A Great Little Fertility Guide

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It's no secret that Kerry Meath and I have been hard at work on our post partum book. I had hoped for a release date of now-ish, but as these things tend to go, I'm updating the release date to June.Following that release, I'll be working on a pre-conception / fertility book, which means a guide to preparing for pregnancy for couples, and then a pregnancy book.

So here's the news - I came across this great little guide put out by Banyan Botanicals, one of my favorite Ayurvedic product companies. It was compiled by Dr. Vrinda Devani, an OB/GYN who was a student at the Ayurvedic Institute and graduated last year. I had the pleasure of being one of her supervisors in the student clinic. Anyway, she's done a beautiful job putting this together, and while I work on my book, which will be much more detailed, this guide will be a great help to many. Enjoy! 

In health and love, Sunny

Fertility Awareness: Kindara App Review

I must confess I am rather new to natural fertility planning and charting. I did not even know it was a thing until I was already pregnant with my first child. Once I found out about it and got “Taking Charge of your Fertility” my mind was blown. I could not understand why, in my 25 years, I had not heard of it. It was amazing. I kind of didn’t believe it was possible. that your body gave you all sorts of signals to show what was going on. AMAZING. I was very excited when my cycles returned postpartum and I could FINALLY try out this seemingly magical information. Long story short, it did not disappoint (our bodies are amazing guys). Being a pretty tech savvy lady, I decided to use an app as part of my charting. There are many apps out there from very simple and free to all the bells and whistles. For me Kindara was the perfect fit and here’s why.

1. It can be as simple or complex as you want. It charts the basic basal body temps, cervical fluid and menstruation, but also allows you to add custom data that you feel is helpful or specific to you.

2. I found the chart view to be clear and pleasing. The prediction of fertile days was spot on for me after only charting one cycle. This simplicity of reading chart results was a must for me. I didn’t want to spend a time of time ‘interpreting’ the results.

3. There is a large community you can tap into to learn more about charting, analyze other charts and ask questions (They call this feature community support).

4. WINK! I am very excited about this. The company has developed a new basal thermometer that will sync wirelessly with the app! It vibrates when temp has been taken and syncs both the temperature but the time with the app to help with accuracy. I can’t wait to try it out!

I have tried a few other apps with mixed success. Some were cumbersome for me with lots of information to fill out and unclear chart results. Others were just for achieving pregnancy. Kindara has a cheery reminder that sounds if I haven’t input my data for the am, and tracking ‘intimacy’ with my partner helps this mama of two keep our ‘love life’ front and center in my mind. For me, Kindara is great whether you are trying to get pregnant, trying to avoid getting pregnant or just looking to learn more about you body, it does it all and I love that. And it has a ‘free’ portion of the app, so you can give it a no obligations try.

(Kindara is currently available for iPhone and Android. If you order your Wink using this link, you and Erin will both get $10 off!) 

Fertility Part 1: Can Ayurveda (or alternative modalities) Help?

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YES!  Ayurveda can be profound in supporting fertility, and even in helping with infertility. I have personally found and experienced the most powerful benefits from a combination of Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle, Western supplementation, and Chinese medical acupuncture support. These three modalities are wonderful to support, nourish and bring a sense of movement into your system. If you have been trying to conceive without luck for a while, consider taking a break for the next six months to cleanse, relax and nourish yourself using some of the ideas below.*Please know that this is not an exhaustive list, or one personalized to your situation, but instead a way to explore more, credible resources in your journey.

1)   Check out our post on pre-conception (if you haven’t already). In that post we discuss the importance of eating fertility foods, taking appropriate wholefood supplementation, oil massage, limiting exposure to toxins, and RELAX.

2) I was just listening to a wonderful interview with Dr. Claudia Welch, in which she discusses her belief that almost all hormonal imbalances have stress as a root cause (check it out at the bottom of this post). Do what nourishes you, get active, take quiet time, and DO LESS (and have fun!).

3)   Read “It Starts with the Egg” by Rebecca Fett, it provides a wonderful western perspective discussing the importance of nutrition and supplementation. We know that the lifestyle piece that she leaves out, can only better support her perspective.

4)   Go get some acupuncture. If you haven’t already explored this option, and are looking for something deeper. Acupuncture, with a Licensed Acupuncturist (L.Ac) or Doctor of Oriental Medicine (DOM) is a wonderful compliment.

5)   If none of those pieces address the problem there are many wonderful Western, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbs you can explore with a qualified practitioner.

Feel free to get in touch and let us know how we can support you! Love and Many Blessings on your journey!

5 Practices to Incorporate 4 Months Before Conception

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In Ayurveda, we believe a "pre-trimester" of care is equally as important as each trimester. Incorporating diet and lifetstyle practices before pregnancy, can have a profound influence on your baby’s health. There are many more factors to consider before pregnancy, but here are 5 basics to get started. “The fetus gets delivered easily in time in its well developed form and without any pain, if the sperm, the ovum, the uterus, and the timings (of sexual union and delivery) are in excellent condition and the woman during the period of pregnancy takes wholesome diet. Even in a fertile woman, there is a delay in conception because of defects in the uterus, mental afflictions, defects in sperm, ovum, diet and regimens, union in inappropriate time and want of strength.CS: Sarirasthanam II 6-10

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1- Eat foods for fertility: Healthy fats such as cold pressed organic olive, flax, sunflower, and coconut oils plus ghee and/or grass fed butter. Healthy proteins such as soaked legumes, pastured eggs and meats. Wild caught fish in small quantities. Soak your grains. Avoid processed, microwaved, packaged foods. Cook at home more!

 

2- Begin the following supplements: Food based prenatal vitamin for you and multi vitamin for him. CoQ10, Vit C, Vit E, Zinc, Selenium. Probiotics for both of you, but especially you – more and more research is showing that the health of mom’s vaginal flora has a profound effect on the infant gut microbiome…more on this topic later! - If you need supplements, visit the RoseHeal Dispensary. Stay tuned for a special post with some of our favorite supplements.

P1010139 3- Abhyanga at least 3x/week: Organic sesame oil for vata and kapha, organic sunflower oil for pitta. Or, better yet your herbalized doshic oil (Banyan has some good options). Check out our previous post on Abyanga for specific instructions.

 

4- Avoid toxins and reduce EMR exposure: Toxins in the form of food additives, pesticides, conventional cleaning and laundry products, paints, adhesives and plastic containers (especially disposable water bottles), and alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs. EMR (electromagnetic radiation) in the form of cell phones worn on your body, laptop in your lap (put it on a table), wireless modem in the bedroom, etc. You can use stones or devices that offer protection and also reduce your exposure. We like Tachyon!

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5- Mindfulness practices to reduce stress: Meditation, walking in nature, yoga nidra, pranyama, yoga asana, and qi gong are all good options.