those nine months of conscious nourishment provide the energy reserves your body will draw from through labor and into the postpartum period.

Exercise

Keeping up with regular exercise is a great way to maintain a healthy mindset and to prepare for a smooth labor. But it’s crucial to acknowledge that a pregnant body has different abilities. From being more flexible due to hormone changes to having different breathing patterns because of blood volume and that baby that’s kicking your diaphragm. There are plenty of options – yoga, guided movement, strength training – but working with a prenatal fitness professional is a must. In addition to introducing you to the muscles and movements involved in the labor process, they can guide you through a safe and rewarding prenatal routine that will keep you active without worrying about new injuries.

While you’re doing the hard work of nurturing the growth of a tiny human, who do you have taking care of you? Your OBGYN or midwife is one player on an all star team you get to select for this journey. (more…)

Even when you’ve meticulously planned your journey to pregnancy, arriving at your destination can catch you by surprise. Join me as I go through some key milestones and offer my advice on choosing a great care provider, building a dream team to support you, as well as how to nurture your body throughout your pregnancy. (more…)

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Facebook, Apple, and Google are leading the way to a new era of family planning. With an uptick in progressive health insurance plans that cover elective egg freezing, an increasing number of millennials are now considering taking advantage of this new option.

Connecting with Patients

In step with this development is a boom in the number of fertility clinics in the U.S. that offer egg freezing. In fact, here in NYC, clinics have even started to host cocktail informational sessions at trendy Manhattan locations in an attempt to better connect with potential patients.

“Acupuncture sets up a healthy foundation by evening out any minor hormonal imbalances so that when it comes time to start medicated injections the body is prepared to respond.”

New technological developments have increased the success of thawing once-frozen eggs, and a shift of regulations have eased the way for more clinics to offer the procedure. Conversations about the pros and cons of egg freezing abound: it’s a hot topic in popular media and academic communities alike. These new trends in family planning can sometimes feel like a whirlwind of scientific novelty; however, here at Yinova we’ve been working with patients through this process for nearly two decades.

The Perfect Blend

Together, acupuncture and Chinese medicine create the ideal conditions for healthy egg development by maintaining the delicate balance of hormones and increasing ovarian blood flow.¹  This makes it the perfect adjunct treatment for anyone preparing to embark on the journey of egg freezing. Acupuncture sets up a healthy foundation by evening out any minor hormonal imbalances so that when it comes time to start medicated injections the body is prepared to respond efficiently. And when the process is over, acupuncture gently brings the body back to baseline activity.

Before eggs can be frozen, they must be retrieved. As with IVF, preparation for egg freezing involves hormonal stimulation of the ovaries for elevated follicle production; triggered release of anywhere from 5-30 eggs into the space outside the fallopian tubes; and finally the surgical removal of the eggs.

Working in conjunction with what you’re already doing

The hormones and medications used in the process are the same as those used in IVF preparation. They are remarkably effective at playing their role, but there are some common side effects that can vary based on the formulations administered. Being at the forefront in fertility wellness has allowed our practitioners to become well acquainted with the most common effects of each of these drugs. This allows our acupuncturists to help mitigate the intensity of these side effects before they even happen. Guided by current research, our acupuncturists use tested techniques for best outcomes during egg retrieval

As practitioners of Chinese medicine, we are always focussed on the big picture. This means we see you for who you are, and we understand that you and your process of family planning can’t be boiled down to a single lab test. We are here to acknowledge that this is an emotional process as much as a physical one.


¹ Anderson, B. J., Haimovici, F., Ginsburg, E. S., Schust, D. J., & Wayne, P. M. (2007). In vitro fertilization and acupuncture: clinical efficacy and mechanistic basis. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 13(3), 38.

² Anderson, B. J., Haimovici, F., Ginsburg, E. S., Schust, D. J., & Wayne, P. M. (2007). In vitro fertilization and acupuncture: clinical efficacy and mechanistic basis. Alternative therapies in health and medicine, 13(3), 38.

The weeks following a birth can be both a difficult and delicate time for any new parent. On top of adjusting to looking after a new member of the family, there is also so much healing to be done as a new parent. (more…)

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